May 20, 2004
Words and deeds

My back has finally recovered; thanks to those who asked. While I was out Marvin posted a few pungent remarks:

Predictably, the National Council of Churches has called on the United Nations to take over postwar Iraq. Predictably, the Southern Baptist Convention's Richard Land blames the Iraqi torture scandal on "moral relativism." You can read more about it here, but I'm warning you. Prepare to be less than surprised at what these Christians are saying about Iraq.

Why doesn't the National Council of Churches step up to the plate and offer to take over Iraq instead of foisting this huge problem on the U.N.? Let's sell off both their property on Riverside Drive and the offices of its member denominations. That'll generate some revenue. Ship the denominational bureaucrats and windbag clergy (including myself) to Iraq to replace the CPA. Give our 18-26 year-old members some options: Peace Corps, Christian Peacemaker Teams, etc., or go find another "church" to call home. Why do "prophetic Christians" limit their mission to telling world governments what they ought to do instead of challenging Christians themselves with what we ought to do?

Jennifer responded:
This is brilliant. I love it. Of course, I'm not sure that the NCC has the expertise to do it, but it's exactly the kind of thinking we need inside the Church. This is a proper Christian response to evil. It's a great reminder that "prophetic Christians" (I'm guessing he means liberal mainliners) love to tell the government what to do and spend lots of time protesting the government and trying to change it, as if the primary purpose of Church is to get the kingdom of God legislated instead of being or living into the kingdom of God. Not that trying to change laws is wrong, but are we more comfortable changing things outside the box, instead of embodying that change inside?

Well, the problem is bigger than expertise. If the Iraqis aren't thrilled to be ruled by Americans, I don't think they'd like being run by a Christian theocracy! I agree in liking the thinking though. I was always a little uncomfortable with the "prophet" analogy some Christians make. Prophets were lone individuals who didn't have the power to do much of anything except shoot their mouths off, but churches have more wherewithal. Also, the prophets of the Old Testament criticized the government and people of Israel for breaking their covenant with God. When there's no covenant, criticism just becomes your usual political lobbying. Not that there's anything inherently wrong with that, but I would hope churches would aspire to more.

Posted by Camassia at May 20, 2004 10:56 AM | TrackBack
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