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Sunday, July 17, 2005

Word For The "Religious Right"

I've just returned to Louisville from Dallas where I had a wonderful experience last week at the 10th Annual International Conference on Expository Preaching. It was an enlightening event that illuminated my eyes with the pregnant possibilities that exist when Evangelical Expositors focus on the primary purpose of our preaching - the Gospel of Jesus Christ. There were men and women from all across the world and yet there were no Democrats. There were no Republicans either. There were only prophetic voices speaking as one man that all should be saved and none should be lost. There were only Christians seeking to advance the Kingdom of God. There was only the Body of Christ seeking to serve our sovereign Savior. It was a vision of what the Church should be.

However, returning to the real world I remember that we have Christians prominently aligning the name of Christ with a specific political party. I find that curious since the prophets of old never joined the government, but prophetically spoke against the government when it deviated from revealed truth. It is almost as if the Religious Right has never read Amos where he said:

Seek the LORD and live,
or he will sweep through the house of Joseph like a fire;
it will devour,
and Bethel will have no one to quench it.
You who turn justice into bitterness
and cast righteousness to the ground

You hate the one who reproves in court
and despise him who tells the truth.
You trample on the poor
and force him to give you grain.
Therefore,
though you have built stone mansions,
you will not live in them;
though you have planted lush vineyards,
you will not drink their wine.
For I know how many are your offenses
and how great your sins.
You oppress the righteous and take bribes
and you deprive the poor of justice in the courts.
Therefore
the prudent man keeps quiet in such times,
for the times are evil.

Amos could have been talking to the administration of George Bush II instead of the administration of Jeroboam II. Nonetheless, we see the leaders of the Religious Right in Bush's court, not in Bush's face over his treatment of the poor and the corruption of Tom Delay, Bob Ney, et al. It would seem that Amos' quoting of God's words near the end of this chapter are prescient regarding the Religious Right, if I may paraphrase:

"I hate, I despise your worship services;
I cannot stand your assemblies.
Even though you bring tithes and offerings,
I will not accept them.
Though you bring choice fellowship offerings,
I will have no regard for them.
Away with the noise of your songs!
I will not listen to the music of your praise teams.
But let justice roll on like a river,
righteousness like a never-failing stream!"

Like the woman riding on the back of the scarlet beast, the Religious Right has aligned itself with the Thingdom of America instead of the Kingdom of God - America worships consumptionism above all else - and it is the job of actual Christians to expose the true Gospel of Jesus Christ such that it blots out the political abomination propagated by the Religious Right. Christianity is not about opposing abortion and homosexuality, cutting taxes on the wealthy, and promoting American nationalism - Christianity is about Jesus Christ first, last, and only. As we go about trying to form a more perfect union it is the responsibility of Christians to counter the abomination known as the Religious Right. Let's get to work.

May the LORD bless you and keep you;
May the LORD make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you;
And may the LORD turn his face toward you and give you peace.

Emancipated by Athanasius @ 11:00 AM

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All of this seems so obvious that one would think this has been said. The Christ I serve has been hijacked for political purposes and no one with a loud enough megaphone seems able to point this out.

I appreciate your vantage point more than you know...keep the faith...literally.

Posted by Blogger DP @ Sunday, July 17, 2005 10:49:00 PM #
 

Hi Oscar,

Found this blog crosslinked through Kos. I'm a journalist working on a book about Christianity and politics in the American South. I will be near Louisville the week of August 14, and would love to do an interview. Let me know if you are interested, or have further questions...

Thank you,

Tess Gadwa

704.348.4248
southerncross@tessgadwa.com

Posted by Anonymous Tess Gadwa @ Monday, July 18, 2005 9:35:00 AM #
 
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