Wednesday, January 06, 2021

It's easy—when you dichotomize things

What we have in many sectors of the church is the insidious temptation to combine an otherworldly two-realm worldview with the “us versus them” sociological dualism in a most pernicious way. The hybrid worldview allows us piously to affirm the ideal of the equality of all people in the sight of God (as a “spiritual” truth), while continuing with our entrenched and self—serving “us versus them” framework in the “real” world of politics and economics, in matters of the social order and the nation—state (and even in the family, in relationships between males and females). In the realm of the “sacred,” we are quite willing to declare the equality of all people and to share the gospel (understood in a minimalist sense, as the way to “heaven”); but in the “secular” realm of realpolitik on earth, we horde our wealth and cling to our (national, class, economic) privilege. Granted, perhaps we might give away some of our wealth as charitable giving or tithing, but this requires no substantial change in our way of life, in our this-worldly (well-nigh idolatrous) commitments to success, Inaterial progress, and national identity.—J. Richard Middleton, A New Heaven and a New Earth, 274–75

<idle musing>
I would go further and say it isn't "well-nigh idolatrous"—it is idolatrous!
</idle musing>

No comments: