Pastoral Musings from Rain City

it's about 'what is church?' it's about whether 'emergent' is the latest Christian trend or something more substantial. it's musing on what it means to live the city, in America, in community, intergenerationally, at this time in history...

Saturday, April 14, 2007

A meltdown that's GOOD news.

I went to see The Alps yesterday at IMAX. For those of us who climb, it's a must see, and I suppose the same could be said for those who wonder why we climb. Of course, there was a significant section on global warming, because the Alps offer some of the most irrefutable evidence of this matter, not regarding the cause, but regarding the reality. There are many of us 'older' climbers who have seen glaciers receding visibly in our short decade or two of climbing. We who climb don't claim to know why it's happening, just that it is. And it saddens most of us.

But there's a different kind of meltdown happening among Christians, and I'm not sad about it at all. I'm talking about the meltdown of that shallow union between the Republican party and Religious Right (heretofore called, "RR" in this piece). The meltdown is exposed in Rolling Stone in an article that articulates the RR's disillusionment with both the present (we've been sent to the back of the bus after being courted in the primaries) and the future (none of the republican front runners are sympathetic to our causes, except perhaps the Mormon - but of course, he's a Mormon).

I'm glad the alliance has broken down because it created a caricatured, mis proportioned expression of what it means to follow Jesus. Our calling isn't to embody the narrow platform of stem-cell research, abortion, and a clear definition of marriage. Rather, we're called to embody the full spectrum of Christ's ethical reign. When we bow to the reign of our creator and embrace our calling to embody His reign, we'll care about lots of things: a) the structures and excessive energy use that contribute to the extinction of species b) the plight of the marginalized, whether their plight stems from war, economic oppression, abuse, or mental/spiritual health c) the sexual anarchy that separates sexual expression from covenant relationship d) the lifestyles that link consumption and wealth with meaning and happiness e) the loss of intimate relationships with family, friends, neighbors, and the environment, all of which contribute to the vast hollowness that defines our age. f) and so much more... We're called to care about these values, embody them in our communities of faith, and use our time and energy as God directs each of us, to step into the stream of activities that further these values.

What saddens me in the article is that RR members have decided that in the wake of their disillusionment, perhaps a 'two year fast' from politics is the answer. My hope is that the disillusionment will become, not a basis for disengagement, but rather a cause for rethinking just what it is that Christ wants us to be about. Perhaps this meltdown will eventuate in a more balanced expression of what Christ is about, and that would be a meltdown that would warm my heart.


At 15/4/07 00:51, Anonymous Davey said...

After reading that article out of Rolling Stone, I'm reminded again of what I dislike about politics...the fact that it's so political.

I couldn't agree more that it's about time the RR's enfatuation with the Republicans was reconsidered. On the other hand, I'm hesistant to hop on the Democratic bandwagon to hail the likes of Hillary and Obama. Which leaves me with two options two years from now...withold my vote or vote for a third party...neither of which is very enticing. On the one hand, my silent protest would ensure I was absolutely unable to excercise my rights and had no say in our government, and on the other hand, I could go ahead and "throw my vote away" to quote the Simpsons.

Needless to say, these days it's tough to know who to vote for and who will do the best job leading our country while perhaps even embracing some of the values of Christ.

Maybe in the meantime I should spend more time praying for our government. Prayer did more for our country than any single vote ever did.

At 15/4/07 18:25, Blogger MountainPowerLineman said...

I say Amen.

At 17/4/07 15:58, Anonymous Geoff said...

I'm all for voting for third party candidates! To me, it's not wasting my vote, it's simply a reminder to the two-party system that I won't give into their pressure tactics, which are primarily based in fear. Granted, it may not "make a difference" but then, in Seattle, the democrat almost always wins, so what do we have to lose? Vote for the little guy! :-)



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