Catholics warn of ‘national conflict’ over gay marriage. I’m glad some are speaking up for what they believe, and that they are framing the discussion in terms of how the legislation would force conscientious objectors into a “bigot” category. But the warnings, and pitting Church vs. state, smacks too much of a theology of glory vs a theology of the cross to me.
Maybe you saw this linked from The Gospel Coalition, but if you haven’t read President of Asbury Dr. Timothy C. Tennent’s fall convocation entitled, “The Clarion Call to Watered Down Evangelicalism: Our Mission to ‘theologically educate,’” well then you should go read it now.
Tennent starts off by noting, “Tragically, Niebuhr’s devastating critique [of liberalism] is on the brink of being equally applicable to contemporary, evangelical Christianity.” From there, he turns both barrels on the current state of evangelicalism in America today. Here are some of the heavier quotes:
If liberalism is guilty of demythologizing the miraculous, we have surely been guilty of trivializing it. If liberalism is guilty of turning all theological statements into anthropological ones, surely we must be found guilty of making Christianity just another face of the multi-headed Hydra of American, market-driven consumerism. If liberalism can be charged with making the church a gentler, kindler version of the Kiwanis club, we must be willing to accept the charge that we have managed to reinvent the gospel, turning it into a privatized subset of one’s individual faith journey. I realize that there are powerful, faithful churches in every tradition who are already modeling the very future this message envisions, but we must also allow our prophetic imagination to enable us to see what threatens to engulf us.
For what is a man? What has he got? / If not himself – Then he has naught.
To say the things he truly feels / And not the words of one who kneels.
The record shows I took the blows / And did it my way. / Yes, it was my way.
“My Way” Frank Sinatra
It’s my life / And it’s now or never / I ain’t gonna live forever
I just want to live while I’m alive / (It’s my life)
My heart is like an open highway / Like Frankie said I did it my way
I just want to live while I’m alive / ‘Cause it’s my life
“Its My Life” Bon Jovi
Tell my mother, tell my father / I’ve done the best I can
To make them realize this is my life / I hope they understand
“Second Chance” Shinedown
My only comfort in life and death is that I am not my own, but belong body and soul, in life and death, to my faithful Savior Jesus Christ.
Heidelberg Catechism Q. #1
“Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.” 1 Corinthians 6:19-20