Saving Christianity from Easter

Essay by Rev. David M. Felten on 16 August 2018 6 Comments

Jesus’ life was not an expression of a judging, vengeful vision, but was about manifesting a way of life that wasn’t driven by mere survival. Jesus’ life was grounded in a commitment to freeing people to love beyond their boundaries and their fears – beyond tribe, race, ethnicity, gender. This is the kind of love that enabled him to give his life away.

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Question

What is your take on how obsessed Progressive Christians have gotten about bashing Trump?

Answer

 
This is an excellent question Matthew. I understand the need for catharsis, and even some healthy anger to propel change. But one of the things I find very interesting about many non-American spiritual leaders such as the Dalai Llama and the Pope, is that when given the opportunities to bash Trump, they usually never do. They are sometimes asked very direct questions about Trump’s policies on wealth concentration at the top, immigration, gun control, prison reform, consumerism, fossil fuels, healthcare, racism, foreign policy, and the size of the military; and they quickly shift the focus to how to deal with the issues on a broader scale. They have a degree of separation to see that these problems are not just Trump, but rather that they are distinctly tied to American culture no matter which political party is in office. They know that Trump is a symptom and not necessarily the disease.
 
Now, they may prefer a man like Obama versus a man like Trump, but they see that not much actually changes from administration to administration, and they also know that the path to change isn’t through anger, hate, or dejection; but rather through jointly seeking solutions and focusing on what can be done better. And like Jesus did, they spend little to no time bashing any particular leaders by name, but rather they focus on upleveling the populace, which in turn creates systemic improvement from the grass roots. In American culture we have the incredible ability to express those feelings at the polls.
 
In my humble opinion, as a society and global kinhood, we are ready to shift beyond being pawns of self-centered parties and raise the vibe, both in our hearts and at the polls. It is time to focus on larger solutions, such as why are we all at perpetual war? Why are the uber rich sucking up most of the resources. Why is healthcare and education so costly? And why are we still so focused on fossil fuels? This is not something that is going to be solved by the dominant political parties of our day until it grips the hearts of the people who hold the power to vote.
 
In my humble opinion, it is time for progressive Christianity to welcome the wholeness of this political spirituality. That doesn’t mean not to take action or be passionate about the issues, but it means to do the things that are effective for real change of hearts, and that which compels people to make informed decisions at the polls.
 
Thank you again for your excellent question.

~ Eric Alexander

 

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