Posted by: alliehope | January 23, 2008

Something Stinks in the Kingdom (Intro)

As I sit here listening to the rumors and reports of the coming economic debacle here in America, I find myself wondering about Christians, specifically those of us who call ourselves evangelicals: what should this mean to us? Not just for our IRAs, pensions, 401(k)s, etc. (the bottom line, in other words), but for our spiritual lives, both as individuals and as a community–the New Community of Christ?

First off, it should be a serious wake-up call to just how tied in we are to what Brian McLaren calls the “theocapitalist” system. (See his new book,  Everything Must Change, for a good “quick and dirty” explanation of theocapitalism and how it works). It should act like caffeine to us as we ask the question, “What does it mean to engage with the Western system in which we live, knowing that Western capitalism has been accused of running counter to the spirit and ethos of Christ, the One whom we claim to follow?”

That’s big question number one, one that I don’t have any sort of an answer to, other than it should give a call to us to reorder our priorities, reexamine our commitments. It certainly wakes me up. After all, James tells us, “Now listen, you who say, ‘Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money’. Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes” (James 4:13-15, Today’s New International Version).

As I considered this issue (currently reading the aforementioned McLaren) and watched the Nightline report on today’s troubles, I stumbled in my internet wanderings into an excellent interview with Ronald Sider, a man whose brains I have long admired, though I must confess I have never read his books.

I have a lot going through my head, and this will take a few posts to sort through, I may well do a series of posts on this whole idea, finding out what “stinks in the Kingdom”, and what we can do to freshen the air. I look forward to this discussion, as there are so many of you out there who are as passionate about the issues of inequity and justice as I am. I look forward to a forum of intelligent discussion (no insults, please!) about this. Feel free to ask questions, the more provocative, the better. The floor is now yours.

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