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.