My Photo

« Dems/Repubs and Chrisitan Faith | Main | Quote for 3/8 »

March 07, 2007



I'd also pitch the writings of church historian Gary Dorrien that examine the deliberate use of religious language in neo-conservative or neo-imperialistic writings.


David Beasley

What I really do not understand is how the Christian preachers and leadership in the various hierarchies of ecclisia -- church leadership in all denominations -- do not define and point out Christianity as you simply and straightforwardly have done and point out the difference in our everyday rubs with government, politics, and the world.

A child can understand the points you have presented yet adults in the church opt out of a simple clear picture which should and ought to define The Body under Christ and how this picture, this Scriture based picture in words works through human dedicated participation and devotion to Christ our leader.


Good points and wonderments, folks:>)


But you're forgetting- the U.S. is specially "blessed" by God to be a beacon of freedom and democracy to the world. The U.S. has a "moral obligation" to spread democracy in the world, even through the use of force. Why, it's just the moral equivalent of missionary work.

That, I belive, is what many, many Christians in the U.S. believe.


Yes, and it makes one wonder what is guiding these folks read of Scripture. Wander over to God's Politics and check out some of the comments to my piece there. I am getting a pretty thick skin, so disagreement and goofy comments don't bother me so much. What is very discouraging, though, is the remarkably bad theology driving so much of the commentary "christians" make--what's up, Evagrius? Sometimes, I think we are on the edge of another dark ages for religious faith. Thoughts?


I like your article. Neo-conservativism is neither neo nor conservative and it certainly isn't aligned remotely with the Gospel of Jesus Christ.


It could be a dark age or it could be the birth pangs of something new.
I believe it was Raimundo Panikkar who pointed out that every advance in religious insight has always resulted in a resistance on the part of those holding on to an earlier insight.
I think many Christians really aren't Christians but monotheists of a certain stripe. They've replaced Yawheh with Christ but it's the old religion just in a new clothing.
In other words, the Incarnation of Christ and the Trinity, which are the very essence of Christianity, have been relegated to a back corner. The reason is simple; to truly believe in that is to accept a challenge to discover one's self as a mystery and others as an equal mystery, all called to be the living Image and Likeness of God, through the Son, Who is from the Father, in the Spirit.
It's not easy to accept that one is a mystery and that the question, " Who am I?" has no answer except in the silence of listening to the Spirit and participating, through grace, in the Incarnation, that is, of becoming a Child of God the Father.
A strict monotheism, such as that found in much of Christianity, Judaism and Islam always has a deep nihilism at its core. By strict monotheism, I mean the type of religion that denies we can have any true, real, ontological participation in the Life of the Trinity, ( which denial I call nihilism ). To merely be like God in a "moral sense" is no participation but an abject denial of the true nature of human being. Without participation, the "moral sense" loses its meaning and becomes legalism and moralism. Once it's shown how culturally dependent that moralism is through historical, psychological, social and political analysis, it becomes more and more difficult to defend it. One is reduced to making God a tyrant and we his abject slaves. So much for being called to be the children of God.
Sorry to be so long winded but I do think that this is the present situation.


No, thanks for being long-winded. That added a necessary theological perspective to the whole thing.
Don, thanks for coming by. I think I saw your comment of at GP. I don't often check in on the discussion, but did in order to offer a quick response of my own. Odd the basis some folks who claim to be Christian use for their arguments, eh?

David Beasley

I hope I can express this so as to be read as pertinent.

In the recent incident of tornado victims in Alabama an article came out speaking of another situation entirely. It was something like: Enterprise Buries Students Not Soldiers. Now actually having roots in that town, my Mom's family, I know that goegrphically it lies in the vicinity of a military helicoptor training school. Many in the town are military now a days it seems. A military man was called home from Iraq to his son's funeral in fact. But not only that connection is there but also there are quite a few military funerals due to Iraq and Afhgan war.

Now going beyond pastoral sensitivity I wonder about preaching the funerals and not only preaching the funerals but preaching my interpretation of Christ's message and the on going relationship of peace and goodwill towards humanity. In short preaching 'war is not the Christian answer' to soldiers and their families in wartime.

The message IS important beyond the excuse many use as pastoral sensitivity and do not preach it. To claim a definition of Christ and God and the Holy Spirit as evagrius has spoken about. I believe the depth of grief is all that can possibly be spoken to with sensitivity. I believe my sermon right now to the victims of war is simply sorrow and grief and a sincere effort in prayer and actions to help the survivors and to bring light to the root cause, the tares that choke the Gospel seed plants. Hellfire does not enter into it at all in my thoughts although Scripture goes there certainly... for me just sorrow and asking ourselves, 'how does God feel about us calling ourselves Christians and doing war, allowing an elected official who can be held accountable but having his will continue so long'. Especially when so many people are listening (?) in the grasslands in church every Sunday.



In the Orthodox Church, during Great Lent, there are services held during the week, usually on Wednesdays and Fridays. The Wednesday service is , ( at our church), known as the Pre-Sanctified Liturgy, a kind of combination of Vespers and the Sunday Liturgy, where participants receive Communion that has been sanctified on the previous Sunday.
There's a lot of bowing, kneeling and prtrastions that are only done during Lent.
( One of the prayers, said with a full prostration, ( the type seen on TV nowadays as done by Moslems who received it from Christians), is the prayer of St Ephraim;

Lenten Prayer of St. Ephraim the Syrian
Lord and Master of my life, deliver me from the spirit of laziness, meddling, ambition and gossip.
Give me, Your servant, the spirit of prudence, humility, patience and love.
Lord and King, grant that I may see my sins and faults and not judge my brother, for You are blessed forever and ever. Amen.)

(Sorry for the digression. I think it a lovely prayer.)

After service we've been watching the film, The Gospel of John.

There's an episode in the Gospel where Jesus heals a Roman centurion's son.
I believe there's at least one other episode in the Gospels where Jesus heals a centurion's servant.

The centurions were from the occupying army, the Romans, who were often quite brutal in their treatment of the Jews.

There's not a hint that Jesus refused to heal on the basis that the centurions were evil and therefore deserved no compassion, no mercy.

Our modern centurions deserve the same.
The Roman ones had taken a vow to obey the Emperor. They did their duty.
Our modern ones have done the same, vowing to protect the country.

I would, rather than mention the immorality of war etc, point to the mercy of God. That, despite our own ignorance, selfishness, etc; there is still mercy flowing down from God as oil anointing our heads.

I would ask the congregants to pray for healing, healing of mind, body and spirit, healing for all. I would ask for healing as peace.

I think focusing on mercy, healing and peace are the salves these grieving families need.

David Beasley

thanks for sharing a comfort to anger. That is one beautiful prayer.


wonderments. neat word!

David Beasley

it must be a good spirit filled metaphysical certs of sorts.


if words had motion, wonderment would frolic.


Frolicking wonderment, hmmmm.....

David Beasley

Late Winter born colts
Spring blue-grass meadows

The comments to this entry are closed.