What’s Compromised, We Rebuke

Christianity Looking for And Excuse to Rebuke. Or else, just delivering rebuke.

Today’s post is a different. It’s something of a rant that replies to a post on another forum. But I decided to publish it here rather than elsewhere.

We Rebuke Compromise

Compromise. It’s the fast track to vilifying rebukes from Independent, Fundamental Baptists. Few things make any IFB uglier and happier at the same time than an excuse to ambush another congregation for its many sins. Likely, Fundamentalism’s most cherished slur is, ‘weak on sin’ followed closely by ‘worldly.’ Hence the words on today’s photo.

But those words may be a little too true, particularly if one digs into what ‘worldliness’ entails. Because brother-sister, it ain’t about hair styles or wearing blue on boys and pink on girls. Beware the political overtones.

Where We’ve Been

I’m astonished.

As part of an Indo-China military buildup to base 60% of US warships and aircraft in that region by 2020, the US Mitchell Institute just provided details on fifth-generation stealth aircraft to be used in any future war with China. This, followed by the freshly issued Chilcot inquiry which offers devastating confirmation of the Blair-Bush crimes of war against the Iraqi people, for which as many as 1 million perished at our hands.

Where We’re At

At home, we face a Presidential election proffering a choice between one candidate with openly fascistic tendencies, and another that is a war criminal. Militarized police arrest hundreds nationwide. A police assassin is killed by a drone [essentially] on US soil. As tensions escalate, relations erode and an exhausted public is increasingly alienated from their own processes of state, the ruling class loads their Winchesters for the social upheaval it knows its policies will evoke.

Where We’re Going

So what’s next? Will it be disappearances? Or bullet-riddled bodies found on roadsides at dawn? Or the proliferation of Chicago-type Homan Black sites? Will torture and execution at police stations become routine policy? Or more forced feeding of inmates as seems to be Wisconsin’s policy? Will hitherto rotating martial law become the rule everywhere?

What We’re Doing

Studiously excluded from discussion are enormous crises including our inexorable march toward WW III and thermonuclear war. We talk endlessly of the heinousness of abortion [which is true] neither knowing of nor caring to acknowledge that the US-backed Iraqi regime has trapped some 50,000 in Fallujah, without food or water. We prattle over Planned Parenthood, discuss others’ inward state of grace [or the lack of it], yet routinely reduce this to sectarian partisanship. It’s astonishing.

Rather than offering a robust ‘kingdom of God’ critique of the powers and principalities of this age [which is what the Revelation does], we align with this or that earthly/secular/heretical power. Twice a year, we give lip-service to God and proclaim Jesus the prince of peace [Advent] and the victor over the powers of death [Easter]. The rest of the year, we are virtually indistinguishable from the world. Then we wonder why the world doesn’t take us seriously. I’m astonished.

What We Should Be Doing

Imagine if the church everywhere preached ‘give us this day our daily bread’ before the blockade of Fallujah. Imagine the Christmas/Easter message proclaimed each Lord’s Day in the face of every attempt at usurpation of social justice. Imagine proclaiming the prince of peace every time the call to rearm was issued. Imagine reconciliation in God preached every time the state bore down on the lowly in the interests of the great.

When Rebuke Boomerangs

Ironically, the IFB movement does not object to all this. It rallies beside earthly powers and vindicates them in God’s name under the banner of ‘conservatism.’ In so doing, the IFB movement brings on its own head the indictment of the words on the photo.

On a superficial level, the IFB would cheer those words. But as soon as it is clear what those words mean in light of God’s kingdom, Fundamentalists decry kingdom interests as insidious attacks on the left on godliness and the nation. Thus Fundamentalism stands with both feet planted firmly in ‘the world,’ cheering for the principalities and powers of this age.

The Greatest Hypocrisy

Accusations of hypocrisy are heard among believers and they cut deeply. In truth, all of us do it some degree. We do better to admit this than not.

But the greatest hypocrisy may be to pretend that Christ is for us when in fact Christ is for the world. And as Christ offered himself for the life of the world, we are called to do the same. Then again, we know what the world did to him. That’s the rub. We’re reluctant to follow.

Yet he bids us follow. That should be all the rationale we need.