Sunday, November 11, 2007

Christianity under attack! Oh no!

With pugnacious tenacity some of my more conservative parishioners have expressed frustration over what they believe to be a concerted media attack on Christianity. I can’t find it but since they only watch or listen to right wing news commentators, I figure that’s where they got this idea. They are also loathe to give up their firm belief that America was primarily founded on Christian principles and continues to this day as the last best hope for a better world. The media attack on Christianity is none other than an attack on America itself. In other words, their concern is not so much about doctrines of faith as it is about politics. Socialism is, of course, what ruined Christianity in Europe, and so any form of it, especially the creeping socialism of the left wing, must be opposed by all right thinking Christians. Their level of anxiety is very high, and grows higher as they scan the list of leading Republican candidates who seem only marginally better than the horrifying specter of godless Hillary the Hun. In all of that muddy water there is something to celebrate. Christianity has had a tremendous influence for the better on Western civilization in general and America in particular. I agree with a number of scholars that the presence of a strong Church in Europe provided the necessary checks against unbridled secular political power and the ground upon which democracy could come into being. It was the Church that, however imperfectly, challenged society to meet Christian moral standards as revealed in scripture and understood in each time an place. As Europeans began to settle in America it was the Church that established colleges and universities where future democrats would learn how to build an entirely new kind of nation. Christian moral values did have an influence on the founding documents of our nation, although I do not believe anyone can seriously make a case that they were foundational themselves. As Europeans moved westward so did ministers of various denominations who became symbols and teachers of the moral order needed for towns and cities to grow. Even today it is the Church, at least some part of it, that is brave enough to call our leaders to task and remind believers of the greater law of Christ that always takes precedence over nation and politics. Out of the Church have come our greatest voices for civil rights, justice for the poor and oppressed, economic equity and more. That’s he good news. If I get around to it, I’ll work on the bad news another day.

3 comments:

Geezer Dude said...

Watch out! If you can't see the attacks, you may find yourself under attack as well. You seem to have some leftward leanings for such a conservative guy. ;-)

I want to share with you that Christianity seems to still be alive and visible in at least one small town in Texas. I don't recognize a local attack. We just returned from the Young Life "Round Up" dinner. There were about 400 people in attendance. This is from an area where the population sign at the edge of town shows "Pop. 3794." I'd say that's a pretty good turnout for an event where a couple of "free" dinners that can cost anywhere from $0 to $6000, depending on what you choose to contribute.

The many testimonials by young participants were well received, and much support was provided for future operations.

The Dude

Country Parson said...

Dear Geezer,
You live in the heart of the Right Wing Bible Belt where the only attack on Christianity is seen as coming from effete Yankees and other reprobates. And I'll bet they are pretty sure those Lefties have their sights set on Texas.

SUNRISE SISTER said...

Coincidentally, I was at a recent YL "Round Up" dinner a couple of weeks also. Must be fund-raising drive time. Impressive turnout, great testimony from kids, charismatic founder from NY was the speaker - very entertaining, funny, good message about life with Jesus. The dinner raised a lot of money - WW'ans are a pretty generous group when they "feel it". Our church has inquired about YL before but they've never nibbled at our questions. Not sure why that is. I think they must do a lot of good work for a lot of kids!