Tuesday, April 04, 2017

The impossibility of non-political Christianity

"There is also a non-political Christianity, which defends the argument that because of its transcendence and orientation on the specifically religious, Christianity must stand above all politics--which in view of the existing antagonism in social policy is in fact unmistakably also a POLITICAL decision. It is a decision in favor of those in power and those who have the greatest economic strength...

In the light of the gospel, Christians must be partisans and advocates of the poor, those without rights, those who have no representatives anywhere. A political party which gives concrete expression to this aim in its programme will therefore be one of the first possible choices for Christians...

A Christian will support those policies which in fact humanize economics conditions and for that very reason seek socialism for the advantage of all, while at the same time seeking to democratize social and political institutions. And democratization by no means coincides with a large degree of state control.

The possibility for development in any church institution, even if it means to be utterly in accordance with the gospel, is specifically dependent on the potentialities of late capitalism and is tied to those possibilities. That is a fact which is documented by the contributions made by capitalist sources towards so-called 'non-progressive' activities in the church. The consequence of this situation is that it prevents these churches from speaking a liberating word AT A TIME OF CRISIS. Even if churches inwardly dissociate themselves from a system which makes the rich richer and the poor poorer, institutionally they are so tied up with the system that they have to keep their mouths shut.

In order to be able to present their message, they have to keep quiet about this message.

This is the vicious circle in this situation. In order to be able to continue to exist as a church, people [pastors in particular] keep silent about the demands of the gospel."

[Edward Schillebeeckx, Christ: The Experience of Jesus as Lord, 1993)

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