If we have been listening well, religious beliefs have increasingly become the crux of relevant issues in this electoral campaign. The current debate concerning the involvement of Senator Obama in a liberation theology church clearly constitutes the case in point. For contrary to the perception of some, this issue has, at its root, nothing to do with race and everything to do with theology. In this direction for the sake of healthy race relations in this country, it is imperative that we thoroughly understand this point. For much totally misguided animosity has been elicited in recent days... This when, in truth, the positions expressed by Rev. Wright at the pulpit could be and indeed are also expressed by White or Latin clerics of his same theological persuasion.
To be sure, this issue has brought not a small amount of questions concerning race, belief and worship in America. Here, I scripturally intend to share what I perceive as the source of many of those questions.
To begin with, I believe that it is time to declare once and for all, that contrary to the perception of American newsrooms, there is no such a thing as Christian Right or Christian Left. One can concede that the culture may have found this classification expedient- something like the White NonHispanic category in the census. We all know that this race doesn’t exist. It is another linguistic accommodation, the type of which is increasingly growing in a society where fictional, not real talk, is becoming the norm.
Then, we need to remember that “the law of the Lord is perfect”. For a Christian with an almost passing acquaintance with Scripture this means that the Message is complete and therefore, never in need of additions or subtractions or let alone, emphasis. To be sure, he found that the beauty of the gospel is precisely that, its complete harmony between its whole and its parts.
Now, what some groups, graciously defined by the media as social gospel Christians, do is to exalt the part at the expense of the whole which violates the perfect law of balance we just expressed it. In the Christian spirit the effect of an individual or group exalting a particular i.e the social gospel, is always the same, it disrupts the whole gospel. It merely suffices to remind the excesses this has led to in liberation theology with priests joining the armed struggle against capitalism or the protestant National Council of Churches providing financial backing to Marxist guerrillas in Africa, among the most formidable abominations in recent church history.
Scriptures are literally full of exhortations to help the orphan, and the poor and the widow and to do justice. My readers friends, this IS the social message, there’s no need to start any particular movement. For the gospel is one, to be transmitted and practiced integrally, as a whole, not in segments. Indeed, one may properly say, that in the Spirit of Christ, loving and caring for the poor “comes with the territory”.
It is in that spirit that is easy to conclude that Jeremiah Wright in his rants is not a channel of the Word of God as a committed pastor is expected to be.
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