Wednesday, July 23, 2008

The Politics of God continued


Last night a group of us met at The Old Spot. It was Pub Theology Night, and at point of discussion was the topic of yesterday's SynchroBlog - The Politics of God.

We bantered about McCain and Obama, and whether it was a sin to vote Democrat, or a sin to vote Republican. You can see it had its heated moments. We talked the Middle East - Israel and Palestine, and that was more heated than the Elephant and Donkey, but all still friendly enough.

I love getting wildly disparate people together, and letting them get to know and understand one another. So, we get fundy fanatics, atheists, Witches, Emergenty people, and next-door neighbors.

After bantering about politics in general I brought the discussion around to the question of hearing what God's political agenda was for oneself - not what it was for anybody else. We talked about expectations God might have during the current political season in the US.

The answers varied from: God expects me to vote Republican (yes, in Massachusetts!), to God wants me to vote Democrat, to God wants me to work toward peace (the most popular answer last night - is this born of current world tension?), to God wants me to consider the oppressed and poor in my decisions.

My answer was God wants me to understand the other - to consider the positions of those whose political philosophies are radically different than my own, and even search for imago dei within their choices, and motivations. Like the rest of my life, I am entertaining an anthropological missiology in my political interactions, because the politics of God are a politic of grace and understanding, and therefore that is what He wants from me.

11 comments:

Beth said...

Hi Phil--
Your gatherings sound so rich! Wish I lived closer than a continent away!

In reading all the blogs in this synchroblog, find myself reveling in the variety and depth. Thanks for your last paragraph in this post:

"My answer was God wants me to understand the other - to consider the positions of those whose political philosophies are radically different than my own, and even search for imago dei within their choices, and motivations...entertaining an anthropological missiology in my political interactions, because the politics of God are a politic of grace and understanding..."

Me too.
Beth

evan said...

Great answer Phil. Seriously.

Pastor Phil said...

Beth,

Thanks for being a part of this synch. It was good to have you on board.

Pastor Phil said...

Evan,

Thanks bro.

Sally said...

"My answer was God wants me to understand the other - to consider the positions of those whose political philosophies are radically different than my own,"....

hmmm could have been a theological debate then...

I agree we need to engage with folk whose opinions differ from our own.

seithman said...

I rather like your answer, Phil.

Pastor Phil said...

Hey Sally,

The debate part actually happened before we got around to what God wanted for us. My answer was not particularly a debate point - which is encouraging methinks.

Pastor Phil said...

seithman,

Thanks!

john heasley said...

I love the idea of a pub theology night, but I was always taught never to talk politics or religion when drinking, maybe I have to look at what I have been taught again!!

Pastor Phil said...

Oh yeah! Rethink the idea John, just remember to have some tight moderation when needed.

Bruce said...

Based on my experience, all the people I know think that complicated things like "God" and "Running The Country" are best left to the professionals. I guess we need a little bit of black ale to get the humble folk to speak up.

Incidentally, the logic book I use for teaching class is called "Socratic Logic" because it follows the kind of logic that Aristotle got from Socrates. The author says that it passes the "beer test"--you can use it when you're trying to solve real life questions over beer.

This is great.