Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Abandoning Social Change

Here is another article by Mr Keith Giles over at The Ooze.

This article is titled Another Law.

Here is the quote that sparked my interest in this article:
"Nothing underscores the failure of the American Church to overcome evil with good by commitment to the teachings of Jesus than this: We have abandoned social change by way of the Gospel and embraced social change by way of the courts, and politics, and law."
By the way, for those that are not familiar with the Ooze and are interested The Ooze is a website/blog/etc. put together by various church teachers, theologians, artists, storytellers, etc to collaborate on their experiences and thoughts. It is a site that is dedicated to the emerging Church culture.

15 comments:

  1. "We have abandoned social change by way of the Gospel and embraced social change by way of the courts, and politics, and law."

    If by "we" he means the left then I guess it has some truth to it.

    But if by "we" he means America... social change has always been determined by the courts, politics and law... which follows (or at least should follow) the will of the people. Murder is against the law and is also one of the Ten Commandments and so on.

    So according to Giles... if we disagree on abortion, gay marriage or other so-called moral issues, we shouldn't do it through laws.

    Christians shouldn't fight back legally, through the system designed specifically for that purpose by the founding fathers against issues contrary to our beliefs?

    Voters have always voted with their beliefs... what is the matter with this Giles dude?

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  2. I think he was going for a simpler idea than that Red. I think that he was stating that Christians should focus more on spreading the words of Jesus than participating in politics. Take this quote from the original article as an example: “The solution to the problems facing American society is not found in changing our laws, and even if it were that would be a job for a lawyer or a politician, not a follower of Jesus.” Or how about this one: “So, please don't get caught up in the political firestorm that rages around us. Please, as followers of Jesus, do not involve yourself in those partisan arguments and do not place your hope in the writing of another man-made law.”

    Here is a part that really stuck out to me –
    “There are already hundreds of thousands of laws on our books today. Every year we implement thousands more at the Federal, State and Local level. Our tax laws alone could choke an elephant, and new laws are constantly being written and amended every year.

    I have to ask, "Do all these laws make us safer?" Better yet, do all these laws make us a better nation? Do they make us a better people? Do they improve our lives? Do they bring us peace? Do they provide us with any real joy?”

    As you can see, Giles is not a raging leftist (at least I don’t see evidence on it based on this post, which is admittedly the only thing of his that I have read). My question for you Red, is this. Why do you go looking for the “left” in everything? Anytime there is anything that ruffles your feathers, you blame it on the “left.” You throw around platitudes and insults like you were giving candy to kids at Halloween in what comes off as knee-jerk reactions devoid of thought. Why is that? Did you even read the post that Steve referenced before going off?

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  3. I think this article is too vague and meaningless to comment on. What does he mean by the "American church?" Do we think this term actually means anything? Do you consider yourself part of the "American church?" What is that?

    My comments to the author would be if you feel like you shouldn't vote or be involved in politics, then have good reasons for it and don't, but don't encourage people to withdraw from the political system they are a part of just because you think some vague entity called the "American church" has been poorly involved in the past.

    And WHAT IN THE HECK does he mean by this sentence? "The solution to the problems facing American society is not found in changing our laws, and even if it were that would be a job for a lawyer or a politician, not a follower of Jesus." Is being a lawyer or politician AND a Christian at the same time somehow not within the realm of his narrow field of vision?

    I would really like to know more about this guy's beliefs. He sounds like one of those super conservative wackos who just wants to lock all his doors and hunker down in his basement with dehydrated food and pray for the rapture.

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  4. "I think he was going for a simpler idea than that Red. I think that he was stating that Christians should focus more on spreading the words of Jesus than participating in politics."

    This I think was the whole point of the article in my opinion. It seems to me that these days some members of the church focus more on politics than they do on spreading the love of Jesus.

    So Scott, I don't think he is really trying to encourage anyone to not participate in politics or even says that he does not vote himself. I think he is just trying to get a point across that some Christians are focused on the wrong things.

    Again, that is my opinion and that is what I took from the article and why I posted it.

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  5. So you think Jesus and his teachings aren't political or that Christians shouldn't vote based on their beliefs or that we shouldn't elect anyone from any religion to any political office... or that pastors shouldn't preach their politics from the pulpit?

    And yes dave... I looked into Giles before coming to a conclusion about his political leanings.

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  6. "If being a good American citizen means you need to cheer on a war that kills innocent people then you must lay aside your Christianity."

    Excuse me dave, but you don't hear those on the right calling the freedom of Iraqis "killing innocent people".

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  7. no, i don't think his teachings are political.

    yes, Christians should vote based on their beliefs.

    yes, we should elect those from any religion.

    no, pastors should not preach politics from the pulpit.

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  8. "Excuse me dave, but you don't hear those on the right calling the freedom of Iraqis "killing innocent people".

    No you don't Red. Most on the right don't care about the fact that there are many innocent people that have died because of the war. Or they consider them collateral damage. Either way, it is not a very Christian way of thinking.....in my opinion.

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  9. No... you are wrong steve. Conservatives certainly care about innocent lives.
    What you are missing is that it wasn't the Americans killing innocent people in Iraq.

    America doesn't go around the world killing innocent people despite what the left and the Obama controlled media tells you... America has consistently freed the oppressed and fought against those killing the innocent.

    Giles is an antiwar lefty who only criticizes those on the right and preaches politics from the pulpit of a church while preaching separation of state and church.

    He's a lefty and a hypocrite.
    Sorry.
    -red

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  10. American soldiers risked their own lives to protect the innocent in Iraq... many times getting shot and sometimes killed because they gave someone the benefit of the doubt.. so don't EVEN tell me that American men and women in uniform don't care about killing innocents.

    That's pure B.S.
    -red

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  11. I don't know of any conservative pastors who calls Americans "warmongers" and blames America and Israel for people suffering... believes Americans are killing innocent people in Iraq and also supports gay marriage... sorry guys but this guy is a lefty liberal Democrat Hypocrite.

    "When it comes to people suffering in war, whether at the hands of Israel, or America, or anyone, our response as followers of Christ should be to weep and to pray for peace. We are called by our Lord and Savior to be peace makers, not war mongers."
    "When it comes to issues like Gay Marriage, let us remember that we're all sinners and we all need the same Jesus and the same mercy and grace. Let us be dispensers of grace, mercy and love, not hate, judgment and bitterness. God is still in control and our calling is still to be people who are filled with the radical love of God."

    Peace,
    Keith
    www.KeithGiles.com

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  12. "Our participation in the campaign for 'hope and change' does not end at the polls" - Keith Giles

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  13. This quote you posted here, the "When it comes to people suffering.............radical love of God."

    Is this your quote or is it one of Giles?

    I like this quote. I agree with it.

    If it is his, I do not see that as lefty liberal Democrat hypocrite. I see that as someone who actually believes the teachings of Jesus.

    We as Christians should weep for the killing of the innocent and pray for peace.
    We as Christians should should the peace makers. Read the Sermon on the Mount if you don't believe me on that one.
    We should remember that we are ALL sinners and need the same mercy and grace.
    We should all be dispensers of love, not hate.

    Honestly, if a person calls themselves a Christian and does not agree with that statement, perhaps, I need to pray big time for them!

    Anyone, in my opinion, that thinks war is the answer to everything and calls themselves a Christian, is a hypocrite. Sorry.

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  14. "Our participation in the campaign for hope and change does not end at the polls."

    Another quote I agree with. In many ways, in fact, I would go so far as to say that in some cases, the polls have nothing to do with hope and change.

    Sometimes, politics has nothing to do with either one.

    Red, I am sorry to say that you are sounding more and more like one of those people that espouse politics, in your case, specifically conservative politcs as almost another religion. I hope that not to be true.

    I would have thought you would be one of those people that would cling to the idea that the government can not and will not solve all of our problems that way I do.

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  15. 1- Hope and Change was the mantra for Obama in case you forgot.

    2- I know of no person, Christian or otherwise that believes war is the answer to everything- nice straw man though.

    3- I am not in favor of the government "solving all our problems" just the opposite... nor am I for the "new Christian left" to run the government while claiming to be against separation of state and church either.

    The inability to see the hypocrisy in people like Giles sounds like more of a cult follower type relationship than a religion or church.

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