Church and State

Last Sunday morning I was reprimanded for my lack of posting, so I’m posting now out of fear of punishment come the morning.

My facebook status for today says “Loni has heard two great lies: ‘the day you eat of the fruit of that tree, you will not surely die,’ and that Jesus Christ was a white, middle-class republican.” It’s a quote from a Derek Webb song that I found thought provoking. I’ve been listening to that album (Mockingbird) a lot lately. The album is pretty political, or anti-political depending on how you look at it, and it’s been a welcome respite for my brain from the political jibber-jabber that seems to have taken over our country for 2007 and 2008.

I have to say, I’m beginning to tire of politics in the same way I’m tiring of the Church. Seriously, the whole process makes me want to shake some sense into people. Like the Church, this political season seems to be more about fighting against things that don’t matter rather than taking a stand for things that do. I can’t say I’d be thrilled with any of the three candidates taking office; I can say I simultaneously embrace and abhor stances each of them has taken on various issues. The whole thing makes me a little sad, to tell you the truth.

It’s not that I believe one person should embody all of my ideals. If all of us thought like me, well…nothing good would come from that. I do think, though, that the ideals of a person should be consistent, and I haven’t seen a whole lot of consistency lately…in politics or in the Church. Christians are quick to bad mouth the hypocrisy and liberalism of, let’s face facts, all three candidates, but have any of us stopped to evaluate our own hypocrisies? Where are we “doing to the least of these” on a micro (individual) rather than macro (corporate) level? Are we whining about tax season or “giving to Caesar what is Caesar’s”? We’re wrapped up in the sanctity of life of the unborn, and yet take no interest in the quality of lives already here. We consume ourselves with providing universal health care to every American, when people are dying of things we’ve been able to cure for more than a generation in other parts of the planet. We’ll rant against the loss of life in Iraq, but only blink at the atrocities of Darfur when a celebrity makes an appearance. I mean, if we’re approaching stewardship from a Biblical perspective, then nothing that we’re clinging so tightly to is really that significant.

The bottom line is this: I don’t care that McCain has a temper, or that Obama’s pastor made some really unfortunate comments, or that Chelsea Clinton thinks her mom will be a better president than her dad. None of that is really relevant. I don’t care how many mission trips we’re going on or how many people will be in house churches this morning. It’s good, but if it’s allowing us to pat ourselves on the back for how great we are in comparison to someone else, then we’ve missed the point.

I think that’s my problem. I feel like my entire society has missed the point by such extremes that we’ve forgotten what the point looks like. Allow me to elucidate. The point of our democratic political system is not to pass laws and create infrastructure, but for someone elected by the people, for the people to oversea the system of the people already in place. The point of the Church is to be the hands and feet of Christ in the world (which may mean getting some blisters and touching some leapers), not to be a social club and the morality police for society.

I love this country, and I love the Church, but I’m starting to wonder what both of those would look like if Christians would set aside our own agendas and be about our Father’s business. That is, after all, the point.

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3 thoughts on “Church and State

  1. Megan says:

    ” Like the Church, this political season seems to be more about fighting against things that don’t matter rather than taking a stand for things that do.”

    Precisely, my dear! 🙂

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