Why is it often scary to talk politics in church - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

Scared
Download
1 / 74

Why do Mark and Luke say

I am the owner, or an agent authorized to act on behalf of the owner, of the copyrighted work described.

Download Presentation

Why is it often scary to talk politics in church

An Image/Link below is provided (as is) to download presentation

Download Policy: Content on the Website is provided to you AS IS for your information and personal use and may not be sold / licensed / shared on other websites without getting consent from its author.While downloading, if for some reason you are not able to download a presentation, the publisher may have deleted the file from their server.


- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - E N D - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Presentation Transcript


Why is it often scary to talk politics in church

scared

to talk

politics

in church?


Why is it often scary to talk politics in church

Why is it often scary to talk politics in church?


The problem with being a bridge is that you get walked on from both ends

The problem with being a bridge is that you get walked on from both ends!


Problem 1 what do you mean by politics

Problem 1:

What do you mean by politics?


Why is it often scary to talk politics in church

Politics:

Dirty, partisan, divisive, dishonest, power-grabbing attempts to make US winners and THEM losers.


Politics the way groups of people organize their lives together

Politics:

The way groups of people organize their lives together.


Problem 2 the gospel isn t political

Problem 2:

The gospel isnt political


Why is it often scary to talk politics in church

Our contemporary gospel is primarily

INFORMATION ON

HOW TO GO TO HEAVEN

AFTER YOU DIE

with a large footnote about increasing your personal happiness and success through God.

with a small footnote about character development

with a smaller footnote about spiritual experience

with a smaller footnote about social/global transformation.


Why is it often scary to talk politics in church

self

church

world

A gospel of self-enhancement and sin management in this life and the next


Why is it often scary to talk politics in church

Dallas Willard calls the dominant understanding the gospel of sin management.

The purpose of the gospel is to answer these questions: What do we do about original sin? How do we go to heaven after we die?

In a footnote hidden away in the back of The Divine Conspiracy, he adds ...


Why is it often scary to talk politics in church

that the gospel of sin management produces vampire Christians who want Jesus for his blood and little else.


Why is it often scary to talk politics in church

self

church

world

A gospel of self-enhancement and sin management in this life and the next


Why is it often scary to talk politics in church

world

church

self


Why is it often scary to talk politics in church

Nation?

Religion?

Ethnic group?

church

self

A dangerous diversion


Why is it often scary to talk politics in church

World transformed =

Kingdom of God

church

self


Why is it often scary to talk politics in church

world

church

self


Why is it often scary to talk politics in church

Gospel of saving individual souls from hell, and abandoning earth to destruction.

Gospel of saving earth* from human sin, beginning with us.

*Including individuals

Two Gospels:


Why is it often scary to talk politics in church

Personal transformation is the starting point but not the end point.

We are blessed to be a blessing

Changed to be agents of change

Healed to heal others

Transformed to transform the world.


Why is it often scary to talk politics in church

A friends mission statement:

Reaching Christians for Christ, beginning with myself.

Why would that kind of mission statement be needed?

We need to be reached with the gospel of Jesus: the gospel of the kingdom of God.


Why is it often scary to talk politics in church

Remember: Kingdoms (or Empires) were contemporary realities in Jesus day!


Why is it often scary to talk politics in church

Too few people realize the radical nature of the message of the Kingdom of God.

There are 2 main reasons for this misunderstanding.


Why is it often scary to talk politics in church

The Matthew Problem:

Many think kingdom of God means heaven (after you die).

Why do Mark and Luke say Kingdom of God, but Matthew says Kingdom of Heaven?


Why is it often scary to talk politics in church

As the most Jewish gospel Matthew follows the Jewish reticence about using the name of God directly. Heaven substitutes for God.


Why is it often scary to talk politics in church

It is clear that kingdom of God (or heaven) does NOT mean heaven after you die, because the Lords prayer teaches us to pray


Why is it often scary to talk politics in church

Your kingdom come.

Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.


Why is it often scary to talk politics in church

It does NOT teach us to pray

May we come to your kingdom when we die.

May we all go to heaven where, unlike earth, your will is done.


Why is it often scary to talk politics in church

2. The John Problem:

John uses kingdom only in chapters 3 and 18. Elsewhere, he uses the phrase life - life to the full, or eternal life.

But it is also clear that eternal life doesnt simply mean life in heaven after you die, contrary to popular opinion.


Why is it often scary to talk politics in church

Eternal life is defined by Jesus clearly in John 17:3 -

Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.


Why is it often scary to talk politics in church

To know means to live in an interactive relationship.

If we know one another, we interact with one another in a relationship.


Why is it often scary to talk politics in church

The phrase eternal literally means of the ages. (zoein aionian)

It means life above the present age and regime, life on a higher plane, life above the mundane, life that is part of what God is doing across time.

True, that life doesnt end at physical death - but neither does it begin there!


Why is it often scary to talk politics in church

So what is the kingdom of God?

It is a life lived in a network of interactive relationships

With God as King

With other citizens, creatures

With the territory or land

With other kingdoms


Why is it often scary to talk politics in church

It is a matter BOTH of personal transformation AND of social transformation.

Jesus says,

The time has come!

The kingdom of God has come near!

Repent and believe the good news!


Why is it often scary to talk politics in church

The gospel of sin management and earth-abandonment produces institutional believers (Baptists, Methodists, Pentecostals, Catholics, etc.) who adhere to a system of belief and a structure of religion - but ultimately support the status quo.

The gospel of the kingdom must produce disciples who learn a radical new way of life and participate in the transformation of the world.


Personal transformation until christ is formed in you galatians 4 19

Personal transformationuntil Christis formed in you.(Galatians 4:19)


Global transformation the kingdom of this world has become the kingdom of our lord revelation 11 15

Global transformationthe kingdom of this worldhas become the kingdom of our Lord...(Revelation 11:15)


Why is it often scary to talk politics in church

So personal transformation is not the end point.

We are blessed to be a blessing

Changed to be agents of change

Healed to heal others

Transformed to transform the world.


Why is it often scary to talk politics in church

Transformed disciples transform their world:

You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.


Why is it often scary to talk politics in church

You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead, they put it on its stand and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father who is in heaven.


Why is it often scary to talk politics in church

Salt of the earth

Light of the world

Light to everyone

Jesus is calling his followers to re-inhabit the original calling of Abraham a light to all nations bringing out the whole worlds potential for beauty and fruitfulness.


Why is it often scary to talk politics in church

Salt of the earth

Light of the world

Light to everyone

This is inherently and unavoidably a political calling.


What is the church in relation to these two gospels

A warehouse to store a growing inventory of souls awaiting their final shipment to heaven: Mission: Increase inventory, protect from spoilage, damage, wastage, theft.

What is the church in relation to these two gospels?


What is the church in relation to these two gospels1

A warehouse to store a growing inventory of souls awaiting their final shipment to heaven. Mission: Increase inventory, protect from spoilage, damage, wastage, theft.

2. A community of spiritual formation. Mission: Train people to be agents of the kingdom of God who live in the way of Jesus and bring healing and transformation to the world (tikkun olam).

What is the church in relation to these two gospels?


Why is it often scary to talk politics in church

PROBLEM 3: WE WANT TO BE BOTH PROPHETIC AND PASTORAL (PRIESTLY) -

WE WANT TO FEED THE FLOCK WITHOUT DIVIDING AND SCATTERING IT

(and without violating tax exempt status!)


Why is it often scary to talk politics in church

DOING SO REQUIRES US TO BE WISE AS SERPENTS AND INNOCENT AS DOVES


Why is it often scary to talk politics in church

To those under the law I became like one under the law so as to win those under the law. To those not having the law I became like one not having the law so as to win those not having the law. To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some. I do this for the sake of the gospel. (1 Corinthians 9:19-23)


Why is it often scary to talk politics in church

For Christs love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again. So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting mens sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. We are therefore Christs ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. (2 Corinthians 5:14-21)


Why is it often scary to talk politics in church

COMPLEXIFY DUALISMS AND BIPOLARTIES There arent just 2!

Secular Left vs. Religious Right

Secular Left vs. Secular Right

Religious Right vs. Religious Left

Secular Right vs. Secular Left

Secular Right vs. Religious Left

etc.

Then add Corporatist vs. Populist, Nationalist vs. Globalist, Modern vs. Postmodern, Colonial vs. Post-colonial, or Globalist versus Localist, etc., to previous bipolarities.


Why is it often scary to talk politics in church

As center


Why is it often scary to talk politics in church

Liturgical

Social Action

Evangelical

Charismatic


Why is it often scary to talk politics in church

a stage


Consider that we live in at least three worlds

Emerging world

Consider that we live in at least three worlds.

Modern world

2006

Pre-modern world


Why is it often scary to talk politics in church

Missional:

emergence and convergence


Why is it often scary to talk politics in church

Conservative way

Medieval church

Modern

Crisis

Liberal way

from Nancey Murphy, Beyond Liberalism and Fundamentalism


Why is it often scary to talk politics in church

Increasing Polarization

Conservative way

Medieval church

Modern

Crisis

Liberal way


Why is it often scary to talk politics in church

Increasing Polarization

Conservative way

Medieval church

Modern

Crisis

Liberal way


Why is it often scary to talk politics in church

The Post-Liberal, Post-Evangelical Convergence

Conservative way

Medieval church

Modern

Crisis

Postmodern

Interruption

Liberal way


Why is it often scary to talk politics in church

Conservative way

Modern

Crisis

Liberal way

A Generous Orthodoxy?

A Missional Orthodoxy?


Why is it often scary to talk politics in church

Conservative way

Modern

Crisis

Liberal way


Why is it often scary to talk politics in church

PROBLEM 4: WE MUST TEACH WHAT JESUS TAUGHT IN THE MANNER JESUS TAUGHT IT

(NOT IN THE MORE FAMILIAR MANNER OF TODAYS SCRIBES AND PHARISEES/SADDUCEES AND HERODIANS)


Why is it often scary to talk politics in church

1. We must stop answering questions that are framed badly. When Jesus was asked a trick question by representatives of a conservative religio-political party of his day, he didnt fall for the trap (Luke 20). Rather, he showed how the question was based on false assumptions and used the trick question as an opportunity to expose those false assumptions and instruct the questioners.


Why is it often scary to talk politics in church

2. We must start raising new questions and issues that need to be raised. When Jesus was being tested in another politico-religious interview, he refused to answer the question of whether taxes should be paid to Caesar or not (Matthew 22:27 ff.). In fact, he cleverly deconstructed and neutered the question and instead pushed another question to the surface: were those asking the question willing to render to God what is Gods?


Why is it often scary to talk politics in church

3. We must answer questions with questions. Some opponents asked Jesus a trick question for which there was no good answer; rather than falling into their trap, he said he would answer their question if they answered a similarly difficult question (Luke 20:1-8).


Why is it often scary to talk politics in church

4. We must go cleverly deeper. In Jesus day, there was plenty of debate over divorce, with clear liberal and conservative polarities. Jesus rose to a deeper level of discourse by dealing with the issue of motives: were men seeking legal divorces to indulge their lustful desires, trading in their old wife on a sexy younger model but doing so according to the rules (Matthew 19)? He exposed the lustful intentions of their hearts on the deeper level rather than merely taking a position on the surface level. Paul did something similar on the controversial question of eating meat sacrificed to idols in his day: its the motive that is more important than the policy, he said (Romans 14).


Why is it often scary to talk politics in church

5. We must agree with people whenever we can. Survey the gospels and notice how often Jesus said, You have answered wisely (for example, see John 4:17 or Luke 10:28). Similarly, we must agree with both conservatives and liberals whenever we can. Conservatives are right, for example, when they affirm the importance of good business in lifting people from poverty. Liberals are also right when they affirm the role of government in not trusting business to always behave well. Conservatives are right that personal sexual integrity really matters; liberals are right when they say there is more to morality than personal sexual integrity. Both are right in many ways, but both are wrong when they blame the other for all our problems. Both are wrong when they think the thing theyre against is the only danger worth fighting. Well help them see what they dont yet see when we agree that we see what they do see.


Why is it often scary to talk politics in church

6. We must speak through action, not just words. When Jesus sought to confront people for their hypocrisy and misplaced priorities, he didnt argue; instead, he healed a man on the Sabbath. This created a stir that made his point more than any number of well-reasoned arguments could have. So, what we do for those suffering in Darfur or Congo may speak more eloquently than anything we say about domestic issues; how we treat our critics privately may speak more loudly to them than what we say in public.


Why is it often scary to talk politics in church

7. We must tell stories and create drama. While dining at the house of a Pharisee, Jesus was honored by a woman of ill repute (Luke 7). When the host and guests began judging him for his failure to adequately judge her, Jesus told a story about economics, debt, and forgiveness. The story abducted the imagination of the critics and transported them to a new vantage point. Then Jesus dramatized his message in his interaction with her.


Why is it often scary to talk politics in church

Now these approaches didnt help Jesus be well-liked by the counterparts of Limbaugh and Carville in his day. In fact, they heated up the hot water he was in even more, and ultimately he was rejected by both polarities. But Jesus ways of responding to the religio-political debates of his day did something more powerful and important than making Jesus popular: they got both sides thinking and they assured that Gods higher perspective was given a place in debates that generally missed the point.


Why is it often scary to talk politics in church

?

Jesus rhetorical strategies made Jesus something far more valuable than a bridge between left and right. They showed him to be more than a bridge maybe more like a ladder, by which both left and right could rise to higher ground, and common ground a place where they can come to God, and to Gods truth and in that truth, find one another. That, I hope, can be our higher calling today in these divisive, polarized times. May God help us.


Why is it often scary to talk politics in church

What will happen?


Why is it often scary to talk politics in church

What will you and I do?


Why is it often scary to talk politics in church

Our Father, above us and all around us

May your unspeakable Name be revered.

Now, here on earth may your kingdom come

On earth, as in heaven, may your will be done.


Why is it often scary to talk politics in church

Give us today our bread for today.

Forgive us our wrongs as we forgive those who wrong us.

Lead us away from the perilous trial,

But liberate us from the evil.

For the kingdom is yours and yours alone,

the power is yours and yours alone,

the glory is yours and yours alone,

Now and forever. Amen.


  • Login