Some time ago, I unsubscribed from a community listserve discussion called Vision 20/20, though in calling it a “discussion” my charitable faculties are fully extended. A less strenuous description of it would have to include words and phrases like fulmination, jeremiad, screed, baying at the moon, and other forms of progressivist yodeling.
Anyhow, I unsubscribed because it appeared that my breath would be better saved for cooling my porridge. But this morning at church someone mentioned a hilarious accusation that had been made against us, and so I went to the archives to have a look. Lo and behold (as we biblicists sometimes say), the archives for recent days were just jammed full of denunciations of me, Dale Courtney, and sundry others. For those who don’t know, Dale is a fellow who has a cyber truck that beeps as it is backing up, and when he is done, his debating partners are under a rock pile of facts and pie charts. But as a result of my excursion, I did find that hilarious accusation — viz. that kirkers are somehow into trophy wives. Now this is a confusion — there is a difference between a crown and a trophy — but it is a confusion that shows that the usual slanders aren’t working any more. According the normal secularist talking points memo, the Christian faith is oppressive to women, keeps them barefoot, pregnant, and in the kitchen, women are browbeaten into submission, and so on. That slander is not believable any more — not to anyone who actually knows our wives and daughters — so on to something else.
There was also some “discussion” about our particular form of the Christian faith, and why it is tying so many people in knots. Bill London weighed in with a short post, in which he made the same point that he made when he was a guest speaker at NSA’s weekly disputatio. He said that we are being singled out because we have a political agenda.
Now there are two ways to take this. If by this, London means that we have a “plan for taking over,” and that we have a slate of candidates for various offices waiting in the wings, and we have a stack of referenda that we will pass when we get the chance, and so on, then he is quite wrong. That is not happening, and is not going to happen. It is true that you will occasionally run into people from our church in various parts of our local government, but they are there for exactly the same reason that people from our church can be found shopping at Winco or eating popcorn at Les Schwab. This is a small town, and it is a fairly large church, and it would be weird if you didn’t run into folks around town. So there is nothing to the concern about us having a political agenda. In fact, I am far more politically engaged right now than I want to be, even though it is entirely defensive. This is because the Intoleristas are trying to provoke us (wittingly or not) into trying to protect ourselves from zoning and tax exemption harassments by running candidates who will not harass us. Then they can say, “See! They do have a political agenda! Toldja!” This is the only reasonable explanation for why people who want us “out of politics” are spending so much energy trying to chase us “into politics.” So, no political agenda. Nope. Try somewhere else.
But I am a believer in full disclosure. Although we do not have a political agenda, we do have an agenda for politics. That agenda does include the destruction of the contemporary idol of “politics as savior.” Jesus Christ is our only Savior, and politics is not our savior. Because Jesus is Lord, He is the Lord of everything, and this would include arts, economics, history, literature, and our civic responsibilities. Under the lordship of Christ, certain things that are now grossly undervalued would grow in importance (poetry), and other things that are unnaturally swollen would return to a more normal size (politics). We have an agenda for politics, and that agenda includes seeing to it that politics stops being so important to everybody. The bumper sticker on my truck sums it up — “Politics is the opiate of the people.” Great, my wife might say. Now that they know that’s your truck, what’s to prevent Tire-Slashers for Tolerance (TST) from doing their bit? Cost of doing business, I might reply.
This is not a short-term vision for politics, and will not be realized in the next round of elections, whether local or national. It won’t be brought about through elections at all, but rather through worship. We don’t have a political agenda, but perhaps my grandchildren will see the day when our agenda for politics will have been realized — when we stop worshipping statist coercion the way we do, and return to the worship of God the Father, in the name of Jesus Christ, in the Spirit of liberty. So when our agenda is realized, it will not come about because we were out there signing petitions, organizing at a grass-roots level, putting up yard signs, and so on. It will be through Word and sacrament, received in evangelical faith, and with a robust expectation that our worship on the Lord’s Day will flow out in a natural way into every other portion of our lives, promoting some things and demoting others. There will be a rising and falling of many in Israel. For we not only have an agenda for politics, but we also have an agenda (driven by this same worship, this same Word and sacrament) for many other things. This would include, but not be limited to: poetry, literature, wine-tasting, dancing, education, wood-working, love-making, bee-keeping, story-telling, sitting on the front porch, automotive mechanics, guitar-playing, cantata-singing, flower arrangement, scholarship, neck rubs, pipe-smoking, oatmeal stout-making, and, oh yeah, politics. And why? Because Jesus is Lord.