Thursday, October 31, 2019

The last best hope for America

I came across this post from 2017 by accident and am re-dating it to today. Today was the day that the US House of Representatives voted along strictly party lines to proceed with impeachment proceedings against the president. I make no comment here as to the merits or not of the proceedings. But as much as my colleague's words rang true two years ago, how much more compelling are they today.

From July 2017:
From former district superintendent in the Memphis Conference of the United Methodist Church, Sky McCracken:
In my opinion, the most powerful force in Christianity - if it wants to be - is a local church who decides to be a community of faith and discipleship in the manner of Jesus for its neighborhood, instead of a chapel for members who like things "just the way they are." No law, no entity, no politician has any power against such a force. Regardless of the happenings, fear mongering, and media hype of the last few weeks, they pale against the total history of God's presence with His people - which has always been unrelenting and ever-pursuing. I'll quote Bill Hybels:
"For eight years...I went to Washington, D.C., every month to meet in the foremost centers of power with some of the highest elected officials in our country. What I discovered was not how powerful those people are, but how limited their power really is. All they can actually do is rearrange the yard markers on the playing field of life. They can't change a human heart. They can't heal a wounded soul. They can't turn hatred into love. They can't bring about repentance, forgiveness, reconciliation, peace. They can't get to the core problem....I believe that only one power exists on this sorry planet that can do that. It's the power of the love of Jesus Christ, the love that conquers sin and wipes out shame and heals wounds and reconciles enemies and patches broken dreams and ultimately changes the world, one life at a time. And what grips my heart is the knowledge that the radical message of that transforming love has been given to the church. That means that in a very real way the future of the world rests in the hands of local congregations like yours and mine." - In his book, Courageous Leadership.
There is no political solution to the severe dysfunctions of America today because our national illness is not really political. It is spiritual. There will not be a better America until there are better Americans. That is the task for the Church today: to bring more and more people into the fullness of reconciliation to God through Christ so that we can be reconciled to one another. Absent that, our congregations are just religious clubs.