The Myth of a Christian Nation: How the Quest for Political Power Is Destroying the Church

By Gregory A. Boyd

The church was once tested to serve the area with Christ-like love, to not rule the area. it truly is known as to seem like a company Jesus, demise at the go when you crucified him, no longer a spiritual model of Caesar. it really is referred to as to occur the dominion of the move unlike the dominion of the sword. each time the church has succeeded in gaining what so much American evangelicals are actually attempting to get – political energy – it's been disastrous either for the church and the tradition. every time the church selections up the sword, it lays down the pass. the current task of the non secular correct is destroying the center and soul of the evangelical church and destroying its distinct witness to the realm. The church is to have a political voice, yet we're to have it the best way Jesus had it: via manifesting a substitute for the political, “power over,” manner of doing existence. we're to remodel the area by way of being keen to undergo for others – workout “power under,” now not by way of getting our means in society – exercise “power over.”

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The transcendence of violence via loving the enemy is the main salient function of this new version polis. …Instead of wielding the facility of violence, the group of Jesus’ disciples is to be meek, merciful, natural, dedicated to peacemaking, and keen to undergo persecution—and blessed accurately in its faithfulness to this paradoxical imaginative and prescient. (322) 15. based on Scripture, soreness is to be anticipated by way of all who stick to Jesus (1 Peter 2:20–21; 3:14–18). wearing the pass is vital to discipleship (Luke 14:27–33). certainly, while disciples undergo they perform the agony and loss of life of Christ (2 Cor. 1:5; 4:10; Phil. 1:20; Col. 1:24; 1 Peter 4:12–16). “The believer’s move is, like that of Jesus, the cost of social nonconformity. ” Yoder, Politics of Jesus, ninety six; cf. 120–27. As Bonhoeffer famous: “Suffering…is the badge of actual discipleship. The disciple isn't above his grasp. ” Dietrich Bonhoeffer, the price of Discipleship (New York: Simon and Shuster, 1995), ninety one. The church is termed to be a “cruciform church,” as Leonard Allen placed it. All we're approximately in a single shape or one other manifests Calvary. we're referred to as to sacrifice and therefore on a number of degrees endure for the development of God’s reign. See C. Leonard Allen, The Cruciform Church: turning into a Cross-Shaped humans in an earthly international (Abilene, Tex. : Abilene Christian collage Press, 1990). bankruptcy three: protecting the dominion HOLY 1. Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Ethics (New York: Touchstone, 1995 [1949]), 350. 2. Yoder, The Politics of Jesus, 38. three. Eberhard Arnold, Writings chosen with an creation by means of Johann Christoph Arnold (Maryknoll, N. Y. : Orbis, 2000), 41–42. Arnold is going as far as to name the church a “second incarnation. ” Ibid. , 143. four. Hauerwas, peaceful nation, eighty two. five. John the Baptist’s critique of Herod (Luke 3:19) doesn't represent an exception to this when we are aware of it in its cultural context. we will speak about this in bankruptcy 7. 6. Bonhoeffer, Ethics, 350. 7. Andre Trocme, Jesus and the Non-Violent Revolution (Farmington, Penn. : The Bruderhof origin, 2004), fifty three. eight. Camp, Mere Discipleship, one hundred and five. nine. In a few areas the Jewish outrage opposed to cash bearing the emperor’s picture was once so nice the govt minted detailed cash with no this photo. See the dialogue in G. Boyd and P. Eddy, The Jesus Legend (Grand Rapids, Mich. : Baker publication, 2006), chap. 2. 10. Eller’s remark is correct: “A leading attribute of wordly politics is its invariable framing of itself as an ‘adversarial contest. ’ There should be a conflict. One get together, ideology, reason, workforce, foyer, or strength bloc which has specified itself as ‘the reliable, the genuine, and the attractive’ units out to overbear, crush, conquer, overpower, or another way impose itself on no matter what opposing events imagine they deserve the identify. ” And it really is “a energy contest one of the morally pretentious. ” Christian Anarchy, xii. eleven. Trocme, Non-Violent Revolution, 132. bankruptcy four: FROM RESIDENT extraterrestrial beings TO CONQUERING WARLORDS 1. Rev. Jerry Falwell, CNN past due version with Wolf Blitzer, October 24, 2004.

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