The Church in Times of Trouble
All Saint’s will hold a Forum/Bible Study/Discussion beginning
11:30 am on Sunday, September 18 (after the 10 am service). It will be a chance to learn, think about and discuss the role of the church and of the individual Christian, in issues of justice and politics. It will continue for at least four Sundays until October 9. A summary of the topic is below:
There are some things that we know, and some things that we think we know. First, we know that Christianity is supposed to stand for justice. It is supposed to be on the side of the oppressed, the poor, and the outcast. We are supposed to love our neighbors, and even our enemies!
We also know that, in America at least, the Church must stay out of politics. We know that we are to accept people who have many different viewpoints. We know to “not judge lest we be judged.” We also know that there is some very bad history back there, times when the church interfered in politics, or was corrupted by politics, and became a vehicle for greed and lust for power, rather than Christ’s instrument in the world.
How are we to reconcile this? How do we navigate in a world that needs the message of Christ, where oppression, exploitation, violence, and injustice abound, while not becoming the tools of a particular political faction…or worse, adopting the methods of human power struggle ourselves?
The goal of all this is to discern a way forward, for ourselves, for All Saints, and for the Church at large during these times which we seem to find ourselves. Not just because 2016 is a difficult election year (though that is certainly part of it), but because what this election and all the other events of this year are bringing up: events and issues which it is difficult for us to confront directly and Christians and as the Church, but which we also MUST address if we are to remain faithful to the Gospel of Jesus.
We will do this over a period of weeks, using different formats. Some will be scriptural study. Some will be the study of church history. Some will be sharing our thoughts about current events. Where have Christians failed, and where have they succeeded? All will be followed up by discussing and discernment of what our proper role is in all this. What, in short, is God calling us to do in these times?