A wonderful discovery – Gregory Boyd, his book The Myth of a Christian Nation, his church, and his blog and his ministry website. Though we haven’t ever met, we share the same concern – that Jesus is more important than politics no matter the politics. I am not sure that I fully agree with or fully understand some of the particulars of what he is saying. I am not sure, for instance, how he classifies the AIDS epidemic as being separate from issues of poverty. I hope to invite him into a discussion on those issues. What I am certain of, however, is the fact that the defining characteristic of those who call themselves Christ’s followers is not political. From Boyd:
“…it’s important that we distinguish between issues of good verses evil, on the one hand, and ambiguous issues that divide a polis, on the other. I’m aware that this distinction is not always perfectly clear-cut, but it must suffice for now. Slave trading, sex trafficking and the AIDS epidemic are examples of the first. In these cases, evil people, or evils in nature, are brutally dehumanizing other people. Here the challenge is to inform people of what’s going on while appealing to their common human decency to confront the evil head-on.
Most political issues, however, are not of this sort. They rather fall into the second camp. What economic plan will best take care of the poor? Should the government decide what the status and rights of an unborn child is or should this be the mother’s decision? What should be done about illegal immigration? On issues such as this (and there are a million), good and decent people in a pluralistic culture can and do disagree.”
Huh? Is he saying, for instance, that poverty is only possibly moral? That saving they untold suffering and death that brings every day is somehow not important? No. Read:
By all means, if a Christians thinks abortion should be outlawed, they can try to influence society at large to move it in this direction. The same holds true if they believe abortions up to such-and-such a date should be a woman’s choice. So it is with the various sides of the stem cell research debate, global warming, gay marriage, gun control, the economy, the war in Iraq, Darfur, etc…. Everyone’s got their opinion, and in a democratic society everyone can try to influence others to agree with them . This is all wonderful. My only point is that its unbiblical, naive, unhelpful and arrogant for anyone to label THEIR particular way of resolving ambiguous social and political issues as the “Christian” way. What makes a person “Christian” is NOT that they have (or think they have ) better moral intuitions or more political insight than other people. What makes a person “Christian” is that they are “Christ-like” in their willingness and capacity to BLEED for others.