Tuesday, October 12, 2004

Why I Personally Do Not Blog Politics

Why I Personally Do Not Blog Politics

Here we are in the most stormy political season in recent memory and yet not a word from this blogger on politics. This reality is quite intentional on my part. I have a “no political blogging” policy. Why do I personally refuse to blog politics?

First, it is not because I do not have political opinions. I do have political opinions and pretty strong ones. The reason I do not blog politics is because I do not see politics as the fundamental issue facing the church or the world today. What is the most urgent need in America in October 2004?

I find that in blogdom, very few bloggers address directly the real problems facing our communities, our homes, our churches and our lives. I respect all these people with valid, well informed, and well articulated opinions on politics, theology, church culture, music, and all the things people blog about. But what is most vital and indeed most urgent? What is the real need that the church and the pastor is called to provide solutions for?

Is not the church called to bring people into a purer life of worship and moral action? This process of teaching and learning is called discipleship. The church is called to bring to people of every culture and every language and every season in life the answers to the human desire to live a more morally beautiful and spiritually abundant life.

I have been all around the church, and what I have found is that this “job description” of the church and church leadership is usually not the strong suit of most of the leadership of the church. Because of this weakness, the addict goes to AA instead of the church. The depressed and confused go to the psychologist. Why? Could it be because the church has not been providing the answers to meet life’s crisis and challenges for awhile now? Could it be that there is a credibility crisis in the relationship between the church and the world? What is the root of this gulf between the church’s calling and its actual practice? The real root causes of the problem, as I see it, is the following:

1. Many American and Western believers are stuck in a thinking instead of doing definition of what it means to be a Christian. Yoda, in the Empire Strikes Back, said, “Either do or do not do. There is no try”. For many reasons, including theological reasons, we, the modern Christian, does not seem to understand that the purpose of our Christian faith is not to change our worldview but to change our world. Every aspect of our private and public life needs to be seasoned with the moral attributes of our Lord. Thinking rightly is not enough. Thinking rightly is but the beginning of the journey. Intention is not enough. Intention is only the beginning of the journey. The goal is to live every aspect of the life of Christ as individuals and to become a morally beautiful community as congregations. Nothing else is acceptable, and we as churches and individuals need to sense the reality of the current crisis in the Christian witness.

2. The Root of the Problem is often in the area of prayer and prayerful affection for the Lord. The promotion of affection is John Piper’s point in his continual focus on "delighting” in God and being "satisfied" in Him. The idea is that a personal history of heartfelt delight and pleasure in God is the strength to live a holy life. Because I agree with this assessment and see the positive effects of affect in my own life, this blog likewise tries to 'illustrate the experience' of heartfelt prayer and worship. Our current look is at the difference between a legal and a gospel orientation toward God in prayer. For example, this gospel posture will be the topic of my sermon this week.

3. The last big discipleship need is the need for mentoring in the church. We not only learn from experience but we learn from other people’s experience. The rabbinic model of the New Testament is desperately needed in the church. I do not want to go into this mode in detail (see the post “How Did We Get Here”) but let’s just say that this course of study based on observation and imitation is a great means to promote authenticity and transparency in the church.

So the point is the great need, even in October of 2004, in the world is not for a new president or to avoid a new president. There are few political solutions in the world. Instead, we the chuch and the observers of the church need to promote the most basic answers to the most urgent problems facing our churches and our world. These are urgent times indeed, and the urgent need is for a new paradigm, and in fact a reformation, of the discipleship process in the church.



Anonymous said...

Good post Brad. As for me, I'm just trying to be salt and light in a dark world. I'm working on a post in response to Mark Roberts' recent series on the Church and Politics in America. I'll be sure to consider your post as I work through the issues in my heart and my head.

Rick Brady
Stones Cry Out

Anonymous said...

thanks for the"right on the mark" post. It's been said of George Mueller that you could sense Ps.23 written all over him. If we had that presence why wouldn't an addict seek us (church) out for life change.

Mike (New Song)

Diane said...

Fantastic blog!

I read about this post at another site (TotemtoTemple). And today my blog readers will be encouraged to read it too.
Have you read Adrian Warnock's blog recently? He is in England and asks the quetion--is there any American Christian blogger out there that does NOT constantly talk about politics?
Yes, Adrian, there actually are a few of us out here....LOL.

Your assessment of what REALLY needs to be done is very right on!

By the way, we live about 25 minutes apart::)

Mojoey said...

I appreciate that you don’t post on politics. After all, I read your blog everyday already and find it very hard to understand as it is, I cannot imagine the problems I would have if you tried to explain politics to me (My brain hurts just thinking about it). Let us save political discussions for our lunch breaks. By the way, my favorite Yoda quote is "Always two there are. No more, no less. A master and an apprentice."

And, the actual Yoda quote is "Try not. Do, or do not. There is no try." Of course, I am a total star wars nerd.


Ben said...

Just want to say thanks for this post. I don't blog politics and link to few who do. My focus is on marriages, restoring broken marriages and how a true broken heart leads to a deeper relationship with God and with ones spouse.
I was talking with my wife about my parents who are going to vote democrat and how I think they aren't involved in really giving of themselves so that gov. social programs and supporting them help them to feel like they are helping.
Then my wife, the voice of truth, helped me to realize I was kidding myself and that there were many on both sides all talk and no action in day to day arenas.
Thanks for you blog. I'll hook up a link.