Skip to content

The people of God and human history…

February 15, 2007

One is either a good German or a good Christian. It is impossible to be both at the same time.
–Adolf Hitler

Here is more medicine from Mere Discipleship, Lee Camp.

It is not nation-states that run the world or determine the real meaning and purpose of history, but God.

The Christ remains in the midst of our rebellious world, for he is in the church–and he continues to suffer. John’s Revelation proclaims that the continuity of the church’s witness in martyrdom, in participation in the blood of the Lamb, leads to victory (12:11). Just as Jesus was victorious through sacrificial death (5:6), so shall the saints be (7:4-14)

The church must first and foremost be a community of disciples of Jesus, and the primary agenda of the New Testament is calling us to be such a people.

An ekklesia, the Greek word for “church,” is an assembly that gathers together to discern how their common life ought to be ordered.

The love of Christ is no idealism, but an active love concretely exhibited in feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, being present to the oppressed.

“For Jews demand signs and Greeks desire wisdom, but we proclaim Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles.” 1 Corinthians 1:22-23

Followers of Jesus must be willing to follow him to the cross, to be crucified with him. The cross–foolishness to the principalities and powers, to the rulers of this age–is actually the wisdom of God, and the way of the church (1 Corinthians 2:1-13).

It is through the way of the cross–the way of weakness, suffering, and marginalization–that the Christian community is to reenvision all things, and to interpret the meaning of its existence.

“The world” schools us in self-preservation, self-maximization, and self-realization; “the world” trains us to live and die, to kill and wage war for the “American way of life.”

There is, even now, a new creation, a new world, a new humanity that proclaims a new way of life–and thank God for it, because the old, “the world,” has been crucified. It’s on its way out, and the new is already on the way in.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. Anonymous permalink
    February 16, 2007 11:57 pm

    Allow me to paraphrase Hitler. You cannot give ultimate allegience to both your country and your God. At what point does this reality begin to affect us as followers of Jesus?

    Can we be good Americans and Faithful Christians at the same time?


  2. Brian Miller permalink
    February 17, 2007 2:42 pm

    It strikes me that if the definition of what it means to be a “good American” represents a mixture of both good and sinful realties…then faithfulness to Christ will appropriate the medicine of the gospel to the points of sickness. The appropriation of the Gospel to our own lives and the culture will be a journey of healing. Good news is not always fun. If we are ready to face the prognosis, to be faithful Christians will mean that as we walk in the healing ways of Christ, the interaction with culture might be about as fun and/or welcome as chemotherapy. The treatment is part of the healing. Healing/salvation means being ready to identify where being a faithful Christian community is in tension with being a “good American.”

  3. Brad Wright permalink
    February 21, 2007 1:45 am

    An interesting post and discussion… I was reflecting this morning on how some Christians associate faith with the American way. I think you’re right that being a good American is both good and sinful… What would you say is the sinful aspect of American culture? I have some ideas, but I think you’ve thought about this a lot more.

    Also, good luck with your paper.

  4. Brian Miller permalink
    February 22, 2007 10:38 am

    Thanks for your visit and comments. I don’t have time to respond in depth to your question. Let me just offer some initial possibilities of where the American ideal is in tension with the call of Christ:

    self-realization (career, money, etc.) versus self-denial way of ordering life choices (the cross)

    capitalism as a survival of the fittest economic system ordering the pursuit of identity and meaning has a propensity lead to a materialistic expression of significance vs. a relationship with money and people in the Gospel that represents a radical reorientation (Upside down Kingdom) Blessed are the poor, Jesus tells the rich young ruler to sell all he has and follow him

    A “good American” (although this is debated in the public square) is ready to fight for the defense/interests of this country vs. Christians are called to live as aliens and strangers, seeking first the Kingdom of God in which King Jesus calls us to love our enemies and do good to those who persecute us–a test of allegiance (so we must wrestle with the tension that comes with being a citizen of the United States and a citizen of the Kingdom of God which are not one and the same even though some may act as though they are)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: