[Vision2020] worldviews, war, and worship

Ted Moffett starbliss at gmail.com
Sat Sep 8 18:24:59 PDT 2007

keely et. al.

Thanks for the compliment.

About freedom of choice as it applies to Christian ethics, I know this is a
very difficult and complex issue, as it is for any theory of free choice in
ethics.  But the idea that it is wise to promote freedom at the end of a gun
barrel is problematic, to put it mildly. The people of  Iraq

On 9/7/07, keely emerinemix <kjajmix1 at msn.com> wrote:
>  First, a long-overdue thanks to Ted, from whom I learn something almost
> daily.  Most of the time, I agree with him politically; even when I don't,
> I'm provoked to think about assumptions and conclusions I've made.  Lord
> knows the last six years of cowboy diplomacy in service of a "christianish,"
> but not at all Christian, worldview has given all of us food for thought.
> I'm grateful to Ted and to others who help to keep us wrestling with things.
> I'm entirely supportive of efforts to impeach Cheney, and I'm eagerly
> counting down the days 'til someone better becomes president.  The evils of
> the Cheney/Bush administration -- are horrifying in their nature, execution,
> and legacy, and all the more so given that our Commander in Chief has become
> in some circles our Worshiper in Chief, too.  I can't comment on the
> veracity of Bush's conversion and spiritual walk, but the fruit is evident.
> And it pretty much stinks.
> Bush has made much of his theology of freedom as God's intention for
> humankind, and of the United States' responsibility to secure it for the
> rest of the world.  It sounds noble, but clearly has resulted in devastation
> abroad while ignoring those at home and elsewhere who are shackled in ways
> not as evident to Bush -- and whose "liberation" is not as economically
> advantageous to his cronies.  And so I was pleased to run into an essay by
> Ted Olsen in this month's Christianity Today, which I hope stimulates some
> reflection on the part of those of us who try to follow the person and
> teachings of Christ:
> ". . . Freedom isn't God's only good gift.  He also gives peace.  And
> life.  And order.   And justice.  And mercy.  And many other good gifts with
> both spiritual and political implications.  Should any of these gifts become
> the basis of U.S. policy in Iraq?  This hits on what I think is the
> biggest political question for Western Christians right now:  Should
> Christians in democracies work to make governmental actions reflect
> "high-minded" biblical priorities?  Does God's love for human freedom
> require us to get the government to act for freedom worldwide?  Does God's
> love for the poor require us to get the government to act for economic
> justice domestically and abroad?  President Bush once said, "Government can
> pass laws and it can hand out money, but it cannot love."  But without love,
> can it still do good, or can it merely avoid doing evil?"
> Two points:  Concern for the poor and for justice throughout the world
> obviously isn't just the provence of Christianity, but when an avowedly
> Christian president in a self-proclaimed "Christian" nation intervenes in
> the affairs of the nations, its involvement ought to -- has to -- reflect
> the teachings of Christ.  Further, while recognizing that human effort will
> never result in the abolition of inhumanity, violence, hatred and injustice,
> it is imperative that efforts to end those things in the name of Jesus
> Christ be reasonably consistent.  Putting it simply, it means that liberty
> and security and justice for countries not sitting atop oil has to be as
> important as liberty, security, and justice for those countries whose
> security enhances U.S. coffers and U.S. dominance in the world.
> It's easy for Christians to focus on "righteousness" as individual
> morality -- and too often yours, not mine -- while largely ignoring matters
> of "justice" by assigning them to nations, institutions, or corporations
> that present a larger evangelistic, moralistic challenge.  But most
> translators agree that in Scripture, "justice" and "righteousness" generally
> are represented by the same words and are intended to be synonymous
> expressions of God's will for individuals and for nations.  The clear
> testimony of Scripture is God's concern for righteousness, period.  It's the
> Church that's decided to root out unrighteousness in the bedroom while
> blithely ignoring -- or applauding -- unrighteousness in the boardroom.
> After all, who wants to go after their pals?  Christians today have fallen
> into lockstep with the rich, the powerful, and the lofty and have called it
> "blessing" when they've been courted.  As for the poor and the
> disenfranchised . . . well, they may not have the Church on their side, but
> they're in good company.  It doesn't seem that God has Christians on his
> side, either.
> keely
> "God works patiently and deeply, but often in hidden ways, in the mess of
> our humanity and history."
> --Eugene Peterson
> ------------------------------
> Make your little one a shining star! Shine on!<http://www.reallivemoms.com?ocid=TXT_TAGHM&loc=us>
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