The Bellicose Church

Photo by Skull Kat on Unsplash

We have a problem. The politics of the day are a strong wedge far out-sizing the attractive force of fellowship among believers. Unity is lost under the rubble. The church in my area wouldn’t go across the street to help an immigrant, but they would blow the head off a democrat with any small justification.

“Finally, all of you, have unity of mind” 1 Peter 3:8

“I appeal to you, brothers, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ,

that all of you agree, and that there be no divisions among you”

1 Cor 1:10

Peter and Paul said these things because divisions were a problem from the beginning. But the level of rancor is new to me. In my lifetime probably the division between hippies and straights and between blacks and whites was as bad as this. Worse even, but I was too young to know it. This seems worse because now always seems worse.

There’s a quote I cannot recall, but I think it’s Bonhoeffer to this effect: “While I don’t doubt the church will survive (nazism), I wonder whether we will be able to stand each other afterwards.” I don’t yet believe we’ll be rounded up into camps for opposition to trumpism, but the currents of feeling and the animating evil behind the feelings are similar.

So what will the church look like when hate takes a holiday? When it awakes from the stupor? Smaller. Gathered in trusted groups in homes. Dedicated to action more than rhetoric. More like the new testament. That sounds good. A church that embraces belligerence doesn’t deserve to be called by the name of Christ.

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