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30 July 2006 

Give to Caesar what is Caesars.

Read this article from the New York Times. This is what I'm talking about. People outside this "emerging church" movement won't don't get this. But this guy is saying what he should be saying. The pulpit is no place for politics, and some evangelicals are starting to stand up for that. In Christ's ministry on earth, he never once brought up politics or government except for when we was asked directly about it. Jesus, indeed, Christianity, which if you want to break it down simply means the devoted followers of Jesus, is not about conquering the world through culture or politics or any other means. It's not about forcing the world to accept our moral standards, we can't even accept our moral standards, its not about eliminating sin, its about Jesus, first, last, and forever. If anything, anything overshadows that then it is blocking the work of the gospel and it is evil!

"Mr. Boyd said he never intended his sermons to be taken as merely a critique of the Republican Party or the religious right. He refuses to share his party affiliation, or whether he has one, for that reason. He said there were Christians on both the left and the right who had turned politics and patriotism into “idolatry.”


“I am sorry to tell you,” he continued, “that America is not the light of the world and the hope of the world. The light of the world and the hope of the world is Jesus Christ.”

Double that!

Mr. Boyd lambasted the “hypocrisy and pettiness” of Christians who focus on “sexual issues” like homosexuality, abortion or Janet Jackson’s breast-revealing performance at the Super Bowl halftime show. He said Christians these days were constantly outraged about sex and perceived violations of their rights to display their faith in public.

“Those are the two buttons to push if you want to get Christians to act,” he said. “And those are the two buttons Jesus never pushed.”

This is such a profound point. Christians react so negatively to anything they percieve as an attack on their faith because they think they have have some sort of right over others because they are Christians when in fact they should react exactly the opposite. Paul writes "but in humility, consider others better than yourselves." Jesus said, "the world has hated me, so to will it hate you." And he didn't say to lament that or resent it, he said that we are blessed for our persecution for being like Him. How then do you think he reacts, the man who bore the greatest injustice of all time in humility and love, when we are unwilling to humbler ourselves to the point of not being offended when people don't agree. He promised it would happen.

This is what I mean in my recent posts about "conservatism" and "liberalism." That these words are becoming too ingrained in religion when they should have nothing to do with the other. I agree with Pastor Boyd. I think abortion is wrong, and I think homosexuality is not God's ideal, but neither is anything in this world. It's not God's ideal that there should be any sin, and when we try to legislate morality we are missing the point of the gospel. If the gospel were about making a world where no one sinned, we would all be hopelessly damned. Praise God that we have a gospel that doesn't care if we are sinners, it tells us we are, God does not demand morality, he doesn't command you to vote Republican or crusade against abortion, only that you know Him and the work He did saving you on the cross and that you accept a gift you could not earn, forgiveness.

Hmm... AMEN!

P.S. Are you going emergent? That second sentence sounds like you are. Are there emergent churches in Champaign?! AH!!!!

Its more an Intervarsity influence. I dislike labelling, but I would say that I identify with many of the values of the emerging church.

I like to say that the Emerging Church movement is actually just a realization that the Church is ALWAYS emerging.

Anyway, books to read:

- Shaping Of Things To Come
- Divine Conspiracy

The emerging church movement brings up a lot of good questions but the answers all aren't there =). Emerging church thought has helped me put words to the kind of things I was experiencing and thinking about when I was at InterVarsity and I'd see where my actual church was when I went home or went to church in Champaign.

The Emerging Church is wherever you want to make it, Belegraukar. If you seek it you will not find. =)

Oh, and one more thing...

People label ME when I'm all like conservative on them like I hate feeding babies and I like injustice, and that sux0rz. So I'd rather not combine my faith and politics like so many end up doing and they just get to the surface of things. It's a world of hurting badness.

It's completely possible to have the same principles and end up with different conclusions and applications.

Oh I am QUITE familiar with the Emergents and I have read several of their books... but not those, oddly. Thanks for the recommendations... I have heard of the second one, but not the first.

As to my stance, from the books I have read, I am attracted to a lot of emergent thought, and I hold them no real ill will (except when they say I must become them... as is the case of "The Next Reformation" by Carl Raschke... of course he also attempts to claim Martin Luther is post-modern).

In the end though, while I agree with them whole-heartedly on the evils of modernity, I do not see many answers within post-modernity.. only helpful nudges away from the Evangelical's current state.

Pre-modernity is where it's at! Regress, regress, regress! I suppose that would make them upset... not very "emergent," is it? Yet, so many of their "leaders" advocate that very thing without seeming to realize it. Crazy world!

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