The Cockiness of Conservatives

I have been looking for a way to express this for some time now. Thanks, again, to John Piper, for his articulate, weighty, passionate, biblical explanation.  The quote below comes from a sermon in 2004 called “Discerning the Will of God Concerning Homosexuality and Marriage.”

Piper’s words are targeted at the conservative Evangelical movement. He is calling Christians to be radical and stand out and apart from that movement. As a Christian, with Christ-centered, biblical values, I find myself in tension here in America.  As I grow older and more mature (in my faith and in life in general) I notice that I distance myself from both the mainstream conservatives and liberals. Neither of them hold to radical, Christ-centered values. I can’t be a cocky, conservative, political cynic and then try to identify with Jesus. There’s no room for both.

This paragraph helps me. I hope, if you are a Christian, it helps you too.

We do not smirk at the misery or the merrymaking of immoral culture. We weep. Know any good conservative talk show hosts that weep? Name one. Being pilgrims does not mean being cynical. That’s the name of the game. The salt of the earth does not mock rotting meat. It tries to preserve, savor, and when it can’t it weeps. Being Christian pilgrims in American culture does not end our influence, it takes the swagger out of it. There’s so many strutting conservatives! Including our President [Bush]. And strutting democrats. “Can say no wrong, can make no mistake, I’ve got all the answers.” STRUT, STRUT, STRUT!  That is not the demeanor of an evangelical pilgrim who knows he’s fallen, knows he’s broken…We don’t get cranky when evil triumphs, we don’t whine when things don’t go the way we want them to in our culture. It isn’t our culture, heaven is our culture. We’re not hardened with anger. We understand what’s happening now. Why? Because we saw it happen 2,000 years ago. We hear, just like they heard…the imperial words of the Lord Jesus, “If they hated me, they will hate you. Love your enemies, pray for those who persecute you…if you love only those who love you, what do you do more than others? Even the tax collectors do that. If you greet only your brothers, what do you do more than others? Even the Gentiles do that. You must be perfect as your Father in heaven is perfect.”  His way was so different than the seeming pervasive Evangelical, conservative, strutting, swaggering, cocky, cynical way.

Read or watch the whole thing.

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