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Acting Christian

July 17, 2010

Richard T. Hughes (Prof. of Religion at Messiah College) here encourages American politicians who claim to be Christian to, you know, act like it. It’s a good word about responsibility and witness. He ends with a challenge to the Church community:

America’s churches and their pastors therefore have a grave responsibility: to urge their members to serve the public square as peacemakers, as truth-tellers, as people devoted to justice, and as men and women who are actually willing to practice what Jesus taught.

Recently I’ve been posting some thoughts as my church works our way through Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount. One of our questions in the study is “What does it mean to actually practice these teachings?” Hughes is making the point (a good one I believe) that as followers of Jesus we are to enter our communities in a particular way-one which follows the pattern of Jesus (servanthood, peacemaking, truth-telling, justice, etc)-rather than the destructive ways so common in the US political environment. A “third way” rather than the usual either-or options.

This sounds like a no-brainer. Yet the reality is that it is so hard to accomplish. It can be difficult to have civil discussion in our congregations when politics & practice are mentioned (as I found out this week with a member who is also a Glenn Beck fan 🙂 ) or among fellow Christians in general. And I wonder if this difficulty in our ability to have civil conversation goes back to a question of allegiance? Political parties demand allegiance more so than just about any other entity. And it sure seems like that influence can easily cloud our “lens” through which we view even the teachings of Jesus.

What has been your experience in trying to practice what Hughes is suggesting?

One Comment
  1. July 21, 2010 1:11 am

    Chris, Tough one indeed. Oh that we would be the presence of Jesus in this world, really present, but of him.

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