Peter and I are having a conversation lately that I think quite frankly think needs to be had. Who here has heard of Christian contemporary music? Anyone? Anyone? Why does CCM exist? So that evangelicals can have a “counter-culture” to respond to the un-godly music industry, right? Or who hear has heard the arguments against public education? That only home-schooled and Christian-private schooled children are worth having, while the public schools are hopeless and in need of Corporation Driven Education reform, at least here in the USA.
Now, 2 comments from Peter’s posts are very telling about what offends Peter about my approach to Christian politics. Just the idea that Christians are free to “withdraw” is a non-starter for Peter’s political theology.
First this comment from Peter,
“Rod clarifies his objection to this teaching of Wallnau by denying that Satan has “the power of election, to choose who is in control of the world”. But he accepts that Satan has “the ability to lie”, and this is the only power that the evil one needs to put his chosen people on the mountain tops – if his followers are in the majority, or even if they are a minority but the others keep out of politics or retreat into monasteries.”
Notice how Peter brings up monasteries, when I didn’t even do so in my post. Oh why oh why? Well, I will tell you why! It’s because Christians obtaining political and cultural leadership positions are more important to Peter and dominionists, whether they be liberal or conservative, than discernment (as if that’s a guarantee anyhow of a righteous society in the first place!).
Second comment from Peter,
“But we can’t do this by hiding in holes in fear. Instead, like Jonathan and his armour bearer in 1 Samuel 14:1-23, we need to boldly climb the mountain, confront the enemy, and take back the world for God.”
Interesting, how “WE” whoever we is, can go out on our own, with our plans, our methods and strategies, and “take back the world for God.” It’s funny, that King David/Jonathan stories are also Michele Bachmann’s favorite analogies as well (she may or may not be a Dominionist, you know, if Dominionists exist or not). Besides asking exactly who the “WE” in the “WE NEED TO [...] take back the world for God” part of Peter’s statement, who is to say that God needs us to do so in the first place. Again, this is how Christian violence and war-mongering starts: the idea that God needs someone to do HIS dirty work for HIM, as if God was some weakling. But God demonstrated God’s power in the Cross and Resurrection, and it is in that power that the Triune God has defeated evil, not the Church militant. The Church Militant can only claim to be so when it is first and foremost faithful to the warrior God YHWH. The idea from Paul’s Gospel to the Romans, that God will repay the evil doers complements Jesus’ command to love our enemies.
Pushing the idea that Christians must always be first is a privileged idea. It takes God out of the picture, and our dependence on God something as an afterthought in our politics. I want to see more Christian politicians, but let me go on record by saying, they must prioritize the Good News found throughout the Christan Canon first and foremost over nationality, over economic system, over any crack brained ideology. In short, Jesus’ Win must be primary and everything all at once in Christian (over and against our Churchly Ambitions in the name of dominionism), from Jesus -re-introducing humanity to our true selves being made in the image of God and capable of change to Christ’s thrashing of satan, who still has a hold on people, but it is not absolute or necessary (as Dominionism suggests the reverse).
Peter does agree, in principle with my statement, “I am all about participation, but discernment should always come first.” I am just concerned about the kind of discernment involved.” Okay, “so Lance Wallnau – [...], of which each person is encouraged to climb one, and politics and government is only one of the seven,” and I think I get that. What I am saying, whatever the mountain is, culture, politics, whatever, Christians are free to stop and think, to take the time to discern how to partake in that “mountain-climbing” so to speak. I am waiting for Peter to say something positive about monasteries, or people who want to discern. I think the fear of the world falling into chaos is one that is unfounded, and and unnecessary. Some Christians will accept (as today’s politics and culture show) anything thing labelled Christian, and then years later, it may turn out that music artist for example, Creed here in the United States, who said their were not a Christian band in the 90s, only to say they were Christian, only to have some members admit they used Christianity as a front. Of course, the lyrics of many of their songs were quite ambiguous, and you could replace God with a girlfriend anytime, and of course, many Christians loved Creed back in the day, both liberals and conservative. I did like them for a while too, until I started to engage the world through discernment first, and I saw right through their front.
Christians who are seeking “withdrawal” from the world are not doing so to stay withdrawn, but to commune with God in holiness, to seek discernment, and to allow God to lead the way into battle, as God does in the Hebrew Bible. That is the message of Christus Victor, from the Old Testament to the New Testament. God fighting our battles for us, us the community of God trusting this dangerous and forgiving deity, so that God gets all the glory. My confidence is not in the Church’s ability to make society right, but in YHWH’s mighty ability to justify through God’s Son.