Thursday, July 2, 2009

crisis of conscience

It's that time of year again. It's the time of year I dread, and not just because the Texas weather is unbearably oppressive. It's because I will be expected to devote a portion of corporate worship to patriotic celebration. Now, I know there is nothing wrong with being thankful for a country where we can worship freely, but focusing on it during corporate worship has increasingly become a crisis of conscience for me.

Of course, I didn't always feel that way.

I think I'm bothered by this mostly because of the way evangelicals have thrown out the traditional seasons of the church year. Oh, we love Christmas and Easter. But why no Pentecost? No Holy Week? Certainly no Epiphany (the last New Year sermon I heard was on the crucifixion). For some reason, it makes much more sense to evangelicals to observe secular holidays like Mother's Day and the 4th of July. For goodness sakes, enjoy fireworks as a fellowship and honor mothers with recognition and a gift.

I suppose part of it is a reminder that evangelical Christianity gave itself to a political cause at the expense of the gospel. My own political views aside, the era of the religious right brought us to a place where it was impossible to be an evangelical Christian and a democrat. This idea once made logical sense to me. I now find it loathsome.

Why is it that Christians think they deserve a culture that makes them feel comfortable? I guess that's a question for another day. For now, I pray that evangelicals will give themselves fully to the authentic gospel of Christ and remember which kingdom will pass and which will endure forever. We serve a higher throne.


Chuck King said...

Well said, friend. You have a most quotable way of writing. And an inestimable way of thinking. Write on!

Dan Martin said...

If you haven't already read it, I commend to you Greg Boyd's excellent book "The Myth of a Christian Nation." Greg addresses head-on the nationalistic idolatry that has gripped American Evangelicals.

Your crisis of conscience is merely proving you have a conscience that hasn't been seared...may God bless your search.

jaigner said...

Thanks for the encouragement, Chuck. Unfortunately, I'm not yet able to crank these posts out at your rate, but I hope I'll get there.


I appreciate your comments, Dan. I am familiar with Boyd and the title, but have not yet read this book. I actually have some birthday money left over and I'm thinking of swinging by B & N to pick one up this afternoon.

Thanks for reading.