Citizenship Confusion: Sometimes "Political Correctness" Is Just Common Decency

Every Monday in Citizenship Confusion, Alan Noble discusses how we confuse our heavenly citizenship with citizenship to the state, culture, and the world.In my last two columns I have written about the importance of charity and humility in all our proclamations and conversations. This last week, the College Republicans at Messiah College enacted that charity when they cancelled a talk they were going to host because they realized that the speaker was politically "polarizing."The previous … [Read more...]

Citizenship Confusion: the Offense of the Gospel as a License for Arrogance

Every Monday in Citizenship Confusion, Alan Noble discusses how we confuse our heavenly citizenship with citizenship to the state, culture, and the world.One of the most insightful ways to understand the identity of a group is to listen to the stories it tells about itself. In Christian culture, there are a number of stories we like to tell: our testimony, how we were hurt by "the church," how an atheist/agnostic/mormon was converted/refuted, how society is oppressing us, how a particular song … [Read more...]

Citizenship Confusion: Care to See Charity?

Every Monday in Citizenship Confusion, Alan Noble discusses how we confuse our heavenly citizenship with citizenship to the state, culture, and the world.Over the last few weeks I have been profoundly troubled by a vice that is fairly common in the church. To address this issue, which I believe comes directly from the uncritical adoption of the rhetoric of the world into our speech, I'm go to shy away from my typical style--close analysis of cultural events and the ideologies. Please bear with … [Read more...]

Citizenship Confusion: Auto-tuned Elevation Church

Every Monday in Citizenship Confusion, Alan Noble discusses how we confuse our heavenly citizenship with citizenship to the state, culture, and the world. This week I was reminded of the danger of confusing the rhetoric and style of the world with that of the Kingdom when I saw a YouTube video of the Elevation Church worship team singing “All Creatures of our God and King” through a vocoder and auto-tune.This video was released on the Elevation Worship site with the following stat … [Read more...]

Citizenship Confusion: 9/11 and the Complexity of the World

Every Monday in Citizenship Confusion, Alan Noble discusses how we confuse our heavenly citizenship with citizenship to the state, culture, and the world.The more I research subjects and learn, live in community and observe people, experience life and grow old, the more I have become aware of the frightening complexity of everything. And, more disturbingly, the more I have become aware of how profoundly dangerous attempts to simplify and reduce complexity can be to ideas, peoples, and nations. … [Read more...]

Citizenship Confusion: The New York Times' Religious Quiz for Presidential Candidates

Every Monday in Citizenship Confusion, Alan Noble discusses how we confuse our heavenly citizenship with citizenship to the state, culture, and the world.One of the reoccurring themes of my column has been the fact that Christians must always place the authority and honor of God above the State.  But what is a devoted Christian presidential candidate to say when asked, "If you encounter a conflict between your faith and the Constitution and laws of the United States, how would you resolve it? H … [Read more...]

Citizenship Confusion: WORLD Magazine's Editorial Cartoons

Every Monday in Citizenship Confusion, Alan Noble discusses how we confuse our heavenly citizenship with citizenship to the state, culture, and the world.I recently visited WORLD's Editorial Cartoon page after reading some praise about it and was struck with how similar their cartoons were to those of other publications. They featured caricatures of politicians with grotesque features that dehumanized them and mocked their competence. They reduced complex political issues into absurd and s … [Read more...]

Citizenship Confusion: Bachmann, Schaeffer, Pearcey, and Private Faith

Every Monday in Citizenship Confusion, Alan Noble discusses how we confuse our heavenly citizenship with citizenship to the state, culture, and the world.Last week, The New Yorker published an article by Ryan Lizza which revealed the "exotic influences on [Michele Bachmann's] thinking." One of those influences was Frances Schaeffer and another was Nancy Pearcey, a student of Schaeffer's. While I am no fan of Bachmann politically, it is fairly obvious that this New Yorker article is a "hack … [Read more...]

Citizenship Confusion: Christian Ethics in Air Force Training and the Authority of the Bible

Every Monday in Citizenship Confusion, Alan Noble discusses how we confuse our heavenly citizenship with citizenship to the state, culture, and the world.A report was recently released by TruthOut.org and picked up by other news outlets which revealed that an ethics course for Nuclear Missile Officers at Vandenberg Air Force Base taught Christian Just War theory. According to the PowerPoint released by the Air Force, the course used Just War theory and scriptural support to make the case that … [Read more...]

Citizenship Confusion: Praying for those in Power

During the pastoral prayer this past Sunday, the reverend at my church prayed that God would grant the leaders of our country wisdom (or, something to the same effect). And, it startled me.I knew it was biblical to pray for those in authority, but this prayer sounded so foreign compared to the language and rhetoric that is so often used by Christians (myself included) in political discourse. He did not pray for wisdom for the Republican leaders or the Democrat leaders, or the Tea Party, or the … [Read more...]


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