Ever since I found myself apart of the confessional reformed church, I have always been struck by the reversal of roles that often occurs in the “liturgies” of contemporary evangelicalism, more so that I have been removed from the Sabbath practices of American Evangelicalism, specifically. Dr. Horton, more succinctly than I, identifies the unintentional estrangement from the historic worshipping church that results from the reorientation of biblical anthropology and ecclesiology.

 

As the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion,—as it has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion, or tranquility, of Mussulmen [Muslims],—and as the said States never entered into any war or act of hostility against any Mahometan [Mohammedan] nation, it is declared by the parties that no pretext arising from religious opinions shall ever produce an interruption of the harmony existing between the two countries. ~  John Adams, Thoughts On Government Applicable To The Present State Of The American Colonies.: Philadelphia, Printed By John Dunlap, M,Dcc,Lxxxvi

The social gospel, the belief that Church has the skills and obligation to ameliorate the moral deficiencies society, both real and imaginary, is not only a disorder of the liberal church today but of those that ostensibly identify as conservative evangelicals. But the real differences are largely circumstantial, rather than largely substantial. Both seem to be more concerned with a socio/political vision of the perfect society than with the person and work of Jesus; the great society rather than the great commission. This is where we’ve come to, where the differences between the liberals and conservatives in the church are ones of moral persuasion rather a commitment to a transcendent message.

Over the years I’ve heard or read about the idea of “redeeming” music or literature or education or government…you get the picture. If it exists and functions in society as an institution of some sort, there’s always someone in the Church that wants to sound the call to redeem it. What they really mean is that they want to sanitize it in order to make it palatable or useful according to whatever manner of constructs that their pietistic sensibilities have conjured up.

 

Martyr:

noun
1.

a person who willingly suffers death rather than renounce his or her religion.
2.

a person who is put to death or endures great suffering on behalf of any belief, principle, or cause:a martyr to the cause of social justice.
3.

a person who undergoes severe or constant suffering:a martyr to severe headaches.
4.

a person who seeks sympathy or attention by feigning or exaggerating pain, deprivation, etc.

Both the charismatic  Evangelical and the Eastern Orthodox have a mutual tilt, that is, a bent toward disenchantment. Either seeking more concrete and direct revelation by an ecstatic oracle or a room filled with wood, stone and canvas as instruments both liturgical and pedantic, the outcome is the same. And what it displays seems to be a dissatisfaction with the mundane appearance and nature of the simple Word and Sacrament, which is more mystical and incarnational than either the charismatic or the iconologue may claim to be.

What is terrorism in the 21st Century? What is terrorism in a world of Hamas, the Taliban, Al Qaeda, Israel and a renewed emerging ultra-nationalism around the world?

Here are a few thoughts that I think would be good places to start.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) defines terrorism as “the unlawful use of force or violence against persons or property to intimidate or coerce a government, the civilian population, or any segment thereof, in furtherance of political or social objectives.”

scorchedearth89We stand upon the scorched and crushed ashes of cultures and societies and call it civilization. We call it progress and cherish it. We glory in the sanitation of our surroundings. The identification, segregation and ultimate elimination of the OTHER is the inertial and celebrated goal of civilization, our’s being simply the latest iteration. And nothing good will come of it. All of our potential good offerings to the world will ultimately come to naught as we breathe our last breath of defiance against the wickedness that lays at the heart of humanity.