Friday, December 28, 2007

My Christmas Message

There is Christianity lite and there is Christianity heavy. Christianity lite is “loving our neighbor” and the story of the Good Samaritan. Christianity heavy on the other hand is distilled in Martin Luther’s great hymn, “A Mighty Fortress is Our God.” It goes like this: (I suggest you study each phrase carefully.)

A mighty fortress is our God, a bulwark never failing;
Our helper He, amid the flood of mortal ills prevailing:
For still our ancient foe doth seek to work us woe;
His craft and power are great, and, armed with cruel hate,
On earth is not his equal.
Did we in our own strength confide, our striving would be losing: Dost ask who that may be? Christ Jesus, it is He; Lord Sabaoth, His Name, from age to age the same,
And He must win the battle.

During the current run for presidency, most of the candidates have felt called on to give a statement of their faith, and those who did, treated us to Christianity lite. During the You Tube debate, even the minister Huckabee described his belief as “Loving your neighbor” and “Except you do this unto the least of these my brethren, you do it unto me.”

If that is the sum of being Christian, then who needs a major revelation from the Creator of the Universe to tell us that? Most world systems from Communism, Atheism, Islam etc. have their systems of helping their neighbors. Loving your neighbor is what the secular mind believes religion to be all about and is the type of doctrine a secular mind would develop should a person be so disposed to make up his or her own religion.

We live in a very dangerous and evil world. Christianity lite does not give us an explanation of evil. With Christianity lite, politicians can end up looking for only psychologically understandable sources of evil and consequently psychological remedies such as: People in the ghettos are violent because they are physically or psychologically deprived. People in the Middle East attack us because they feel under cultural threat from us. People throughout the underdeveloped world butcher each other because they are exploited. If we would only love our neighbors, meet their needs, reduce their frustrations, we could have peace on earth.

Naive explanations lead to naive solutions. Naivete regarding evil leaves people exposed to evil. Posted by the Rev. Don Clark, Ed.D.


Fellow Priest said...

Don, this is a great post. Thanks for sharing it. I am forwarding the link sent to me by a fellow priest. This is a blistering critique of the watered-down substitute gospel being preached by the Archbishop Rowan
Williams and others of his ilk - coming from an interesting source. The critique of his Christmas sermon is in the same spirit as your post. Blessings

Blogger said...

Fellow Priest, When I first read our Archbishop's Christmas sermon the day it came out, I could not believe my eyes. I said to my wife, "What is the man thinking! Here we are in the midst of this great Anglican crisis and he comes out with a message which sounded like some college sophomore who has lost his faith."

That message was the last thing he needed to do at this moment when our church is coming all apart precisely because of bishops who have lost their way. I sure hope he will have the good sense to resign and do it quickly. He is the wrong person at the wrong time.

Thanks for the link.

Anonymous said...

Lets never forget that Jesus spoke to the question of what were the greates commandments. The first one is to LOVE GOD WITH ALL OUR HEART, MIND, SOUL, AND STRENGTH. The second is like unto it. Love your neighbor as yourself. Family, lets stop playing politics with truth. Those of the faith of Jesus Christ have the mind of Christ. I want that person as my leader