Tuesday, January 26, 2010

How to be an Insurrectionist pt 2.

Stanley Hauerwas, a professor at Duke University, wrote one of my favorite books titled "Resident Aliens: A provocative Christian assessment of culture and ministry for people who know that something is wrong." Now I know what you're thinking, and yes, it is that amazing!

Resident Aliens promotes the belief that Christians ethics rise from living in Christian community. He sees the church as a colony of believers living in the world, yet separate from the world. Thus, the main problem for the church is, instead of focusing on being a good colony, the church looks to sway influence in the world around it.

In the book's fourth chapter [named: "Life in the Colony: The Church as Basis for Christian Ethics"] Hauerwas says this:
In fact, much of what passes for Christian social concern today, of the left or of the right, is the social concern of a church that seems to have despaired of being the church. Unable through our preaching, baptism, and witness to form a visible community of faith, we content ourselves with erstaz Christian ethical activity - lobbying Congress to support progressive strageties, asking the culture at large to be a little less racist, a little less promiscuous, a little less violent. ... Both groups imply that one can practice Christian ethics without being in the Christian community. Both begin with the Constantinian assumption that there is no way for the gospel to be present in our world without asking the world to support our convictions through its own social and political institutionalization. The result is the gospel transformed into civil religion.

This does not that mean that the church should ignore injustice in the world, just that the church needs to do it in the proper way. When we look to do it by asking the world to first support our position, we end up changing our message into something that it is not. A civil religion, regardless of how "Christian" it may appear is far from the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Perhaps our response should be to live as insurrectionists.

1 comment:

Kickert said...

Good Stuff... Hauerwas is the real deal.