30 November, 2006

Lee Camp And The Future Of Christianity

I've tried to stay out of the Lee Camp conversation because I didn't feel that we had all the facts and I did believe that Dr. Camp's thoughts were most probably taken well out of context by the author of the article in the Tennessean. I've also tried to stay out of the debate because I've been going through one of those periods that Christians often refer to as 'the silence of God'. There are those times we all have where the glass is just a little bit darker than usual, and what we see of God is even more out of focus. I've had the extremely painful experience of having my faith attacked by other Christians, and that has caused me a great deal of emotional and spiritual anger--anger with which I am still struggling to deal.

There were many responses to Dr. Camp's words in the blogosphere yesterday that piled onto that anger.

I am a political conservative in the mold of Reagan and Goldwater. I am also a Christian conservative. But I think more than anything else it is very important to not confuse the two, and to not allow the political self to dictate the Christian self. If we're Christians we acknowledge Jesus as King of Kings and Lord of Lords. But more and more lately it seems like many of us see ourselves as Knights of the Inquisition. We view ourselves as having some dispensation from the remote King to go about the world and bring converts to Him by force and through pain.

I'm sorry, but that's not how I feel. We're fishers, not Knights. We fish gently--with nets, not hooks and CERTAINLY NOT dynamite. We are to spread the net of Christ to draw others in.

I take a lot of grief for being a libertarian, but I truly believe that's the only way we can save a church that has spent the last 20 years corrupted by the greed of earthly politics.


At 12:49 PM, November 30, 2006, Blogger Slartibartfast said...

I agree wholeheartedly with one caveat:

Most of the responses were based on a false assumption. When I first read the story yesterday, I, too, thought that the jist of what Camp was saying was that we (Christians) would have to renounce Christ in order for there to be peace in the world. After reading Camp's commentary today, I have to conclude that the article yesterday was some of the sloppiest journalism ever produced. It was horrible on a staggering scale.

I didn't comment on it, because I have a 1-day comment gag rule on extremely controversial statements. There's usually a clarification the next day, as happened here.

But what you said about the recent sins of Christendom, and being fishers of men was so right on the mark, I wanted to stand in my chair yelling AMEN! If I hear the words "family values" or "peace and justice" eminating from a pulput, I know I'm not in church, but at the Religious Arm of the RNC or DNC, respectively.

Jesus gave us the ultimate example. He never petitioned Ceasar for ANYTHING, because that's not how you change the world. You do it one heart at a time.

At 1:46 PM, November 30, 2006, Blogger Malia said...

We may be thinking alike but you write it out so much better than I do!

At 4:51 PM, March 11, 2007, Blogger Scott Starr said...

I am coming in on this thread pretty late- but in case you did not see Camp's response to the controversy I have it posted HERE

He did a good job gently defending. P.S. I like your analogy about fishers.


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