Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Information Your Pastor Might Actually Use

Here's an interesting post:

I'm sure the initial reaction of your average church-goer to this little musing on the connection between a sociological experiment and a matter of fact regarding the Obama Health Care Reform Act will be defensive. It is natural to feel defensive when one feels criticized. But here are some other things to note:

It is self-serving for big-time media ministers to encourage defensiveness amongst their "flock." Why? Because they remain firmly in control of what their "flock" is thinking and doing as long as there is a sense of fear and a sort of "circle the wagons" mentality at work.

However. I'd think that a person who was trying to keep the question, "What is the Christian thing to do?" in the forefront of their lives would actually be interested in this correlation--between an inclination of church-goers to ignore the accident victim, and a trend in strongly "religious" states to be against the Health Reform Act.

If there's one thing Jesus does, time and again, in his efforts to teach people how to live a moral life, it is to engage people in reflection--to get them to look again. Jesus does not encourage the "circle the wagons" mentality.

Christians ought to reflect, from time to time, on the fact that people like Jesus and Socrates--people who encourage reflection and openness--often get literally and terminally "shut up" by the powers that be. And that is a way of "circling the wagons," so to speak.

Reminds me of the story about the Baptists in Heaven: "shhhh," St. Peter says, "they don't believe anyone else is here." "When this kiss is over, it will begin again, it will not be any different, it will be exactly the same." Thus sayeth David Byrne.

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