Thursday, August 30, 2012

Contrarian Thought.

Conservatives and evangelicals sometimes quietly congratulate themselves that they are reproducing themselves while liberals and secular people tend to be ZPG and disappearing.  Our actions - two bio children, two adoptions, and a guardianship, and a hope that all five of them have lots of their own - illustrate that we are pretty sympathetic to that POV.  There is a Christian Culture sentiment that we have been aware of, and even been part of, since the 1970's.  We work toward the church having cultural influence long after we have gone.

Yet it pays to remember that Jesus (and Paul, Peter, James, John) say little or nothing about this.  There is a great deal said about our responsibility toward the individuals we encounter and the church community we live in, but other than rather disassociated good citizenship and not being a bother, they don't say much about amking over society in a godly direction.

The OT tells the Jews a lot about making over their whole society, but their whole society was a religious community.  I don't see strong NT indications that this automatically carries over to citizenship in Hillsborough County or the Province of Saskatchewan. What if it is entirely unimportant, so that American Christians of both the right and left - both the "If my people" and "Least of my brethren" crowds - are simply wrong, reading in their political beliefs.

If the world truly is going to hell in a handbasket, so that default culture was so selfish and hedonistic as to be not worth retaining, would it be so terrible if Christians simply said "Our people chose not to participate," and let the world go as it would without us?  One might read the Revelation to John as being a record of exactly that ending for the world.  Time to roll it up.  No more shall be saved on this particular planet.


james said...

Like the Desert Fathers?

Sam L. said...

Back then, they weren't worried about the "limits to growth". Famine, flood, conquerors, ravening hordes of killers, wild beasts, yes. Childbirth could be a crapshoot for mother and baby(ies). Kids died early. Plague, diseases, bad water, poor sanitation. Zero population growth was not what they wanted; positive growth was.

And it kinda hard to get far enough away from other people as to not have to think about them and land reciprocal effects on each other.

I ramble. Where was I going? Why am I in this handbasket?

james said...

I was grousing the other day about not having ideas about how to improve the culture around us, and ended saying that my "gut feeling" was that improvements would be side effects. I had the Desert Fathers in mind. They bailed on society, to try to get to know God better, and the results changed society.

Texan99 said...

"Certainly we do not want men to allow their Christianity to flow over into their political life, for the establishment of anything like a really just society would be a major disaster. On the other hand we do want, and want very much, to make men treat Christianity as a means; preferably, of course, as a means to their own advancement, but, failing that, as a means to anything—even to social justice. The thing to do is to get a man at first to value social justice as a thing which the Enemy demands, and then work him on to the stage at which he values Christianity because it may produce social justice. For the Enemy will not be used as a convenience. . . .

"Your affectionate uncle