August 16, 2004
Journey's end

Hello! I'm back from my trip, and I'm totally exhausted. My mother and I drove yesterday from just north of San Francisco to my place in L.A., and we didn't get home until after midnight. It took so long partly because we stopped for dinner in Santa Barbara and visited with Telford, who I had to return a book to, and as usual the time flew by. (There was also a huge traffic jam in S.B. for some reason -- some festival?) He mentioned that that morning he'd guest-preached at a church near his house, and somewhat riskily he decided to preach about the election. He's put it on his site here. Now that I'm reading Yoder I can certainly see Yoder's influence.

The Spirit is with us, so submitting displays authority. Oh, we remember our old vices. Thatís why we sympathize with our poor rulers! Yet God has freed us from having to beat them, join them, surrender to them, imitate them, or leave them alone. Now we can freely respect them as we go about our own business as Godís Church. We have gone from being fellow rebels to Godís heirs. The Spirit has given us a new style of politics: a gentle obedience that is really authority, leadership, and evangelism. ...

However, maybe youíre right. Maybe Bush is a dictator. Maybe Kerry is a defeatist. I have trusted friends who think both of those things. Then keep in mind that Paul is referring to Roman emperors and governors. They demand to be worshipped! They are killing Christians who refuse! You see, even if all the conspiracy theories circulating through your wing of the ideological spectrum are true, Titus still applies. Withholding generosity towards your enemies would still be self-defeating. It would turn you back into the very people you fear.

I'll have to leave it at that. I'm too tired to write anything else.

Posted by Camassia at August 16, 2004 05:31 PM | TrackBack

"It would turn you back into the very people you fear."

Yes. Which, in another sense perhaps, begs the question: how does one participate in politics without dirtying one's hands? Lie down with dogs, get up with fleas. Jesus completely avoided politics in a very political place and time.

Posted by: Rob on August 17, 2004 05:08 AM

Hurrah and welcome back!

In my more enthusiastic Anabaptist moments, it is very easy for me to refer to the Bushes and the Kerrys as "Caesar". It's rhetorically satisfying (deeply so), but I'm not always sure it is accurate theology.

Posted by: Hugo on August 17, 2004 10:03 AM
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