Saturday night I went to a pesudo-Charismatic service, of the type called "prayer and praise." That means that the point of the thing was the singing. Everyone rasing their hands up, or clapping, big hoopla. I really loved that stuff back when I first got saved, but haven't been to such a service in a long time. A friend I've known for many years urged me to go with her. She's concerned about my spiritual life, because I'm not going to charismatic chutes, and I don't go regularly. I sort of got out of the habit in those years when I cared for my parents and couldn't leave home.
It was nice to back int that sort of environment again, to feel the presence of the Holy Spirit, the peace and spiritual excitement. The sermon was good too, all about looking beyond the superficial aspects of a person and seeing their spiritual needs. He said a lot of good thins about accepting people, not for the way they look, or rejecting them because they don't measure up to our notion of propriety, but seeing them as spiritual people with spiritual needs, and people for whom Christ died.
But the thing is it also raised certain conflicts. I found myself being very judgmental about the basic middle class milieu about me. Most such Churches in North Dallas are White middle class. While all the people were nodding in agreement wit the wonderful message of accepting people who are different, no one sitting around me doing the nodding was different. Still I hate to fault them for who they are. I hate to become the opposite end of the problem and judge those guys for how they appear. They can't help it if they are acceptable.
Inevitably, at least for me, it raised the question of Christian identity and social action. I can't get around that dilemma. The dilemma that I will always be at odds with the church politically; at least as long as church favors bourgeoisie culture. Because for them being a Christian means being a republican, so how can I join in with them when for me being a republican means supporting muddier, rape, torture and lies in central America? Sorry to all those of you out there in log land who are republicans. I know the average person doesn't put things together the way I do. Maybe we can't make such clean cut judgments, when the Deems have a lot of dirt to sweep under the rug too.
But where does that leave me? Still squirming for an answer about the finding the basis upon which I can fellowship with church and still stand up for the ideals I believe in. But as we prayed and praised I began to feel the presence of God; then I realized at least a partial answer. The answer is we are called to love people. Jesus teaches us that the second greatest commandment is "love your neighbor has yourself." I don't need to judge the republicans or take the church to task for its social sins. I need only to love them and support the political angina that I see flow out of the basic motivation of human compassion.