I finally watched the video last night between Cizik and Jacques Berlinblau on Faith Complex in the Washington Post. A couple of follow up comments:
- It appears that Cizik does view homosexuality as a sin, but is not against political anti-civil unions. Many people would say that's a clear contradiction, but there is a big question that bears discussion on this and many other issues about the fact that the US is a political democracy founded on political liberalism (different than "liberal"). Since we are not a theocracy, what can be and should be expectedand/ or demanded from the government according to our values is naturally limited by the type of liberal democracy we have. The big questions are probably these: What are those limits for Christians? At what point are we unable to live in such a democracy without strong resistance (and I don't mean violent resistance, cf. 1 Peter 2&3)? How do we respond faithfully and biblicall to government laws and programs that we cannot agree to, or that may contradict our beliefs? At what point do we violate political democracy by forcing our own values and beliefs up others, and is it ok for us to do that through political leveraging or rule of the majority, but not for others we may disagree with? I've not heard enough conversation among Christians on those issues, which would be a great help to clarify where we stand on such important clarifications (maybe some time would be helpful with William Wilberforce, Deitrich Bonhoeffer, Martin Luther King, Jr., and of course Paul and Peter in their time in Rome and Jesus in Jerusalem). It's simply more complicated than saying, "We are a Christian nation" or "We were f0unded on Christian principles." Even if that were true (and it is and it is not, depending what you mean), these questions are still important.
- Cizik spoke well about environmentalism. The church in many quarters does seem to be waking up to these realities at a higher level, for which I'm very glad. There are some great minds in this area within the Christian Church, great voices that need more air time, people like Stephen Bouma-Predegar and Wendell Berry and one of my favorites, Joseph Sittler.
- Cizik spoke of the Republican Party as the part of denial. I thought this was interesting. He was basically saying that if you deny something (that global warming exists, that millions are without healthcare, that poverty is epidemic) then you don't have to do anything about it. I found this a fascinating idea.
I was actually impressed with Cizik. Whether you agree with him or not, this is an interesting video. As I've said a million times, and Berlinblau gets at it at the beginning of the video, the future of evangelicalism, and particularly the leadership of evangelicalism is up in the air. I'm fascinated and interested in how this will play out in the next 20-50 years of my lifetime and wonder if and how I might be involved in that dialogue and development.
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