So, I have to be honest, I really can’t take churches that identify as “liberal” or “conservative” anymore.
And I know that’s saying a lot since many consider the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, my church body, to be “liberal, mainline, Protestant.”
If we are that, then we’re in trouble. We will, as a denomination, die if that is the case.
And we will die because a church cannot be rooted in God but worship a principality like a party platform or a political ideology.
We need to be a radical church.
Radical churches don’t flow with any political ideology, and yet they understand themselves to have a voice in the public square.
Radical churches understand that hunger can be temporarily alleviated through food pantries, but that systemic change only happens through hunger awareness, advocacy, and systemic upheaval.
Radical churches understand that talking about violence has less to do with “rights”, and more to do with how the Prince of Peace might call a Christian to respond.
Radical churches take seriously personal responsibility and communal responsibility.
In short, a radical ethic would be: our responsibility is to our neighbor and our neighbor’s responsibility is to us. This cyclical nature of Christian ethics should lead not to a party platform but to a subversive way of living in the world. We do not separate into sheep and goats, but rather once separated, jump over those lines to stand in solidarity with those who have been unjustly labeled.
Labeled either way.
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