More Jesus and the Political

I read this today in a book by Richard Rohr and thought it would apply not only to the discussion in the previous post, but to the hateful speech I’ve been seeing on television during the political forums in the past few weeks.

“They’re not credible prophets. If we hate people who don’t agree with us, if we feel righteous and superior to those who have different politics, we’re not in the Spirit. Until that grace is given, we should not presume we have a prophetic charism. When we have the prophetic charism, we don’t inflict plain on ‘them’; we hold the pain in ourselves. We absorb the pain; we don’t project it or avenge the evil we see. We surrender to the realization that we are also complicit in the evil of the world. It’s just a matter of when and where and how.”

About Tim Suttle

Tim Suttle is a pastor, writer, and musician. He is the author of several books: Shrink: Faithful Ministry in a Church Growth Culture (Zondervan 2014), Public Jesus (The House Studio, 2012), and An Evangelical Social Gospel? (Cascade Books, 2011). Tim's work has been featured at The Huffington Post, The Washington Post, Sojourners, and other magazines and journals. Tim is also the founder and front-man of the popular Christian band Satellite Soul, with whom he toured for nearly a decade. He has planted three successful churches over the past 13 years and is the Senior Pastor of Redemption Church in Olathe, Kan. Tim's blog, Paperback Theology, is hosted at Patheos.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/02289110643212600386 Scott Stone

    To quote that great theologian John Mayer, "belief is a beautiful armor but makes for the heaviest sword". It's people investing in a doctrine that codifies their lives; Not being able to see anything else. My point is we need not invest in any earthly political ideology, left or right. Our faith can't be placed in systems that men have designed to maintain their own power. What's going on reminds me a lot of 1993-1994.

    Scott

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/10974397437648079481 Tim Suttle

    I'm not up for anything in which the word "great" and "John Mayer" appear in the same sentence…other than that, I get your point. In fact, I think those systems have to be vigilantly and continually exposed for what they really are: ways of controlling our own destiny, ways of insuring our own survival, ways to make ourselves safe and happy which we build like so many towers of Babel. In the end they often keep us from participating in what God is doing in the world.

    Too many people who call themselves Christ followers are far too highly invested in that system – be it via the Republican party or the Democratic party. But political parties, although they are an inevitable part of American politics, cannot receive an allegiance which is owed only to God.

    Tell me more about what you are talking about in 1993-94.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/02289110643212600386 Scott Stone

    Tim,

    Nothing but sarcasm regarding Mayer. Politicians, be it left or right, are trying to get us to put our hope and faith in them. The systems you mention is the codification I was speaking of. Instead of looking towards Christ, we invest in an earthly system. Dualism is sooo easy. If everything is black and white, well then all I have to do is chose a side.

    The hateful speech that is occurring at these town hall meeting is reminiscent of what was going on politically during that period I mentioned

    I'm a huge political junkie but just for fun. My first political rally was at a Jimmy Carter event in 1976 when I was 13. Total geek, I know.

    '93 and '94 were the years the Republicans were holding town hall meetings for reform. People were showing up saying they were going to starve Grandma and Grandpa. Nobody knew Gingrich but he was on the cover of time as "The Gingrich Who Stole Christmas". We're all a bunch of sheep led to the slaughter for investing ourselves in rigid earthly pursuits.

    These guys are all the same. I've really taken a micro approach to justice and politics. I invest my time in my community. Helping my neighbor. Putting my feet to my faith. Trying to make sure my community church impacts my community for the body.


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