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8 Responses to “The Abolition of Politics?”

  1. Barnabas says:

    You appear to have missed the narrative of the personal being political, Mike. Leaving individuals vulnerable to their choice being surrendered to institutional or structural thinking. Discerning the spirit of a ‘prophet’ being a legitimate act. In addition, loving others as you love yourself. IMO poor teaching discourages ‘love’ for self to the extent God loves us. Judgement appears to have replaced discernment. The community of faith appears reluctant to journey with the personal http://philipyancey.com/the-gift-of-pain
    and distress, leaving the vulnerability to journey with another ‘force’ of direction in reflecting the essence of an ‘idol’. Sadly, the ‘abuse’ of ‘peace, peace, where there is no peace’ is prevalent in political and religious communities where ‘sharing in Christ’s suffering, death and resurrection’ is neglected, cutting this verse short by intent.
    Philippians 3:9-11Amplified Bible, Classic Edition (AMPC)

    9 And that I may [actually] be found and known as in Him, not having any [self-achieved] righteousness that can be called my own, based on my obedience to the Law’s demands (ritualistic uprightness and supposed right standing with God thus acquired), but possessing that [genuine righteousness] which comes through faith in Christ (the Anointed One), the [truly] right standing with God, which comes from God by [saving] faith.
    10 [For my determined purpose is] that I may know Him [that I may progressively become more deeply and intimately acquainted with Him, perceiving and recognizing and understanding the wonders of His Person more strongly and more clearly], and that I may in that same way come to know the power outflowing from His resurrection [[a]which it exerts over believers], and that I may so share His sufferings as to be continually transformed [in spirit into His likeness even] to His death, [in the hope]
    11 That if possible I may attain to the [[b]spiritual and moral] resurrection [that lifts me] out from among the dead [even while in the body].

  2. Bob Snelling says:

    I was introduced to the concept of “politicization” vs “politics” by James Davison Hunter in his book, To Change the World. While I don’t like living in the situation described in this “Abolition” read, I acknowledge how far well-meaning Christians have come in seeking a political “savior” while staying distant themselves from trying to serve our risen Savior when such service requires a great deal of sacrifice. Christendom in its modern form, if in fact it exists at all, negates the charge to marry, have children, build houses and seek the welfare of the city. When Christians return again and understand that Jeremiah 29 concept better, we may be moving once again to the healthy exercise of “politics”. God save us!

  3. Mike Metzger says:

    Bob is a friend, a former state rep, and an evangelical. I feel for him.

    In a nutshell, few evangelicals understand the distinction between politics and politicization. Politics is an institution. It’s good. Politicization is a culture. It’s not good. Cultures are the air we breathe… the water going through our gills. And therein lies the problem. Fish don’t know the difference between “good” and “bad” water. They only know water—the water passing through their gills. They are enculturated in whatever water passes through their gills. Most evangelicals are enculturated in a politicized culture. It’s the water passing through their gills. It is all they know. They are politicized but don’t know it. No one—not even Christians—get a free pass from being enculturated. God created us to swim in cultures, hence the first mandate—make cultures (Genesis 2:15). Over the last century, evangelicals have been poor at making cultures. They’ve have instead been molded by them. Bob, you see this. Your fish friends don’t. It is heartbreaking. But it’s also evidence of not being faithfully present in politics. It’s more the case that evangelicals have been unfaithful, politicized in a politicized culture.

  4. Dave T says:

    I dunno Mike. Let’s say you’re right – and that you are the fish who can discern that the water passing thru your gills and everyone else’s gills is politicization vs. good politics. But are you saying that while involved in the deep end of good politics? And let’s say that there are many forms of good politics – like what you do – consulting on cultural issues. But: one of things you’re not doing is wading into the deep water of being in anyone’s campaign or anyone’s administration…you’re not in the belly of the beast trying to maintain good politics amidst politicization. So since you’re not, how do we know from you how to do this well? It’s too tempting to think that one knows how to do something from good theology or good philosophy – but when one wades in, and does well, that’s who I want to hear from. Are you reading from or meeting with anyone like that? Haidt, I don’t think, is involved in the deep end, is he? I hear so many Christians adjuring us to stay away from Clinton & Trump. But the opposite is true: we need Christians inside their camps helping the candidate or the winning administration to do better, to do well, to help the king rule well, as opposed to staying outside of it all.

  5. Mike Metzger says:

    Dave T: There is a way to get an outsider’s perspective–a roundtable. That’s mostly tyne infrastructure in which I work.

    As an aside, note that George Will has decided to leave the Republican Party. He announced this Saturday. Hmmm…

  6. Russell Brown says:

    Thank you Mike for one of your as usual thought provoking commentaries. I also appreciated the other replies by your colleagues. My only observation relates to one sentence where you mentioned the dislike for the candidates by the voters and the intention for many to stay at home and not vote. For me this is very discouraging and short sighted on their part without them fully considering the importance of their participation. It is certainly not what was contemplated in the brilliance of our beloved leaders who crafted the Constitution. It makes about as much since as George Will’s declaration he is abandoning the Republican party.
    Lastly I don’t believe it is the Evangelicals who have failed our country and created the water we now swimming….I think the church as a whole needs to do some self reflection and realize our Church looks and reacts much like the culture around us. We certainly need repentance and Not voting is the last thing we need to do.

  7. Mike Metzger says:

    Agreed.

  8. Dave T says:

    For Russell Brown and Mike: I may be late to knowing what you both may already know, but Better for America’s J.K. is a pal’o mine and is likely to deliver a very vote-able candidate. That makes this dismal election a bit more exciting. Stay tuned! (At least I think I might actually vote after all.)

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