Epiphany reminds us that faith is not a prop for political power

Jan 8, 2021 by

In the story of the Magi, King Herod tries to use the wise men as pawns in his own quest to protect his power. He promises that he too is devout, that they can trust him, and then he asks his astronomer visitors where to find Jesus, so that he also “could worship him” (Matt. 2:8). Epiphany therefore reminds us that the very language of worship can be wielded as a weapon of earthly political power……

Like Herod, he (Trump)  is happy to use religious leaders as pawns…..

The worst part of yesterday’s insurrection is how it represents an utter failure in the American church. This anti-epiphany reveals the horrid outgrowths of Christian nationalism, faulty spiritual formation, false teaching, political idolatry, and overriding ignorance…..

Yesterday’s atrocity was in large part brought to us by the white, evangelical church in America……

An emaciated and malformed evangelical political theology got us where we are now. Jeffrey Goldberg describes the insurrection at the capitol as “chaos … rooted in psychological and theological phenomena, intensified by eschatological anxiety.” He tells how one protestor told him, “It’s all in the Bible … Everything is predicted. Donald Trump is in the Bible.” Goldberg continues, “The conflation of Trump and Jesus was a common theme at the rally. ‘Give it up if you believe in Jesus!’ a man yelled near me. People cheered. ‘Give it up if you believe in Donald Trump!’”……….

The responsibility of yesterday’s violence must be in part laid at the feet of those evangelical leaders who ushered in and applauded Trump’s presidency. It can also sadly be laid at the feet of the white American church more broadly.

TISH HARRISON WARREN Christianity Today

 

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