Keep Christ in Christianity

The latest cartoon from David Hayward is interesting to think about in connection with the sorts of rhetorical claims one sometimes encounters from conservative Christians regarding American society. “Keep Christ in Christmas” they may say, or “Put prayer back in public schools.”

What they often fail to notice is that they have only allowed selective bits of Jesus and his teachings into their churches and their individual lives, and even those are sometimes interpreted against the grain of his likely meaning when understood contextually.

And so I think that perhaps one appropriate response to such attempts to export their partial and selectively-interpreted Jesus into other parts of society might be “Allow Christ – all of him – into your Christianity. If you do that, consistently, then (and only then) we can discuss putting him elsewhere.”

UPDATE: I probably ought to have called this post “Behold, I Stand At The Door And Knock.”

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  • sam

    hmm, that’s right, because if they’re ‘conservative,’ then they must be wrong, so in this case they must be wrong because they are not ‘allowing all of christ into their churches or their lives.’ but ‘liberals’ do, that is the reasoning? name calling and categorizing people has no place in the church. please stop your prejudicial judgments of people. an idea should be assessed based on the idea itself, not on your prejudice of the speaker.

    • I have not in general found liberal Christians to tend to complain about not being wished a Merry Christmas at their local store, or to fail to understand that the same separation of church and state which keeps their particular sort of prayer out of schools also keeps their children from being taught prayers of other traditions that they do not agree with. Obviously there is selectivity involved in being a Christian of any sort today. I don’t have a problem with that, which is why I focused not on the selectivity itself, but on the failure to honestly acknowledge that selectivity, and to claim that one’s selective embrace of Jesus and his teaching is the whole truth and the only position a faithful Christian can take.

    • ReadLearnThink

      Why do you have to make everything about politics? WWJD? I Think Jesus would absolutely despise politics.

  • thesauros

    It is soooo easy to slide into worshipping tradition – especially if the Church is full (counted as successful). We must always dress like this, sing these songs, keep these programs etc. And then Jesus pokes His head around the corner in an attempt to refocus the group, and all hell breaks lose.

  • Guest

    This is great – thanks!