Jim makes some fascinating points on contemporary Christianitys stance on separating the sacred from the secular, perhaps even more poignant as to how such a stance ties into the genocide in Rwanda.
He also mentions a parishoners comment about paid clergy getting to live God’s way in sort of an alternate world. Again the separation of the spiritual from the secular world.
In the comments, a fellow mentioned an Orthodox priest’s blog where he looks at things in a similiar vein. Ie the separation aspect. The title is Christianity in a one storey universe, its a must read.
Now, as Lutheran, this could be problematic sort of…. We have Luthers two kingdoms to consider, where he specifically looks at authority in 2 parts, the spiritual realm, and the secular realm. Apart from it being historical within my faith tradition, scripture backs it up pretty solidly. Ie, Jesus states his kingdom is not of this world, and to render unto Caesar etc. However, one has to go a bit further, and look at what Paul wrote as well… We are to obey authority, but only up to the point where it does not conflict. This is also driven home in Revelation as concerns the beast.
The thing is, Luthers 2 Kingdoms, Christ’s words, Paul’s writings as concerns the separation aspect, really only look at the civil authoritation role… they do not split life as a whole into secular and spiritual. (Fwiw, just as I wrote about earlier today, wearing the minister hat or the tech hat in life… I split it right there… today!!!!) Looks like I really needed to hear Jim’s sermon!
And I know this… I get bent out of shape over errant eschatology, as it often makes heaven on a separate plane… and it leads to a rather cavalier approach to the hear and now, just as a focus on fire insurance soteriology, as contrasted with a sacremental life of picking up the cross, and its continual connection and walk with God in the hear and now… rather than yearning for the next at the expense of today.
Of course there is a hope aspect… sometimes things can be pretty dark in the hear and now, yet that is where Revelation also gives us hope in the here and now. Its only when we misdirect our readings and put the hope and love presented in Revelation, that we get in unobtainium domains, and hope changes to trouble and love fades.