"...in which he said the church should steer clear of politics, give up moralizing on sexual issues, stop claiming the United States as a “Christian nation” and stop glorifying American military campaigns."Boyd goes on to describe being at an evangelical 4th of July observation where he sees an image of fighter jets in conjuction with the cross. He talks about his conviction that Christians should not pursue 'power over' by controlling governments, passing legislation or fighting wars, but they should pursue 'power under' by winning peoples hearts.
While I, too, have winced at the association of Christianity and might-makes-right (the fighter jets/cross graphic would have been a perfect opportunity to sneak out and peel the fish off the bumper), I think Boyd reacts to a genuine conviction by throwing the baby out with the bathwater, distancing himself from any sort of hot button issue in an attempt to position himself as a kinder, gentler breed of Evangelical.
"More rational than your father's evangelicalism by not taking a position on anyting!"
The article goes on...
He said Christians these days were constantly outraged about sex and perceived violations of their rights to display their faith in public.
“Those are the two buttons to push if you want to get Christians to act,” he said. “And those are the two buttons Jesus never pushed.”
Uh, Jesus never addressed sex? What about purity? Did Jesus need to draw a chart? Perhaps Jesus never said anything about Janet Jackson's wardrobe misfunction, but certainly he addressed self worth. Surely you've found the passages in the New Testament that speak of modesty. There are also a few in there about lust.
“So why NOT us? If we contain the wisdom and grace and love and creativity of Jesus, why shouldn’t we be the ones involved in politics and setting laws?”That is the million dollar question, kids. Why not us? I'm not advocating preaching a political party or even propagandic voter guides, but neither am I ready to preach a gospel of "lay down and take it." One of the genuine critiques of the civil rights moment was that most of the church was silent. Thirty years before that, the Greg Boyds of Germany preached a gospel of power under while the Nazi's exerted power over.
"Please be seated, Reverend Bonhoeffer. Der Furer is about to speak."
Here's the kicker for me..he responds:
Greg, if you don't think Christ living within you gives you a particular angle on society, what are you doing every Sunday morning? Why would you stand and preach "I have no particular angle."
“I don’t think there’s a particular angle we have on society that others lack. All good, decent people want good and order and justice. Just don’t slap the label ‘Christian’ on it.”
The very essence of preaching is to declare a reality that is counter to the spirit of the age. What Boyd seems to be advocating is to stand on the street corner holding a blank sign because we have nothing to say.