Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Ideology and the Church

AKMA's posting today has lead to some thoughts on ideology, or more to the point it may be that AKMA is uncovering the way in which we are dominated by ideology. It seems that at the moment we are being asked to subscribe to one of two ideologies. I think this is dangerous for the church, because these ideologies are not simply dictating the terrain of debate and action in the realm of politics and public policy but in the church as well. So, so that Christians split themselves in terms of left and right, liberal and conservative each believing that one ideology or the other best represents the Gospel, or is the best manifestation of the Gospel in public policy and church life. Yet this seems to subordinate the Gospel to the spirit or spirits of the age. I imagine (I suspect AKMA may agree here) that there are elements of both left and right that can draw lines of support back to the Gospel. My sense is though that at the moment for many Christians our allegiance is to a particular ideology before any allegiance to the Gospel. Not that we intend this reversal of allegiance but we have allowed ourselves to be convinced that the Gospel can only be articulated in these two ideologies.
I suspect it is time that we American Christians begin to critically examine our allegiances. I suspect we have idolized both the left and the right or more to the point idolized the ideological spectrum of our society. We are tied more to particular visions of America than we are bound to Jesus Christ and the Gospel.
I suspect that this is probably where Sojourners is heading as well, or at least where Jim Wallis is hoping to take us in his book God's Politics, which I have not read. I think I will pick up a copy finally and let y'all know what I think.
In the mean time, I commend to us all some critical reflection our being bound to the powers and ideology of this age