Thursday, July 21, 2016

The Bible and American Politics

Have you noticed how certain people refuse to be reasonable when it comes to recognizing the short-comings of their political party?  There's no talking to them.  You bring up a problem with their party (or candidate) that, given their religious convictions, should lead to a frank discussion.  But, rather than admit the problem, they dig in their heels, set their jaw, and defend their politics without even giving a sideways glance to their religious convictions.  It's as if political faith trumps religious faith.  Their political loyalties take full reign of their mental and emotional faculties.  Whether democrat or republican, the fight for what is "right" is binary.  Either you're for us or against us--no in between--which reminds me of the way religious people defend the Bible.

Recently, I was listening to a well-known atheist who was making fun of the "wacky parts" of the Bible.  He had an equally well-known Christian apologist who was there to defend the Scriptures.  And, even though I appreciated the nuanced answer he gave in defense of the Bible as God's word, their so-called "conversation" reminded me of the arguments over politics.  With both sides convinced of their position (and both sides making salient points regarding the weaknesses of the other), there was no "give and take."  Rather than admit weaknesses in their position, a sense of infallibility kicked in pretty hard as both men defended what they believe, their faith.

The longer I live, the more I'm realizing my need to embrace weakness, not only mine but the weakness of others.  But, in a world where only strength is celebrated and weakness is marginalized--a bystander in the battle for "truth"--I think I'll be dismissed as a traitor to the cause (politically and religiously).  But, that's okay with me.  I've sworn allegiance to a king and his kingdom that is built on weak people like me.  And, I learn about that kingdom in a Bible that has "wacky" parts that defy common sense.  The difference, I guess, is that I'm willing to admit it, puzzle over it, be confused by it, even complain to God about it (read the Psalms!).  But I've got a feeling that, whether in politics or religion, most people will despise such weakness.

Which reminds me of the cross of Jesus Christ.

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