Friday, February 04, 2011

Passage for the Day

I went to a certain news website this morning and immediately went from relatively happy to a sense of crisis, fear, and alarm. One article captured the site well, a piece criticizing Obama for leaving the phrase "they shall renew their strength" out of his quotation of Isaiah 40.  It's no wonder so much of America is angry, I thought.  How can anyone with the Spirit of Christ take much of this, I thought.  I was tempted to respond in kind.

To purify myself, I give you this passage from someone this website would attack if he had a different name and was saying this today:

“You have heard that it was said, ‘You will love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be children of your Father in heaven; for he makes his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the righteous and on the unrighteous. For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet only your brothers and sisters, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? Therefore, love the whole way, as your heavenly Father loves the whole way."


Angie Van De Merwe said...

The Church and Christians are demanding of performance of one kind or another. This is what group behavior does so that the group can maintain its identifiers. The "social norm" for the conservative is; "good works", "anti=abortion stance", "anti-homosexuality", and various other defining characteristics that they impose on others, because they are "best" or "truth". And if one chooses what is deemed not to be "god's will" (as determined by their own convictions), then one will have to "pay the price", "be judged", "shunned" fact, crucified, so that the community will remaing pure and free from sin!
But, it is no less daunting to face the liberal and their agenda of collectivism, in the demands of "social justice" OR what is termed here as the "proper response" to atrocity. The liberal also frames one's life by "what is best or "what is right or good".
This attitude has happened across historical times and social frames. It is not just a Christian reaction; it is also a human one, because we must be biased if we hold to any convictions at all. But the conservatives are the ones that are prone to discrimination because they have a more narrowed prejudice; which is a hard fit for most. Fundamentals of the faith and dogmatism are what rule the day for such as these.

Ken Schenck said...

What we have lost is the goal of objectivity. We cannot attain it, but we can try. It is this quest for truth, wherever the quest might lead us, that made the West great, especially when it was coupled with the ethos of loving one's neighbor.

The influence of postmodernism, bastardized into a cultural form, has simply returned us to tribalism and, you are correct Angie, American Christianity has played along because of the empowerment it brought with it.

But ultimately, truth doesn't care, and if we as Christians cannot hold our own on the playing field of the objective quest for truth, then ultimately our movement is not for thinkers or leaders but for the inept and the fearful.

Angie Van De Merwe said...

The objectivity of the West is a tolerant objectivity, as it defends the rule of law, but allows for diversity, as to personal expression, association, as well as diverse views of "faith".

Our Constitution is an ideal of universal values, so, that is what can be objectified; life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness (property). Loving one's neighbor means that one meets AT LEAST the standards of the Constitution! That is IF we respect both parties equally, as to their individual ability to choose, define and agree to associate or co-operate. Otherwise, it is injustice, because it makes demands upon one at their expense.

Self-government, not paternalistic government is what our Founders intended, when they formed our "more perfect union". That means that diverse views and interests must be affirmed.

If God can't protect one from harm, then possibly the Constitution can.

FrGregACCA said...

Yeah, it's amazing how the dispensationalism implicit in all Protestantism (where it is not explicit) does so much to blunt the relevance of this Man's actual words and actions.

Angie Van De Merwe said...

Yeah, FrGregACCA,
If we aren't created to be free to determine one's own life, then life is useless, except for determinations of a "god".

In Greece, it was known as Fate. Voltaire knew Fate as Pan Gloss. The Founders knew "Fate" as Providence. And the natural sciences know "God" as evolution, natural causes, contingencies, Ultimate Values, Rational choice, etc.

Angie Van De Merwe said...

And Rome knew Ceasar as "god". All of these "gods" except for the ancients that didn't believe that man had rights to choose and define his own life were passively submitted to authoritative "leadership", without input, such as the Pope.

::athada:: said...

To bad we can't go back to a former leader of the free world, one who really knew how to apply the Bible...

"This ideal of America is the hope of all mankind…. That hope still lights our way. And the light shines in the darkness. And the darkness has not overcome it.”