Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Neither in Quietism nor Utopian Frenzy

From CNN Money 

Today an important question will be decided. Today we will find out which man will lead the United States of America for the next four years.

This is not something to be taken lightly. To vote is a solemn duty1 of every member of the Republic, and the role of the president as leader of the most powerful Western nation is a crucial one.

Yet, today, as we execute this duty, let those of us who are Christians not forget our highest allegiance. Christ alone is our Lord, and no early leader, be he liberal, conservative, or any other stripe, it the ultimate master of history.

We are called by our Lord to work for good in this world, and that means, among other things, that we must do our right duties as members of whatever nation we find ourselves in. If that nation is a Republic, that means we should vote.

We are not to be quietists, sitting on the sidelines and letting the world go whatever way it may. Or worse, as quietism all too often actually does, participating in the acts of the sinful world thinking it doesn't matter since God is in control.

On the other hand, we must remember that the world will not stand or fall on the actions of any man but Christ. Let the heathens rage at the heavens, the ultimate good has been accomplished on the cross. No matter who wins today, the world will not end. Ultimately, we must remember that Utopia is not ours to bring, and that while the Lord will use the work we do in building His Kingdom, it is He alone who can finally usher it in.

Do good work, but do not fret or fear. You stand secure in the One centre of all time and space who cannot be moved. The One is True, Good and Beautiful loves you and loves this world, and His word will be final. In the last day He shall come and wipe every tear from our eyes (Revelation 21:4) and justice at last shall be accomplished, but until that day let us in humility sow good seed in the little gardens we are given.

Especially in a country like American, which for all its problems is no tyranny, the leader we choose will not ultimately be able to do either too great of good, or of evil.

So I call to my Christian brothers and sisters to vote, in hope and peace of mind, and of course always with prayer upon our lips.

1. It is a solemn duty I must confess I am failing in this year, as I was not responsible in ordering an absentee ballot in time.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

All Saints vs Reformation Day

from WikiPaintings
On October 31st, 1517 Martin Luther nailed his Ninety-Five Theses to the door of All Saints Church in Wittenberg, Germany. For many, this marks the beginning of the Reformation, and the end of Roman dominion in the western church. Because October 31st marked the beginning of Protestantism, it is celebrated by many as Reformation Day.

It is fine for those of us not in fellowship with the Holy See to celebrate what we see as the end of many abuses perpetrated by the Church of Rome. Yet, there is an even more important holiday that we should not forget to celebrate. For October 31st is the eve of All Saints. Last year, I wrote a blog post commending the celebration of Halloween over the celebration of Harvest Festivals, since in the celebration of All Saints we celebrate "the holistic communion between all the saints extended throughout history and geography - the catholic communion."

This year, for the same reason, I want to commend the celebration of All Saints over the celebration of Reformation Day. As I said, it is fine to celebrate what we see as being gained in the Ninety-Five Theses, but we should not loose sight of the fact that Protestantism is an expression of a faith older and larger than it. The final reality we should all point to is the eschatological reality of union in Christ. The Church, despite her broken outward appearance, is spiritually one. To celebrate the communion of Saints is thus a much more noble thing than to celebrate any particular expression of that communion. Especially, it is greater than celebrating an event which, however important, was also responsible for the most serious visible fracturing of that Church since the Great Schism.

Therefore, with all the Saints let us give glory to God the Father, through Jesus Christ, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, for the Passion and Resurrection of His Son by which we have been called from all peoples into one family.