I want to preface this by saying that I am finding myself increasingly not alone. Some of my most admireds are saying some of the same things. Greg Boyd, Mark Van Steenwyk, …parker and others… although my thoughts are my own, coming from a number of years of thinking about this. During this time, it seems to come up more and more as people wonder where I stand. This may be the only post on this subject unless something else is spawned from comments. I welcome the feedback.
The last few conversations on this regard came from questions from Ben and Tony… so thanks, you guys, for spurring the ideas.Emergent, contemplative, Celtic… all feed into my understanding of my place in this world and how disconnected I want to be with the political process. I am primarily concerned with the kingdom of God that Jesus talks about, primarily concerned with what is happening from the heart to the relationship, and I am truly seeking to be as singular of mind and heart as I can. I believe that Jesus has taught us to be a certain way… regardless of who is in political power. If I can’t be this way, it is not going to matter whether someone I like or someone I don’t like is in power. No one with that much spotlight is going to stay true to a kingdom way of living.
It’s not that I think my vote won’t matter… it’s not that I don’t want to exercise my rights as an American citizen, or that I am taking that for granted… it’s not that I don’t care if someone in power is out for my best interests. These arguments are not enough for me to change my mind.
It is that I don’t want to be stretched thin. I don’t want so much of my thinking and research and concern to go into much other than relationships and transformation. I smile as I hear people talk of their concern or worry about what is going to happen in the elections. I think… “Huh… something reminds me of Jesus mentioning that we shouldn’t worry about tomorrow…” He talks about birds and flowers, dependent on God for all they need. He also talks about the need to not lobby for position… as his disciples desire to sit at his left and right hand.
Tony put something up on his blog regarding an email he received. Some great thoughts here.
You can’t escape ideology except by escaping politics altogether. You can, of course, form communities in which ideology doesn’t matter so much. Sure, society has long had many groups and whole institutions in which that was the case–sports clubs, for example. But it would be a mere confusion to think that the possibility of such communities somehow means that there is now magically another way of “doing politics.” No new political discoveries will come out of emergent Christianity, but if the community is actually made up of diverse people who actually tolerate people with viewpoints that are very different from their own, that’s fantastic.
I like this. Some may say we need to have an ideology. I’ve heard a lot that we are coming up with a “third way.” I don’t know if there will be a “third way,” but I do know that there will be some way… and it may not look like Jesus in the end. I am going to have to live differently in spite of that. I am going to have to adapt to that new way. I am a part of something much bigger… but it brings me much closer to home. I am part of something much more complex… but it brings me to a place of much more simplicity.