I’ve been reading a book by Gregory A. Boyd called Myth Of A Christian Nation. It addresses how the (largely evangelical) church has attempted to use political power in order to advance a ‘christian’ worldview. Boyd, a pastor, challenges the idea that America is (& was) a Christian nation, & points the Church towards Scripture to find out & to reclaim what our real mission is: the message of the cross (not the sword,) & the message of Christ’s love for us. AND every other human being on the planet.
Today’s reading was from the chapter “When Chief Sinners Become Moral Guardians” – it addresses the problems that result when the church takes on itself the role of being the “moral guardian” of a nation, community, or culture…
A few highlights in the form of quotes from this chapter:
As people called to mimic Jesus in every area of our lives, we should find it significant that Jesus never assumed the position of moral guardian over any individual, let alone over the culture at large.
When we assume the role of moral guardians of the culture, we invariably postion ourselves as judges over others.
When the church sets itself up as the moral police of the culture, we earn the reputation of being self-righteous judgers rather than loving, self-sacrifical servants.
When people assume the position of moral guardians of the culture, they invite – they earn! the charge of hypocrisy, as all judgment, save the judgment of the omniscient & holy God, involves hypocrisy
Throughout history, the church has proven itself to be a very poor moral guardian. Whenver the church exercises the power of Caesar to enforce its doctrine & convictions, the result has usually been at least as bad as any non-Christian version of the kingdom of the world.
An interesting & thought-provoking read, for sure…