Sunday, March 14, 2010

In a Sensible Country . . . (A Guest Post)

With this posting by Dr. Keith Watkins, Professor Emeritus of Practical Parish Ministry at Christian Theological Seminary, I begin what I hope will be a series of guest posts that will expand our conversations about theology, ministry, history, politics, culture, society, and more.

In a sensible country. . . . .

In a sensible country, people would live by perceptions that are consistent with reality. They would discuss and debate modern, moderate, progressive policies. They would develop constructive practices for personal and public life.

But, says David Brooks (March 12, 2010), we don’t live in a sensible country. Our conversations and sources of information are one-sided, isolated, and based on fundamental misunderstandings of reality, especially of things and people political.

Reading his column, I remembered an editorial from the Christian Century many years ago in which the editor described the role of the Church in distressing times. It is to stay calm when every other institution is rushing around because of panic and fear.

As I remember the editorial, the Church can maintain this stance because it takes its bearings not from the immediate swirl of events but from its long view of history. The Church believes that the world came into being because of the creative will of God, continues its seemingly everlasting ways because of that same God’s loving attention, and will ultimately be brought to its fulfillment because that is what God intends to happen.

Like everyone else, Christians are caught up in the turmoil of our times, in the terror of history, but unlike others we know that ultimately all things work together for good for those who love God—and who are loved by God.

On Sundays in their worship, Christians pray for the natural world, for the nations and their leaders, for people everywhere as they engage in the common ventures of life. Christians listen to the mighty acts of God in times past and discuss how that same God acts in the world of our time. Christians come together around a table spread with bread and wine, there experiencing a renewal of paradise, and go from that table to do all that they can to restore paradise to the practical structures of life around them.

Too many churches—liberal, conservative, and in-between—fail the test of sensibility. They are as one-side, as out of touch with reality, as everyone else. At a time when our nation desperately needs to become sensible again, Churches—pastors, priests, and the faithful—can lead the way. Sensible churches with sensible members can help our nation become sensible once again.

Sunday would be a good time to embrace our mission to be sensible.

Keith Watkins
March 12, 2010


Anonymous said...

I think it would be sensible to push back against Walmart for firing a award winning employee who was taking state approved medication as part of his cancer therapy.

I think it would be sensible to examine our support for vigilante warfare.

It would then be sensible to examine these and other issues through the teachings and values taught by Jesus, or savior. David Mc

Anonymous said...

This would make sense as FRONT PAGE NEWS!

While it has been widely reported that the C.I.A. and the military are attacking operatives of Al Qaeda and others through unmanned, remote-controlled drone strikes, some American officials say they became troubled that Mr. Furlong seemed to be running an off-the-books spy operation. The officials say they are not sure who condoned and supervised his work.

Meanwhile we spend all our efforts securing captured business for the medical insurance companies rather than creating a system of affordable care. Non-sense. David Mc

Anonymous said...

original story-

Where does the buck stop?