Blended Orthodoxy

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.

5 thoughts on “Blended Orthodoxy

  1. Well said. I love that a Mormon can be a Christian spokesman.

    I may be going to hear Wayne Grudem in Huntington speak on social justice and politics and what not. Will let you know his insight if I do.

  2. nigel

    It is a pickle, thats for sure. It seems so often this happens though. Why do folks use something so personal, something so intrisic, as faith or even “religion” in a broader sense, to manipulate people towards a particular political thought? kind of a rhetorical question I know and I know I’m sort of jumping in the deep end here with my first post on your blog, Randy…but it’s been one of those days. But what did Jesus say about these issues? He surely encountered them daily. There is that scene in the movie Cold Mountain that comes to mind…when Inman is riding with the Reverend and Ada Monroe in the wagon, they are speaking of how it must make God weary being called down on both sides of the argument in regards to the civil war/slavery issue. But it seems to me, a true layman, to be a similar situation, doesn’t it?

    1. Randy Greenwald

      Comments are all well taken.

      Nigel, I think it is impossible for our religious convictions to NOT influence our political positions. What I think we both agree on is the danger of wedding those positions so closely to our religion that we use religion to manipulate the positions of others. Your reference to God being wearied is well taken. I think what I lament is that then like now the issues are so important but the public square so toxic that one cannot raise questions about anything without not only his politics coming into question, but his Christianity as well. That bothers me a ton!

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