Friday, April 07, 2006

Christianity=Secular (again)

There is a deeper dimension to this. When we try to claim all the world as sacred, we tend to think in terms of establishing “Christendom.”

(When Constantine became emperor, he legalized Christianity and started the process of placing Christianity in a position of political power. This is coming—or has already come—to an end.)

Some would like to see us establish a new Christendom. The founder of Domino’s Pizza is planning to build a Christian community near Naples, Florida.
One blogger describes the proposed town:
The new community will have strict Christian beliefs. It will be a town without adult bookstores, or topless bars. It will have strict family values. Monaghan is a devout Catholic. In keeping with the Catholic doctrine, he is asking doctors that set up shop there to offer no contraception. Also, pharmacies and convenience stores will be asked not to stock condoms or any type of pornography.
But this is moving in the wrong direction. Christianity started as a subversive movement and seems to be most effective when it has no political power.

Darryl Dash @
ChristianWeek writes:
Culture has rejected nominal Christianity, and that is good. Underneath the rejection of nominal Christianity is a huge spiritual hunger waiting to be filled. The end of Christendom is not a threat to the gospel. In fact, the gospel first took root in a society much like ours, in a secular world at a time of massive change. According to the book of Acts, it did very well.
Besides, when we try to “Christianize” institutions we often emphasize unimportant (or wrong) things.
It’s no wonder that people like Glenn Greenwald are afraid that social conservatives want to “Christianize” the United States:
They believe that their time for true power has arrived and they are not going to modify their demands or be satisfied with token gestures. They believe that they twice delivered the Presidency to George Bush and that the GOP needs them if the party is to stay in power. These beliefs have made them drunk with power
Our job is not to “Christianize” any power structure. Our job is to advance the Kingdom.

Pastor Rod

“Helping you become the person God created you to be”

2 comments:

Don B. Johnson said...

Amen, exactly right.

Jeff Franczak said...

I have to admit that when I first started to ponder that planned Christian community in Florida, its environment and its benefits sounded very appealing. After all, the temptations flowing out of our decadent society feel relentless to me at times. I don’t know about you, but I get tripped up in it more often than I want to admit. To be able to escape this onslaught in some measure sounded appealing…

And then at some point I began to think about the many opportunities I’ve had, and hope to continue to have, to be a Christian light right here in my neighborhood and in the local marketplaces.

This morning I read chapter 17 in the Gospel of John. The following caught my attention:

I have given them your word and the world has hated them, for they are not of the world any more than I am of the world. My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one. They are not of the world, even as I am not of it. Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth. As you sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world.
John 17:14-18 NIV

So this is our mission, to infiltrate the world with the love and the truth of God while constantly relying on His grace and strength to keep us from evil and sin.