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Bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter

January 2, 2007

Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity! Psalm 133:1

Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter! Isaiah 5:20

I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given me; for they are thine….They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. John 17:9, 16

If anyone still thinks the Chief Executive of the United States is a Christian, perhaps he should have his irises scanned so he can be returned home safely in the event that he should wander off.

But really, the President is trying to be conciliatory. Unfortunately, he is attempting to do something illogical: to reconcile the irreconcilable.

When the President asserted that he was a “man of faith,” my rhetoric-navigation sensors immediately bleeped. Which faith, exactly? Church attendance, lighting Kwanzaa candles, and serving up tasty Ramadan feasts on White House china have to make one wonder. A conciliatory answer was forthcoming at one point: Jesus is the man’s favorite philosopher.

Christians should be quick to correct misunderstandings among themselves and restore peace, because it is the bond of Christ that is at stake. But there is absolutely no way that Christians can live in a state of conciliation with the world. They can live peaceably, but not conciliatorily.

The world is very conciliatory. The world vision (weird that a so-called Christian organization would choose that name for its brand; but then, it also owns a teen nightclub in downtown Tacoma) is that we should all worship each other’s gods, celebrate each other’s holidays, and just all get along. The vapid song, “It’s a Small, Small World” pops up on a National Institutes of Health website.

The Church cannot reconcile to this vision. Peace at any price is the world’s capital; it’s good for business and maybe people will let each other live. The Christian cares about business and about life. But he knows, or should know, that conciliation to that which is irreconcilable opposes God, faith, and life.

Multi-faith tributes are the world’s means of furthering its conciliatory vision. It is certainly natural that the United States would lead this egalitarian scheme of religious fairness. If Christianity is “honored” along with Islam and the completely farcical Kwanzaa, two antichrist agendas are formally validated, but Christianity is dishonored for want of exclusivity. It is Christ who is dishonored, lest we think of Christianity as a mere religious format separate from the moral law and actual presence of God.

Exclusivity and conflict are abominations to the world. Christianity is exclusive and as such it is irreconcilable with other religions. The Mars Hill mentality prevails: philosophy is so interesting, and new things are even more so. Christianity is not a philosophy, but the expression of the truth as the identity of God.

When a head of state attempts to reconcile the irreconcilable as a matter of policy, it is a confusion: it is a confounding of like and unlike together. This is the legacy of the religiously permissive state; it is a different legacy from what we would have enjoyed at the hands of a religiously exclusive state.

The multi-faith state is where we live and work, and it employs with the fruit of our labor the leaders for whom we pray. The next phase, after a multi-faith state, is likely a no-faith state. It’s the only fair thing to do; if we can’t all get along, no more religious privileges. That will be largely out of our control. But we still cannot reconcile faith with falsity.

2 comments:

Victorbravo said…
What a mess we’ve gotten ourselves into. Our committment to freedom of religion, which originally meant freedom from state-imposed denominations, has lead to freedom from orthodox Christianity.I thank God that we still have freedom to worship, and I don’t pretend that there is overt persecution, but the public promotion of false religion is bad enough.
12:48 PM  
Laura said…
Yes, and when the ones promoting it are often self-styled conservative Christians, that makes explaining orthodoxy—especially since the 1920s and 30s—all the more of an ordeal. I’d much rather be mistaken for a fundamentalist than the same sort of conservative as our president.
4:47 PM  
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2 Comments
  1. Heidi permalink
    January 5, 2007 8:13 am

    Lauren, this reminded me of a post Laura did awhile back citing the glory of Christianity that there are things worth fighting for: and how most of us have lost those things, and are ready to lay down arms and lose what would have been worth war, at least, for something that can never be worth peace. Peace can only be meaningful if the price paid for it is meaningful. But ‘peace at any price’ is a sham, both in the cost and the idea that peace is what is purchased. Peace is to be reconciled: not simply conciliated.

    I liked what you said about exclusivity. Christianity is not just another way to truth, while Christ said He is the only way. You can’t make Him out to be one among many, when He put Himself apart.

  2. January 5, 2007 8:23 am

    “lose something that would have been worth war, at least, for something that can never be worth peace.” No one could say it better than that.

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