Thursday, December 08, 2005

A year in the books

So . . . yesterday marked my one year anniversary for starting the old God, Superman, and Buckeyes blog. Thanks to all of you who check here frequently and offer your two cents on occassion. It has proved to be a great format to share pictures with family, share ideas with friends, and even meet a few people along the way. All in all, it has been quite the blessing. I am absolutely amazed at the maze of blog rings one can get sucked into as you travel the blogs out there. I have seen just how many people there are out there writing about similar things that I do. It's a great way to see the way God is working. His diversity is evident as well (there are many more folks out there who think much differently than I.)

Mary Beth and I are in a small group that meets on Thursday nights. Tonight we have finally made it to Romans 13. That should be a fun chapter and spur plenty of thoughts and conversation (it's about submitting to the authorities and such). I, unfortunately, have some way some how come out a little differently than most when it comes to this issue (in other words, I'm not the most patriotic person in the world). I love my country, but the way so many Christians blindly worship the "empire," frankly scares me a bit. This sounds like a crazy, liberal idea, but it is actually quite rooted in my tradition. I was excited to see David Lipcomb's Civil Government online in it's entirety. If what I say in this post angers you at all, you should check out Lipscomb's book. It will challenge the way you view the society in which you serve.

Michael W. Smith (a Christian artist I love and respect immensely) really disappointed me by including a song about the American flag on his worship album. Following incredible worship songs about the blood of Jesus and the sovereignty of God there is a idol-ridden song about the red, white, and blue (I can feel the arrows already coming at me as I write this). Since September 11, 2001, churches in this country have become increasingly more imperialistic and blindly follow the "empire" guised in language of "right" and "justice."

I think all Christians would be well-served to read Lipscomb's book and consider the implactions moving from the context of Civil War in which he originally wrote to our age of "terrorism" and see how that might influence our relationship within the civil society. Frankly I am disturbed with the ease that Americana has found its way into the church. Examples: an elderly person at our church (whom I love and admire greatly) sports a lapel pin in the shape of the cross adorned with red, white, and blue stripes and stars. What does the cross have to do with the American flag? I'm afraid we are too quick to defend our country without critically considering the implications of our imperialistically minded theology that is, in my opinion, contrary to the Gospel.

OK . . . when I sat down to write this, I did not intend to write so much . . . I'll pick up on this subject later . . . and I'll be shocked if there aren't many who have opinions to share . . . and I welcome them. This is nothing I am hellbent on . . . but it is something that has for whatever reason become prominent in my thinking lately.

PS. Our first winterstorm is on its way so be prepared for some great pictures!


Brian said...

Congratulations! It occurred to me yesterday that your blog's anniversary had arrived when you mentioned having an 11 month old. When I read that, I looked in the archives and saw that your anniversary was coming up. Oh ye of little patriotism, you have more than you realized. I mean, you did start your blog on Pearl Harbor day, after all.

Speaking of anniversaries, happy 6th to you and MB.

I'm not sure who you expect to angry with you. I'm certainly not. You and I may disagree on this immensely, but I have come to expect that out of you and it doesn't bother me a bit. But I do think "empire" and "imperial" are a strong choice of words.

Metz said...

Thanks for the post. We disagree "immensely"? Wow . . . ha ha. Yeah, at least we know where we are. Ha ha. Hey, check out this link: (sorry, I couldn't get the hyperlink to work). It's a review of a documentary entitled, "Theologians Under Hitler" done by Lipscomb professor Lee Camp (who studied under staunch pacifist J.H. Yoder to give your fair warning). His final question is biting to my ears:

"Are American churches raising disciples to new life in the Kingdom of God? Or are we raising them to pledge allegiance to a god of our own empire?"

Revelation's take on the empire was that it was the mode of operation of the devil. The empire he spoke of was of course the Roman empire. If you look at the world today, you've got China quickly up and coming, but really there is only one great world power: United States. I guess that doesn't necessitate it being an "empire" but I really the term works for me. You can call it (us) what you want, but I think empire is consistent. And, outside of the U.S. I would imagine the great majority of the world counts the American spirit/sense of justice/sense of duty as imperialism. Perhaps all of them are wrong and we're right.

And we only got like two inches of snow. Those news people are full of crap.

Mark said...

Don't worry Adam...I've got your back. I completely agree with your view. I've had many conversations with people about my "lack of patriotism" because I'm not a fan of the Pledge of Allegiance. I have a hard time announcing my allegiance and undying loyalty to anything but God. Allegiance is an unswerving the rate our country is going, I won't pledge my loyalty to something that will directly oppose God.

Sorry...I was showing how I back you & started my own rant.

Brian said...

To anyone reading this who does not know me, Adam and I are good friends who have known for a long time that we view politics in very different manner. But we don't let that affect our friendship and brotherly love in Christ and I just want to make sure readers do not take my comments the wrong way.