Many have referenced or forwarded to me this well stated commentary on the rise of Fox News broadcaster Glenn Beck, as a spokesman for Christian orthodoxy. The blindness with which Christians so easily blend the gospel with a political position is a great sorrow to me, and it is one which this commentator, Russell Moore, exposes with sorrowful insight.
The church has walked this way before. Whenever we allow a person to meld Christian language with a political position, in the end, the Christian message will be harmed. All who support movement, in Beck, or any other, explicitly, or even implicitly by providing the audience, will share in the black spot which will befall the church when this blows apart, as every such movement eventually does.
What I have not seen others reference is Moore’s conclusion, printed below.
The answer to this scandal isn’t a retreat, as some would have it, to an allegedly apolitical isolation. Such attempts lead us right back here, in spades, to a hyper-political wasteland. If the churches are not forming consciences, consciences will be formed by the status quo, including whatever demagogues can yell the loudest or cry the hardest. The answer isn’t a narrowing sectarianism, retreating further and further into our enclaves. The answer includes local churches that preach the gospel of Jesus Christ, and disciple their congregations to know the difference between the kingdom of God and the latest political whim.
This is convicting to the church, and challenging to pastors like myself. As many in our congregations mistakingly equate Christian orthodoxy with political conservatism, to critique that conservatism becomes an increasingly dicey proposition when such critique necessarily causes adherents to question the associated orthodoxy.
Nevertheless, we must have the insight, wisdom, and courage to do so, even if such puts us at odds with those who pay our bills.