LGBTQ Magazine

As US President Demands That Churches Be Re-Opened, Tragic Failure of Imagination of Many US Christians Driving Re-Opening Project

Posted on the 22 May 2020 by William Lindsey @wdlindsy
There are times in history when it becomes apparent that the human community (or portions thereof) cannot continue doing business as usual. This becomes clear when business as usual has led to a dead end.
Biblical theology calls such times kairotic moments. /1— 𝕎𝕚𝕝𝕝𝕚𝕒𝕞 𝔻. 𝕃𝕚𝕟𝕕𝕤𝕖𝕪 🌈 (@wdlindsy) May 22, 2020

At a kairotic moment, one is forced to choose this new path or that one. To remain stuck in the past, with business as usual, is to stand at a crossroads and not move forward — a choice that leads to death when moving forward is the only way out of crisis. /2— 𝕎𝕚𝕝𝕝𝕚𝕒𝕞 𝔻. 𝕃𝕚𝕟𝕕𝕤𝕖𝕪 🌈 (@wdlindsy) May 22, 2020

As biblical theologian Walter Brueggemann notes in his classic work The Prophetic Imagination, kairotic moments demand new imagination rather than determination to continue doing business as usual.
This is a point also made brilliantly by Ernst Bloch in his Principle of Hope./3— 𝕎𝕚𝕝𝕝𝕚𝕒𝕞 𝔻. 𝕃𝕚𝕟𝕕𝕤𝕖𝕪 🌈 (@wdlindsy) May 22, 2020

Bloch states, "Thinking means venturing beyond" (Principle of Hope, vol. 1, p. 4) — a statement that became Bloch's epitaph.
One of the most dismaying aspects of the current pandemic is the stubborn refusal of people who claim, by religious profession, to be all about /4— 𝕎𝕚𝕝𝕝𝕚𝕒𝕞 𝔻. 𝕃𝕚𝕟𝕕𝕤𝕖𝕪 🌈 (@wdlindsy) May 22, 2020

offering the world fresh, transformative imagination to entertain any new imagination at all in response to the pandemic.
A loud percentage of Christians want to re-open churches immediately and continue business as usual, regardless. /5— 𝕎𝕚𝕝𝕝𝕚𝕒𝕞 𝔻. 𝕃𝕚𝕟𝕕𝕤𝕖𝕪 🌈 (@wdlindsy) May 22, 2020

There is no imagination at all about new ways to do church, to worship, to proclaim the gospel — only the determination to replicate the old, even when doing so will place people outside churches at risk, and not churchgoers alone. /6— 𝕎𝕚𝕝𝕝𝕚𝕒𝕞 𝔻. 𝕃𝕚𝕟𝕕𝕤𝕖𝕪 🌈 (@wdlindsy) May 22, 2020

This failure to imagine something new and better — this refusal to imagine, this determination to keep on with business as usual: what a terrible indictment it is of a kind of Christianity with disproportionate influence on US politics and culture right now. /7— 𝕎𝕚𝕝𝕝𝕚𝕒𝕞 𝔻. 𝕃𝕚𝕟𝕕𝕤𝕖𝕪 🌈 (@wdlindsy) May 22, 2020

Then when one thinks about the fact that it's the very same loud minority driving both the push to re-open churches prematurely and to open all of society — to resume business as usual — regardless of the effects of the least among us: /8— 𝕎𝕚𝕝𝕝𝕚𝕒𝕞 𝔻. 𝕃𝕚𝕟𝕕𝕤𝕖𝕪 🌈 (@wdlindsy) May 22, 2020

What a terrible indictment of a loud and dominant portion of US Christianity.
It seems there has been a price to pay when Southern Baptists ruthlessly drove many thoughtful, well-educated folks from their seminaries, right as Mormons cracked down on women calling for a /9— 𝕎𝕚𝕝𝕝𝕚𝕒𝕞 𝔻. 𝕃𝕚𝕟𝕕𝕤𝕖𝕪 🌈 (@wdlindsy) May 22, 2020

re-thinking of longstanding Mormon presuppositions, and right as Pope John Paul II and Ratzinger ruthlessly silenced 100+ theologians.
No sane institution seeking a bright future decimates its thinkers, poets, those dreaming of a new future. /10— 𝕎𝕚𝕝𝕝𝕚𝕒𝕞 𝔻. 𝕃𝕚𝕟𝕕𝕤𝕖𝕪 🌈 (@wdlindsy) May 22, 2020

And why has all this been done? To assure the firm control of the dead hands of heterosexual white males in major religious bodies — come hell or high water. /11— 𝕎𝕚𝕝𝕝𝕚𝕒𝕞 𝔻. 𝕃𝕚𝕟𝕕𝕤𝕖𝕪 🌈 (@wdlindsy) May 22, 2020

/12— 𝕎𝕚𝕝𝕝𝕚𝕒𝕞 𝔻. 𝕃𝕚𝕟𝕕𝕤𝕖𝕪 🌈 (@wdlindsy) May 22, 2020

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