Friday, November 04, 2011

Not the Christianity I know

Rev. James Gertmenian, the senior minister at Plymouth Congregational Church, has a great op-ed published at MinnPost today. Here's the lede:
When I look at our country today, I am astonished and angry that Christianity is invoked so often by those who pervert the teachings of Jesus in order to justify their own privilege and power. This is not the Christianity I know.
Amen, Reverend, Amen.

At least it isn't the one we want to know. If we engage in some painful self-reflection, however, we have to acknowledge that the Christian church has often stood for the status quo, for those with privilege and power against those who don't. From the Apostle Paul, who exorted slaves to shut up and obey their masters, right down to the present. On issues of slavery, women's rights, economic and social equality (read the third verse of the original "All Things Bright and Beautiful"), the divine right of kings, and just about any other cry for equality you can name, there is somebody in the church who is agin' it. The record is nigh on perfect.

Not every Christian can be or needs to be Dietrich Bonhoffer or Martin Luther King, but we do need more of them to be like Rev. Gertmenian, Christians who are willing to call hate and greed what they are, regardless of the cloaks they wear.

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