Tuesday, March 02, 2010

"Misguided Christian Outrage"

Here's a little excerpt from an article I read today by Russel Moore titled "Misguided Christian Outrage." It has to do with some Christians being bothered by a missing line from the new "We Are the World." The line goes: "As God has shown us by turning stone to bread..." (I know, it makes no sense). I have wondered for a while what really the issue is with people who are bothered by not saying "Merry Christmas," and with the 10 Commandments not being allowed to be posted everywhere. To me it makes sense: Many (most?) people in America are not Christians.

"These Christians mean well. They don't want to see the gospel disrespected. But there's something parabolic here, I think. It's the same sort of thing we see when Stephen Colbert interviews a U.S. Congressman who wants to legislate the Ten Commandments in federal courthouses but can't name them. We'd almost rather have the affirmation than the revelation.

Why are we so desperate to see "God" affirmed by the outside culture, even when the "God" they're talking about more closely resembles Zeus (or, as in this case, Lucifer) than Yahweh? When we reach this point of perpetual outrage, are we closer to identity politics than gospel proclamation? I'm afraid so.

Could it be that the problem is we really want the reassurance that we're "normal"? We'd like a shout-out in our pop culture and our political speeches to signify that we're acceptable, that Christianity isn't really all that freakish. But, if that happens, apart from submission to the Cross, is it really Christianity anymore (Jas. 4:4)?


ericathompson said...

I really enjoyed your article and it really made me examine my heart. I am one of those outraged Christians because it upsets me to see the Ten Commandments and other religious freedoms taken away. The first thing that came to mind was that our nation was founded on religious freedom and we are slowly letting that slip away. I agree with Russel Moore in the concept that most people don't believe in "God". But then on the other hand God has called us to be the "salt of the earth" (Matt. 5:13) and proclaim Christ. Are we really being "outraged Christians" or are we being the salt of the earth? I think the secular person sees us as nuts because they don't understand the cross and are blinded from the truth. It is through these religious expressions that their is some hope that truth will be revealed.

Stephanie said...

Hey Erica! Thanks so much for commenting. I think there's a difference between religious freedoms and posting the 10 Commandments. I can still worship as I'd like, but I am fine with not being allowed to legislate that the 10 commandments must be posted. I think that demanding these things really is not being salt and light, and may in fact do the opposite. I see no point in forcing non believers to do things that they don't agree with.

Hope you guys are well! Do you blog?

ericathompson said...

Hey Stephanie,
We are doing good! We will be moving to Germany in May and will be living there for three years. I am in the process of setting up a blog. Have not gotten very far. I always seem to get interrupted. :(
So, when they stopped posting the Ten Commandments they took a part of your religious freedom. By not letting people say Merry Christmas they took part a of your religious freedom. By taking prayer out of school they took a part of your religious freedom. The list could go on and on! They are slowly taking God out of our nation until ALL of our religious freedom is gone, which includes worshiping God. I am not asking for the secular person to live as if they are saved but I don't think we can sit back and let them push us into a corner. Our founders came to America to find religious freedom from England. Our nation was founded on the 10 Commandments. I know by posting them it convicts people to have to live to a moral standard. I don't think we should push Christianity on anyone but I don't think they should try to rob me of my religious freedoms. I really don't think you can separate these three things: 10 Commandments, religious freedom, and being able to worship God the way you want. I don't think we are forcing any non believer to do anything they don't want to do we are just standing up for our rights!

Take Care!
I will try to get my blog up and running soon! I love a friendly debate! :)

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