Disowning Conservative Politics, Evangelical Pastor Rattles Flock
Now this guy is conservative. He's not a liberal Christian who snuck in the back door of some conservative church and managed to belt out a sermon before security hauled him away. I don't agree with a lot of what he believes, from what little is mentioned in this article. But I very much approve of his view that the church should stay out of politics, and that the linking of conservative Christianity with political patriotism is an extraordinarily bad trend. Here are some quotes from the article:
"Before the last presidential election, [Boyd] preached six sermons called 'The Cross and the Sword' in which he said the church should steer clear of politics, give up moralizing on sexual issues, stop claiming the United States as a 'Christian nation' and stop glorifying American military campaigns."
"When you put your trust in the sword, you lose the cross."
"By the time the dust had settled, Woodland Hills, which Mr. Boyd founded in 1992, had lost about 1,000 of its 5,000 members."
This didn't stop him or change his mind, by the way. The man has the courage of his convictions.
"'Most of my friends are believers,' said Shannon Staiger, a psychotherapist and church member, 'and they think if you’re a believer, you’ll vote for Bush. And it’s scary to go against that.'"
Umm, yeah. "Scary" is a good word for that. Because the converse is that if you don't vote for Bush then you're not a believer and that kind of pressure from "most of your friends" could be very tough to overcome. :(
And Dr. Boyd isn't the only one preaching -- literally -- this message. There are others who feel the same way and are saying so:
"'There is a lot of discontent brewing,' said Brian D. McLaren, the founding pastor at Cedar Ridge Community Church in Gaithersburg, Md., and a leader in the evangelical movement known as the 'emerging church,' which is at the forefront of challenging the more politicized evangelical establishment."
Whatever other disagreements I might have with conservative Christianity, I'm rooting for the "emerging church," seriously. Read the article, and then cross a set of virtual fingers that the good guys who are finally speaking up end up winning this one.