The Tomunist Manifesto, Vol. 1, Issue 2
A Fifth Way
Being of the sort who enjoys breaking down ideas into constituent elements, it has been of interest to me lately to attempt a brief analysis of “modes of political action” and offer a potential new way.
Good gracious… what a ridiculously pompous sounding opening sentence. I truly apologize. In any case, the question has arisen in my silly excuse for a mind: “After praying ceaselessly and simply Loving God and Loving People, what is the best way for a Christian living in America to affect change in this mad, mad, mad, mad world?” I admit that perhaps, doing those things is quite enough. And yet…
… we are still IN this world, though we be not of it.
And being in this world (and in this particular country) does require a certain amount of participation in the political process, in my humble opinion.
So what are the paths a Christian can take when choosing to act within the civic sphere?
*NOTE* These are not “groups” of people, but rather methods…ways of living within the political realm. These ways can and do overlap in people’s lives…but, overall, a person will generally follow one of these paths more than the others.
I offer these examples (with just a tinge of subjective editorial) –
- The Religious Right – moralize about social issues, such as Abortion and Homosexual Marriage. Try to use the Government to bring about a social change to a more Traditional mindset. Married to the Republican Party (in a heterosexual ceremony, of course).
- The Religious Left – moralize about social issues, such as Poverty and Racial Inequality. Try to use the Government to bring about social change to a more Progressive or Egalitarian mindset. In bed with the Democratic Party (though they sometimes feel a little dirty in the morning).
- The Infamous 3rd Way – moralize about everything by worshipping the mealy-mouthed middle. Two basic types of “moderates”: A) Those who lack the intestinal fortitude to take any kind of real stand and B) The smug set of cynics who righteously criticize both “extremes” without offering any kind of solutions themselves. Married to themselves (after all, who could stand to be wedded to either the icky Right or the raging Left?)
- Libertarian Idealist – Not necessarily a new path… but one that has recently gained a tremendous amount of steam. Usually a strange mixture of Jeffersonian, Randian, and Hedonist thinking. Very intellectually appealing… but perhaps too dependent on Enlightenment style humanism to mesh completely with Christianity. Lady Liberty is the only gal worth fighting for.
And so, I offer a possible “5th Way”….
Pray without Ceasing while Loving God and Loving People, to the ends of the Earth.
Hey… wait a minute!
That was a cop-out! (Not to mention that you are probably in violation of copyright laws by appropriating and paraphrasing Gateway Baptist Church’s mission statement!)
Copyright infringement aside…. I am thinking this is not a cop-out.
If we are truly praying without ceasing and communicating with God through reading His Word, a new path emerges. Without doubt, the most difficult path to take – but the only path a Christian should be seeking.
I am certainly not a shining example of following this 5th Way – as I started out on Path 1 when I was about 13 and have sort of drifted towards Path 4 in the past five years or so. That is a lot of years worth of serious thinking that has to be more or less melted away. But I am convinced that there is no better way for a Christian to function in this society than to eschew all 4 easy pathways.
Pray, Love God, Love People, and Follow where He is Moving.
That is the concept… I open it up to each individual to prayerfully explore what it means to apply it.
Personally, I am working my way through the implications in my life and as soon as I can put into concrete thoughts the effects of this (kill me for the cliché) new paradigm, I will attempt to put those thoughts into words.
In the meantime…
Agree, Disagree? Discuss, denounce, display… whatever floats your boat. 🙂