Posted On May 3, 2013

Avoiding Spiritual Treason

by | May 3, 2013 | The Gospel and the Christian Life

In an address at a conference on social reconstruction, Dorothy Sayers had these strong words (among others) to say about the state of the church and its relationship to the culture:

If the Church is to find her common soul, she must contrive to root it in a common integrity. I do not mean that she must be uninterested in the social, political and moral sphere of the Law, but that she must be disinterested…But I find in the Church as a whole very little reverence for intellectual integrity…For the general tendency today, among the rank and file of Christendom, is to a religion divorced from theology–a religion that is in denial of the divinity of the Word. (Dorothy Sayers: Her Life & Soul, Barbara Reynolds)

Uninterested…disinterested….is this a distinction without a difference? I think Sayers point is that Christians will always have an interested in the governance of the society in which they live, but that there should be a greater emphasis on the work that the church has been called to–teach Christianity–and to work hard very hard at it. I think she believed that a great deal of what goes on the secular realm has an opportunity to work itself out if the people who are members of God’s Kingdom are equipped to work out the implications of their own worldview each day. What good is it, she seems to suggest, to take a strong interest in the legal and moral structure of a culture if the Church is failing in its mission to teach Christianity and to maintain its commitment to the authority of scripture? She gives us a great deal to consider.

Like any other theologian in any other time in history, Sayers doesn’t get everything right. But there is wisdom to be received from this reluctant prophet of her time. I began in November of 2012 to take another look at the nature of Christian involvement in society and how we engage fully in the political cycles. Our expectations are out of balance with our influence. Our compromises fit well with our understanding of our own beliefs–we don’t know what we believe.

In this same address, Dorothy went on to say,

The Kingdom of Heaven is not of this world; and the attempt to yoke it to any form of secular constitution is treason…If…the Church commits herself…to the support of any particular form of political government…she will find herself insensibly adopting and maintaining…its underlying assumptions, which may be very strongly in conflict with her theology.

Related Posts

God and Nakedness

God and Nakedness

Genesis 2:25, “And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed.” Much of our understanding of the nature and purpose for marriage comes from the description of life in the garden of Eden. This is because no other couple besides pre-Fall Adam and Eve have...

Abortion and the Image of God

Abortion and the Image of God

John Calvin said, “If it seems more horrible to kill a man in his own house, then in a field…it ought surely to be deemed more atrocious to destroy a fetus in the womb before it has come to light.” Abortion is the premeditated killing of an unborn child. In other...

Naked and Unashamed

Naked and Unashamed

Genesis 2:24-25, “Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. 25 And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed.” As Moses concludes his narrative on the creation of Adam and Eve, he...

Taken Out of Man

Taken Out of Man

Genesis 2:21-23, “So the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and while he slept took one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh. 22 And the rib that the Lord God had taken from the man he made into a woman and brought her to the man. 23 Then the...

Science And Theology

Science And Theology

Genesis 2:19, “Now out of the ground the Lord God had formed every beast of the field and every bird of the heavens and brought them to the man to see what he would call them. And whatever the man called every living creature, that was its name. We have been...

0 Comments

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Share2
Tweet
Email
Reddit
Share