Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Get Serious

The state of Kansas in their attempts to call evolution into question, has decided to redefine science. No kidding. They came up with a new definition for the word "science." Their definition claims that Science is "a systematic method of continuing investigation that uses observation, hypothesis testing, measurement, experimentation, logical argument and theory building to lead to more adequate explanations of natural phenomena." This instead of the previous "Science is the human attempt to find a natural explanation for what happens in the world."

I guess the reasoning goes like this: If science finds the "natural explanation" for where everything came from, then our "supernatural explanation" will be in jeopardy. So, Kansas redefined science.

Thank you Kansas.

This type of thing really gets me fired up because of what the world hears. The religious right is so much louder than the religious moderates and the religious left. Why can't the religious right realize that God very well could have made the world through evolution? I mean, what is more beautiful, finding that science supports the creation account described in Genesis? Or tossing God and science in the ring? How foolish does the rest of the world think all Christians are because of what a few Christians in Kansas have done?

This is precisely the thing that makes me ashamed to be a Christian sometimes. If being a Christian means I have to be afraid of science... if being a Christian means that I have to stand on the street corner and tell you that you're going to hell... if being a Christian means that I have to like George Bush... if being a Christian means I have to support the war in Iraq... if being a Christian means I have to hate people for cussing, drinking, smoking, and having sex... if being Christian means I have to wear a shitty "Abreadcrumb & Fish" tee-shirt, if being Christian means I have to click my tongue at you when you do something I wouldn't do, if being Christian means I have to talk about beating up the devil, if being Christian means I agree with everything my pastor says, if being Christian means bombing abortion clinics, if being Christian means going to church on Sunday and then doing whatever the hell I want to do the rest of the week, then count me out.

On the other hand... if I'm allowed to be a Christian and read a book... if I'm allowed to be Christian and drink a beer... if I'm allowed to be a pacifist, a philosopher, an artist, a postmodernist, and a democrat, then count me in. I know I'm not the only Christian in the world who believes in evolution, smokes cigarettes, curses on occasion, listens to the radio, watches movies, and loves people. Why are we all so quiet? Why do we allow the religious right to define Christianity to the rest of the world?

There are so many people in the world hating Christians because the Christians with their heads on straight are all hiding in the closet saying "I'm not like all the other Christians." It's time for us to make a stand. It's time to tell the world that Christians are intelligent, loving, and that we are indoctrinated in the culture. It's time for Christians to stand up for themselves and let the world know that we belive in Christ, and that we don't hate them.

It's time for the rest of the culturally minded Christians to get out of the closet and tell the world that being Christian isn't something we're ashamed of. It's time to let the world know that the intolerant religious right is the red-headed step child of Christianity. It's time to stop being defined by the most brazen, impatient, inconsiderate, and intolerant members of the church. Come on... if we bum rush the 700 club all at the same time, we'll knock 'em on their asses.

2 comments:

Tony Steward said...

Josh,

How much do you think the terms/beliefs of conservatives and liberals have had to much sway on the theology and behavior of the American Christian?

The religious right would typically be termed Conservative, and their moralism/legalism and often ignorant view of interacting with the rest of the world can be laughable and frustrating.

And a liberal view of Christianity can at times seek to make our faith match the lifestyle we want, instead of the life of sanctification that Jesus modeled.


Despite the quick and sloppy attempt of generalizing these camps in our culture. How much influence and mis-direction to our behavior and faith have these trains of thinking had?

The church I am in is very Conservative. Most everyone is Republican, and they would consider someone's faith to be suffering if they were a Democrat. They are all about an organization called Answer's in Gensis which is all about proving that evolution is bunk. And these kind of things can at times have more of a place than they should in our teaching then other more CORE elements of the Bible. It makes things feel more Conservative than Christian.

And yet, I don't believe becoming a Liberal Democrat makes me more of a Christian. Liberalism has caused as many problems as Conservatism in the Christian faith of American's.

I think one of the main shifts that has occured in our communities is that our affliation with the terms: Republican, Democrat, Conservative, Liberal, Religious Right, etc. has become more important to us than our 'membership' (best word for the moment) in the Body of Christ. Because of this, these trains of thinking has cause the whole "spiritual language with selfish motivation" as we seek to make Christianity fit our particular political affliation and morality (beyond what the Bible specifys).

So, what do you think?

Joshua said...

Do I think that the beliefs of conservatives or liberals have had much sway over the theology of American Christians? Sure. But just so you know, that's a bad thing. Political alignment should not alter theology. Do I think the beliefs of conservatives and liberals have had much sway over the theology of Christendom? No. Not really. Do I think the beliefs of conservatives and liberals have had much sway over the behavior of American Christians? Yes. And this is a good thing. We should behave in a manner appropriate to our culture, and that behavior should be in line with the Scriptures. I think it is more than okay for your political alignment to sway the manner in which you live out your faith. In fact, I would say that your political alignment IS the way that you live out your faith. As long as your political alignment does not affect your theology, then I think it should be a part of your faith life.

Now, whether or not a Christian can be a Democrat is another question entirely. I don't think that Christian and Democrat are mutually exclusive titles, and I don't think that Christian is synonymous with Republican. When we start to think one way or another on these issues, I might say that our theology has begun to submit to our politics... this I would have a problem with.