Politics and the Church

I mostly stay out away from talking about politics on this blog, not because I don’t have a plethora of opinions, but rather because it’s not something I usually want to write about.

I have followed with great interest the presidential primaries of my neighbors to the south, and have been particularly captivated by the remarkable rhetoric of Barack Obama. At the same time, I will always remain skeptical of such lofty rhetoric, even if I really want to believe that he won’t become yet another disappointment. Furthermore, as a Christian, my mission in the world is ultimately something other than electoral politics, even if I might have some distinctly political agendas in (my feeble attempts at) embodying God’s love to the world.

These themes converge in a piece by David Fitch entitled Žižek, Obama and the Emerging Church, in which he exposes the dirty little secret of Christians and politics:

We participate in National politics, its political ideologies of a more just society, even though we deeply suspect the corporate national machine insures nothing will change. We do this because it is much harder to think of the church itself as a legitimate social political force for God’s justice in the world. It is simply a lot less work to support Barak Obama for president than it is to lead our churches into being living communities of righteousness, justice and God’s Mission in the world.


4 responses to “Politics and the Church”

  1. Heidi: I don’t think that it’s ultimately a matter of choosing, but being wary of our motives for being involved in electoral politics. In the same piece, David Fitch says:

    GO AHEAD AND BY ALL MEANS VOTE FOR OBAMA, but do not allow false ideology to sap our energy or distract us from the task of being God’s people, his embodied Kingdom in submission to His Lordship, birthing forth His justice amidst the world that was made possible in His death and resurrection until He comes.

    That’s his idea of what “both” looks like, and I find it pretty compelling. There’s some excellent dialogue happening over in his comments section too.

  2. excellent zing i say, let us be zinged!

    I notice that the one requires a concrete act already set up in a system (the vote), the other requires a change of theology, geography (usually for those who live 40 minutes from their community), a change of practice, ultimately resulting in a change of life completely. The quote you posted is illuminating and encouraging to me that we should togeher “count the cost” and then begin to go forward in big ways and small.

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