Religion encourages us to believe
Politics encourages us to respect the beliefs of others.
Religious beliefs divide us into groups.
Politics unite us around shared interests.
For most of history, churches and church groups were very diverse and, therefore, divided from one another. That division had a positive effect. It kept churches from uniting and dominating society.
With consensus around a few ideas, however, that has changed. Churches have become politically rather than spiritually driven. Instead of trying to save souls – the thing they were commissioned to do – they’re trying to police souls and clean the world up.
What I’ve just described feels good to the faithful. It has the ring of rationality to it. What can be wrong with standing for the right? Anything other than opposing wrong seems too much like cowardice but regardless how courageous it may seem, that approach is not a replacement plan for the Great Commission and it won’t work. The world is not going to change for the better because we treat it with a dose of Lysol. Things won’t get better and God won’t be pleased.
Politics vs Religion
Politics and religion are both important but for two very different reasons. Neither can replace the other but there is friction between the two. They didn’t get along in the past and they don’t get along now for very obvious and acceptable reasons.
The capstone of politics, the one thing that makes it work, compromise, is the one thing churches have a long history of not tolerating. The one thing churches have done repeatedly, divide and go their separate ways (remember the Pilgrims), is the one thing governments can’t do.
But it’s not a stalemate. The idea isn’t for the two institutions to blend or mirror one another or vie. Each has an important job to do. Each needs to respect and allow the free function of the other.
Churches, however, are not comfortable with that idea. The Great Commission is the answer to their angst but it’s apparently not enough to keep them from interfering. [Read more…] about Has The Great Commission Been Supplanted By Politics