Saturday, January 05, 2008
Politics and the Kingdom
Yesterday I went with the honorable, Glenn Johnson, to see Charlie Wilson's war and it got me thinking. The film in and of itself is well done and did what I'm sure it set out to do. Tell the story of how we helped Afghanistan defeat the Soviet Union in the 1980's to help the U.S. win the Cold War while leaving it open to questions of how it may have created the kind of infrastructure vacuum that created the Taliban regime, Bin Laden as a folk hero and eventually 9/11. I think it did just that.
However, it got me thinking on another level. It graphically used the political motives and leverages of God, Religion and the Church. All was fair game in power and manipulation as long as it suited the humanist end, in this case helping helpless Afghans.
So here are my questions?
1) From a Kingdom worldview, are not the lives of the Russians as valuable as Afghans? They kept repeating the phrase "killing Russians" as their goal and each time it made me cringe. In a war, we de-humanize our enemies and legitimize any action we may take towards them. In the 80's, the U.S. had an ethic that it was okay to kill Russians. Now those ethics have shifted. Now it is okay to kill Afghans and label them terrorists to fit our new political agendas and war mongering. We no longer want to kill Russians, just terrorists, whoever they may be. The largest target is an Afghan named Osama Bin Laden. The ethics have shifted.
2) Is it really okay for the Church to want to get into bed with political powers of shifting ethics? The National spotlight on the 2008 elections has a clear view of the Evangelical vote as a leveraged power player. Is this the game the Church should be in? Is this the hope for the U.S.? Forget that question, is this our best idea to be the hope for the world? In this cynic's opinion, the compromises required to play in this kingdom's political power systems causes the Church to lose its identity as an agent of action following the Sermon on the Mount, not shifting ethics.
Politics are fundamentally about the acquisition of worldly power. The Kingdom of God is fundamentally about the disengagement with this world's agenda and the inner transformation to a Kingdom agenda. They are diametrically opposed. I will vote and participate in the elections, but I cannot abdicate an alliance between the Church and Political entities.
feel free to argue back. so much for avoiding religion and politics in public arenas. i've never been good at following rules ;)