May 22, 2008

The church in the world

I'm reading Living More Simply, edited by Ronald Sider, of Rich Christians in an Age of Hunger fame. This book is the published proceedings of a conference in the early eighties to look at the response of the Western evangelical church to world hunger and suffering - a situation that, arguably, has gotten more extreme in the intervening 25 years.

I thought the following was worth repeating
"A biblical lifestyle will necessarily recognize itself as being in opposition to the prevailing values and lifestyle of its culture. It is informed by a different view of reality. God calls "blessed" whom the world calls "miserable," and "miserable" whome the world calls "blessed." The world, lying in darkness, cannot understand the light of Christ, cannot comprehend that a poor weak church is ultimately more powerful than its mightiest empires, weapons and strategies. Therefore the Christian community must be on its guard against being co-opted by the world on the one hand and succumbing to triumphalism on the other. The church may appear to win as the world adopts some aspects of the Christian lifestyle, but there is no hope that the world as a whole will ever willingly adopt Christ's values. Although the church must reach out to the world, its ultimate hope is in the eschaton (the final consummation). When the church thinks that it is triumphing and becoming influential, it probably behooves the church to ask if the world has not succeeded in domesticating it."
Peter H. Davids

Something to keep in mind during election year as we will no doubt be subjected, once again, to militant political christianity. A brand of christianity that doesn't care about your heart, soul, or spirit, that can offer you no hope for your drug addiction, or despair. These guys seem to only care that you look and behave "respectably" - something that Jesus failed to do in the eyes of his own culture.


Anna said...

Love the photo!

home handymum said...

It's a nice one, eh? Miss4 took it!

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