Keep in mind this is my “rough drafts” blog. This is my opportunity to let you in on some of my ponderings and wanderings. In no way does this reflect a complete idea or position. So, I invite you, especially with this post, to write to me and reflect with me on this little observation.
It appears to me we have (at least) two very conflicting viewpoints regarding our American political system and it’s relation to Christianity. On the one hand, simply put, America is a Christian nation that saved the world in World War II. Now that’s overly simplistic, but gets the drift of the idea. On the other hand, America is a country built on systemic racial, ethnic and sexual bias informed by a Christianity that has supported those systems of oppression. Again, that’s overly simplistic, but catches the drift.
One point of view wants to wave the American Christian flag, the other wants to tear that same flag down and replace it with something else. Too simplistic, but I’m creating a binary choice to highlight the divide.
As someone who is grateful for our political system and my Christian faith, I’m searching for a middle ground. I’m searching for a way of being that on the one hand is able to articulate a critique of our political system and also articulate it’s many strengths. I’m searching for a way of being that on the one hand is able to articulate a critique of our Christian faith and also articulate it’s many strengths. And, I’m searching for a way to hold all of this together in a larger, compelling vision that helps to unite people.
My sense is a vision where all people are welcome, honored and valued: A place where honor, humility and love of country are connected. My sense is to reflect further on founding words like, “All humans are created equal” and the “pursuit of happiness” that can be available to all. A vision that recognizes the good things that America has done, along side the horrible things we have done. A vision that articulates the things Christians have done to damage the world, and the things that Christianity has done to forgive, heal and advance God’s missions. Holding these things in tension, while also striving for a better tomorrow for everyone, together.
I’m looking for a third option: A way of holding the good and the bad of America, Christianity and myself in balance and hope.
Maybe you know the way? I’d love to hear how you’re feeling about these issues. I’d love to hear how you hold in tension the good and the bad of America and Christianity. What’s your “rough draft” on these thoughts?
Soli Deo Gloria – Pastor Scott