Ignatius of Antioch, in writing to the church in Rome, concludes a passage with the thought,
“Christianity is greatest when it is hated by the World.”
There are a few ways to look at this, I guess. The first, is through the lens of the self-proclaimed martyr who believed that only through his death could he be ‘proved a Christian.’ The second is through what some may label empire critical and the such. By this, I mean we understand Christianity as the other kingdom, opposing the World System. In this case, like much of the New Testament, World = Rome.
I hope he meant the latter.
After all, Westboro Baptist Church, John Hagee, John Piper and others of the ilk are often hated in the name of Christ, although we may debate just what merits ‘Christian’ when we speak of some of these.
In the last few months, we’ve seen — and I count this as a positive — a warmer reception of tradition Catholic teaching thanks to Pope Francis. Some have gone so far as to say he is ‘making Christianity cool again.’ I have to wonder what the Holy Father would have to say about that.
This presents two different realities of reception of Christianity. Ignatius demands we stand against the World System. Today, many want traditional Christian teaching to bow to modernity, the new World System.
By the way, I’m not against progressive in theology based on the Quad. I believe very much in progressing theology based on new understandings rendered to us by the host of sciences.
However, examine closely how the Right, politically, in this country desires the Church to be an arm of the State? Allan Bevere covered this in Politics of Witness and it still rings true. Not to say the left doesn’t have their sway as well, but the Right wants Church blessings on war (bad eschatology) and the such.
Have we in the West become too aligned with the Government? Isn’t it not time to find the Church hated by political parties?
- Richard Dawkins is Not the Atheist Version of Pat Robertson (patheos.com)
- Get Ready! Something BIG Is About To Happen! (vineoflifenews.com)