Pernicious

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I have spoken before about my own surely imperfect efforts to figure out when to speak on matters political. Basically when something touches a theological nerve, or the more immediate life of one of our congregations, the imperative is present there. Such a case may be found when the President's former advisor Steve Bannon refers to protecting "the values of the Judeo - Christian West." This is all the more incumbent on me as a Christian leader, a social conservative in certain respects, and as an evangelical.  

So let's begin with some inconvenient truths.  First, any use of the word "Christian" as a veiled political weapon is ruled out of court immediately.  Second, we face the fact that the strongest advocates of such values are African and Asian, whose lands are today the sites of vitality in world Christianity. And while we are at it, have we noticed that the demographically most Christian parts of the West are immigrant, Latino, and African American?

The phrase conceals a grave irony, since much of Western thought in the last few generations is deeply secular, even nihilistic, in its approach. Both Ayn Rand and the radical left have this in common in their roots.

Christian values are Biblical values, and we all know the latter unsettle and disturb us. The hungry are to be fed and the stranger welcomed. We pray for welfare of Babylon. We share in the creaturely good of human solidarity. The one who would wield the Gospel as a threat surely will hear it as a divine reproach.

Peace,

+ GRS