Church and politics

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I’m not a big listener to NPR. Honestly, I don’t even know where it is on the dial in the DFW area. But I caught an engaging conversation during its Speaking on Faith program on Saturday. The host facilitated a conversation about the church and politics between leaders from three generations of evangelicals. Great, thought-provoking stuff.

I was struck by a quote from Shane Claiborne. Made me laugh a little. Made me think a lot more.

I think that when we’re called to be this new humanity, this new kind of people, a part of what we’re — we have an identity that transcends nation or family, you know, that as Chuck was saying, a love for our own people is not a bad thing. But our love doesn’t stop at the border. Right, I mean, we’ve got a transnational family that’s incredible, that’s ancient. I really learned that when I was in Baghdad. When I was over in Iraq, I met with this bishop after one of the most powerful worship services I’ve ever seen. I said, ‘I had no idea that there’s so many Christians in Iraq.’

He looked at me and he was very gentle, but he said, ‘Yeah, this is where it all started.’ [Laughter]. He said, ‘That’s the Tigris River and that’s the Euphrates. Have you heard of them?’ Then he told me, he said — I kid you not — he said, ‘You didn’t invent Christianity in America. You only domesticated it. You go back and you tell the church in the United States that we are praying for them to be the body of Christ.’

What’s your reaction to the quote?

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One Response to “Church and politics”

  1. wickle Says:

    In general, Americans don’t recognize that the rest of the world has any diversity to it. Tariq Aziz is/was (I don’t recall … was he killed?) some kind of nominal Christian. There are many in Iraq and Iran, but we tend to think of them all as Arabs and Muslims (as if the two terms were synonyms, at that).

    Christians in the Middle East, in general, have a low opinion of us in the US because of what we do to them. I’ve heard more from Christians in Palestine than Iraq, but I’m sure that the same concept applies.

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