Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Dr. Black's Prescription for an Ailing, Politicized Church

My friend, Dr. David Alan Black, has some sobering words for American churches in his latest essay:
    Things have in fact become so serious right now to give too much importance to the effects of what one says on the sensitivities of one's peers and colleagues. A writer like Orwell could hardly have imagined the kind of animal farm American society has become. Again, it is here that I think Christianity offers us a perspective that politics can't – that the purpose of life is to love God and love our neighbor, that Christ is the only answer to the wickedness and abysmal horror of our warmongering, and that a man lives only to the extent that he dies to himself. ...

    ... I believe the evangelical church is scared -- scared to face the truth about its statism, scared to face its this-world-centeredness and, therefore, scared to face its own corruptibility. Our present mood of crisis comes from the unrelenting feeling that we have failed to master ourselves or to deal with our neuroses or to acknowledge our political-economic lies. All of this stems from a much larger failing, namely the inability to recognize that the pursuit of happiness is the ultimate American scandal.

    So I come back to where I began, to that piece of wood to which our dark egos must be nailed if we are ever to make progress in this life. Genuine Christianity (and not that detestable form of evangelicalism we have become so accustomed to) has much indeed to offer us, if we would only give it a fair shake.

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