Thursday, June 29, 2006

The Good Samaritan: A Church His-story

I finished reading an interesting blog about a '95 theses' levelled towards USA churches and the call to back away from Nationalism/Patriotism. I am not American so I could not sign the petition but if they ever get one for Canada, I am signing. It got me thinking about Christians that say the church needs to return to it's 'roots' in both Canada and America...supposedly these countries are founded on Christian ethics. A closer look shows that is non-sensical jargon.

How are we founded on Christian ethics? They like to remind us of our Constitution and the colorful religious language used. How our founding fathers had real faith, and that somehow this faith has dissipated through the age. I look back at the church and laugh it to scorn, I see very little the church has done for equity, justice, and forgiveness...all this while hanging onto the hand of 'big brother' or as I call it 'governmental kingdoms'.

The church has a very shady 'social justice' track record, actually on a real close look one will see they never speak out against government. Here are a few examples.

When America was 'conquered' (colonialism) the invading people's slaughtered American Indian tribes, removed them from their lands, gave them piece-meal lands they never lived on, and even intentionally spread diseases to their people's to wipe them out. Why? Settlers needed a place to live and apparently God had given the land to Europeans & French...funny fact, Aboriginal people's never believed anyone could 'own' the land so they weren't opposed to sharing it. The problem was they were dis-owned and considered 'heathen's, savages, barabarians, etc.'. Where was the church when all this was going on defending the rights of these human beings? They helped the gov't every single step of the way. They built churches and residential schools dis-avowing Aboriginal culture and language. In Canada, the gov't and church robbed a few centuries of parenting from Aboriginal people, thus de-moralizing a nation. What was the church concerned about? Salvation and repentance. Government was building a country and a railroad.

Now America conquered and started building an economy, where do you think they found a cheap workforce? They imposed slavery upon African-Americans (stealing them from Africa) to work in their fields and other businesses. They treated these people less than human (which they considered them to be) and bought, sold, tortured, raped, and killed them as needed. They treated the African-American so bad they considered them livestock, started breeding them even. They destroyed family after family of African-American descendant for financial gain. All the while the church said very little on the practice of slavery, seeing Paul had condoned it they felt justified. Church-goers seeing it not a sin (these were not humans) and slavery was okay, felt little to no remorse. What did the church do? Continued preaching hell-fire and brimstone to whomever would listen. Government was concerned with money and using the land.

Early part of the 1900's and into this new century two world wars broke out. The 2nd World War being even worse than the first with human attrocities that shocked the world: starting with a theory of human superiority, then the persecution of Jewish businesses, then outright damnation of Jewish people, followed by rounding them up and putting them in concentration camps to be killed. None of this was real secret knowledge to mass Germany and Hitler's war of destruction was no secret either. This led to the death of 6 million Jewish people and around 20 million people worldwide. Where was the church? Apparently the Catholic church and whoever else there was, within Germany, bonded with the gov't so as not 'to rock the boat' (I don't forget Bonhoeffer and his efforts). I mean, no one actually wants to be killed for their beliefs. The church became silent in the most deadly hour, forget rapture, they just shut their mouths. Where else was the church? Dividing itself up into many we fought against ourselves while this all went down.

What other issues? The building up of mass nuclear arsenals (namely the USA), destruction of the environment/global warming, civil rights in the 60's, Vietnam and the shooting deaths at Kent State, persecution of South American countries/policies (including Cuba), persecution of Middle East countries for any reason, The Rwandan genocide, Big business & globalization and destruction of poorer countries economies, etc. I can't re-call ever hearing a church speak out against 'something real'. Actually the Rwandan genocide provides my exact point.

Everyone knows of the movie 'Hotel Rwanda', which is the true story of a hotel owner that took in many Tootsees who were being slaughtered by the Hootuus. That person risked his life and his livelihood in order to save as many people as he could. Ironically, little have ever heard of 2 nuns from the Catholic Benedictine order from Rwanda. They apparently had chances to save many people in their convent, which could hold 100's of people. They not only refused to 'house' these people but called the National Guard to personally kill all the people that came to them. Some got burnt to death, some had their bodies chopped up, and others were shot. Now, who was the good samaritan? Who of them loved their neighbor?

There is barely anything I want to remember about the church in the past 100 years, nevermind the last 400. The church misses the mark everytime because they miss the real message of the gospel, we have to stand up for our neighbors if we love them. What seems to be the current history of the church (and in the past) is that we argue for salvation, repentance, and baptism before we will argue to stop the building of nuclear bombs (which in the end will wipe us off the face of the earth) or these wars built on nothing less than colonialism (ex: Vietnam and Iraq). For some reason the church can't see the trees from the forest in the bible. It sure doesn't help to have nationalistic fervor and blindly believe your country is backed by God and His kingdom. If that is so, why does your countries commit such atrocities...these atrocities coming from what people would call the most 'civil' countries in the world? We need to re-examine our faith in government, we just might find your shaking hands with the beast after all (with the power to give and take men's souls as he pleases).


chris said...

Right on, brother! I am an American, and I am sick of the ignorance of the Christian population in the United States and abroad! The American church preaches a gospel of prosperity. If you aren't wealthy then you must be in sin!! It's crazy!! It also has a bad habit of blaming others for it's shortcomings. If The U.S. is in trouble morally then it must be the gays and lesbians. I have even heard several mainstream preachers blame hurricane Katrina on the gay population. I long for love, mercy, justice and forgiveness to recalim it's position in the Church. I think I am in for a long wait, however!! Great post

SocietyVs said...

Chris, you and I see a lot of the same things happening in the church (teaching wise) and tend not to agree with them (that's our right). I also see myself putting emphasis on Jesus' teachings over Paul's (similar to your last blog).
That prosperity bullsh*t and playing the blame game with gays is totally wrong. The church and I disagree on a lot of fundamental teachings and current interpretation's of society. I like the fact there is people out there that can see God's love and mercy and focus on that.
Hey, keep up the intriguing writing, I love to learn and I see a lot of writers lately that got me thinking.

Karl Mueller said...

I am a Canadian who has lived in the USA for the last 10 years. I would encourage you to read The Myth of a Christian Nation by Greg Boyd. Quite thought provoking, and dare I say -- essentially right on the money. I'll be doing a review of the book on my blog in the next few days.

Anonymous said...

Hm,your deeper than you let on. In regards to evolution it was once posed, then why have we stopped evolving, why is an apple still an apple?

Im only anonymous b/c I cant remebermylogin