This is an elaboration of a comment I left on Justin’s last post. Figured it could be brought up to the main page.
I didn’t want to go through the rigmarole of registering so I could comment at the greater Wilson’s place, especially since only to do so would feel to me as becoming the “Someone’s wrong on the Internet” cartoon, but the most distressing thing about the responses to my post is the assumption that I have zero concern for the systematic murder of children (and that there is apparently no other route to stop it than politicking).
As I said in another post of mine from another site that I linked to from another comment in another of Justin’s posts on this site — everybody follow that? — I am a fan of both politicking for the repeal of Roe v. Wade and attacking with the gospel the sort of social and cultural decay that leads to both unwanted pregnancies and killed babies.
Doug counters at one point that nobody he knows thinks legislation can make anyone a Christian. I have affirmed in one of the myriad comment threads ensuing from my original (apparently) hornet stirring post that I know that if pressed almost no Christian would say it would. (Although I did have one guy say he was essentially argued into the kingdom.) But my concern here is not in what we say in the fine print of our evangelical theology, but what we say and do day to day in our evangelicalism. My argument is that we routinely betray our theology. Not just one hour ago — I’m not making this up — I was talking about the new American missional frontier of New England with someone who made the connection in their response to the liberal government and the fact that we are not a “Christian nation” any more.
This has been a common reaction in the comments: I am attacking a persona that doesn’t exist. I must be that dude from “Beautiful Mind,” then, imagining literally hundreds of people throughout my life. It astounds me that many are acting like they have no idea what I’m talking about. We need to trade Facebook accounts for a while, I suppose, so you can see the daily deluge of trusting in chariots and horses evident in the status updates. Visit a Bible Belt community or even an evangelical pocket outside. Nobody would say laws make people Christian, but just the fact we’d have to ask them in order to clarify makes my point.
But this is the comment of Doug’s I’d most like to address:
yet Jesus, with this transparently “non-political” agenda, managed to get Himself on the hit list of all the political authorities. How did He manage that? Was it all a big misunderstanding?
This is a nice slight of hand.
It disagrees in a way that implies I have no possible explanation for how Jesus ran afoul of the powers that be. Very clever.
Jesus ran afoul of the religious powers that be by “blaspheming” and the governmental powers that be by letting people treat him like Lord and King (which of course he was and is), which is insurrection language.
But do any of us think he wasn’t God or that he was actually plotting military overthrow or political shenanigans?
My entire point, for goodness’ sake, is that the Kingdom doesn’t look like the kingdoms of this world. And lo and behold, that is still scandalous in this world and in the Church.