The busyness of the Christmas season overtook me, so I wish everyone a belated "Merry Christmas." I ran across this interesting article by Bob Burnett at Commondreams.org about his "Political Christmas Wishes." It worth a read, especially wish #3:
Convert to Christianity, George Bush.
Abandon the fundamentalist pabulum you've been spouting - the "Weekly
Reader" summary of the Old Testament and the Book of Revelations. Read
the Gospels. Pay attention to the teachings of Jesus: The admonition to
tell the truth. Not to murder. To care for the poor. Step into the
light, George. Before it's too late for you to save your soul.
Wow! That's really putting it out there. Its almost as radical as the Magnificat. While such a statement might sound way over the top from most pulpits, I wonder if it is more hopeful and faithful than more moderate questioning. Embedded in in the political radicalism is a belief that people can change and experience a conversion. It is easy to scoff like Jonah that Nineveh will never change. If we let George Bush off the hook from our pulpits for condoning torture, violating civil rights and denying justice to the poor, have we given up on his soul? If we are afraid to speak out to our congregations, have we given up on their souls as well? I understand that we are not all called to be rabble rousing prophets, but I think every good preacher knows how to put tough issues before the flock.
I'd like to here from some of you. How are you addressing the prophetic challenges of preaching these days? Most of my preaching had been in a congregation that was probably half Democrat and half Republican. How do we handle the challenges of preaching truth in a politically divided congregation?