PopeFrancisThe pope’s speech, inasmuch as he addresses the big issues, should reflect Christianity. Christianity does not allow for ideological complacency. If I, as a red blooded American right winger, want to be a true Christian, it is going to create friction with my nationalism, capitalism, and my ethnocentrism. If I am left wing, generally speaking, Christianity is going to call me out on homosexuality, abortion, monogamy, chastity.

The trendy thing to do is if you disagree with a doctrine, you write it off as cultural, the bigotry of Paul, etc. You fashion a Christianity that pretty much leaves you alone and comfortable. Anyone who is serious abut Christianity will encounter this challenge with reconciling faith with culture, ideology etc.

Pope Francis has been blunt in his attacks on wealth and power, which is generally speaking what he should do. If anything, I think the worst thing that ever happened to Christianity was its intertwinement with the power structure of Western European civilization. The big question is if he’ll fold on the social issues.

If the pope makes two thousand years of theology turn out to precisely match politically correct culture in Europe and America in the year 2015, that will be a major disappointment and a major loss of credibility. I hope the pope will be where he needs to be, challenging everybody, not letting anybody off the hook. We shall see.

2 Responses

  1. While you do a good job in striving to stay on a level ground between the Right and the Left, I have to admit that I found it very interesting, and amusing, at how the Evangelical community felt alone and ignored last week during the visit from this man of compassion, mercy and peace. Now I find writers and bloggers telling us how we should sift it all out.

    The problem with many Evangelical churches is that though they claim to be voice of balance, they actually have always had an uneasy alliance with the Right Wing; while those of the Right have often been an embarrassment, they are accepted by more thoughtful Evangelicals as necessary to preserve the political and social order. But the visit from the Pope has caused these churches to now feel left behind. But what should we expect? His compassion for the poor and the oppressed, and his desire and work for peace has left a mark on the minds of many in this country, minds that will never be the same, and that leaves churches having to make a fateful decision as to how they are going relate to these minds that have actually progressed a little further than they in just a matter of a week.

    1. To give a concrete example of what I am speaking of above, too many church leaders in the Evangelical community, though they would state they wish to be even and fair, would, if they had to choose, prefer their members to trust someone like Rush Limbaugh over someone like Rachel Maddow; or someone like Pat Robertson over Cornel West. The trust factor within Evangelical Christianity is in dire need of a heart transplant, along with some stimulation for the intellect.

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