Tuesday, February 20, 2007

My rant on Wallis' blog

The religious right needed to be exposed for the rent-seeking, special interest, manipulative, exclusive ideologues that they are. Their appeals to patriotism and nationalism in the name of God were misplaced. The license granted to Israeli Zionists to commit violence without just cause departs from the unique ethical mandate entrusted to followers of Christ.

Violence is only justified for Christians in order to halt aggressors and protect innocents.

Secular nations may do what they will, but it is the responsibility of the Church to work for social justice.

We can petition those who hold the sword to punish evildoers, but there is no mandated role for the state to go beyond this into the unique realm of the Church: charity.

If there is good to be done it must be done voluntarily by willing agents. The Church is the proper institution for organizing, equipping, covering, confirming, and channeling such agents to those who are in need.

We must recognize this and keep from falling into the same trap that our mainstream grandfathers did before the evangelical religious right did also.

The state is powerful, and if it could be managed in such a way as to do good it could be a powerful tool. But the entire basis for the state is force. Compulsion. No edict is obeyed out of volition, only by submission under threat of punishment. Good works done under such conditions are stripped of their virtue. The incentive structure for those who make decisions for the state disables them from making decisions for the good. They are only capable of deciding in favor of the efficient.

Appeals to the state to do the work specifically delegated to the church is the same as asking the king to do the priestly work of sacrifice. Saul lost his kingdom for such behavior. David recognized where the lines were drawn.

Mainstream Christianity relinquished its proper role of managing welfare last century. The state took over. Whether the state has done a better job is irrelevant to those who recognize it as their unique responsibility.

Evangelical Christianity attempted to impose morality upon the state based upon human values instead of godly virtues. Where it succeeded it even got the values wrong.

The message is: Work to restrict the state to its proper sphere: wielding the sword for the punishment of evildoers. But first, work to build the church, and to live out the gospel by imitating Him who called us.

10 comments:

Curt said...

well said

Anonymous said...

Have you viewed the recent Academy Award winning documentary "An Inconvenient Truth"? If not, I suggest you watch it and then decide whether or not you have enough information to decide that global warming is, in fact, true.

Anonymous said...

Well said, Anonymous. Just what evidence would convince you, JN, that global warming is true or not. An Inconvenient Truth provides fact after fact after fact about what is happening to the planet that God has given us stewardship over, ie. responsibility for.

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