Whether you label it polarization or tribalism, I have seen people entrenching and doubling down in their political positions more than at any other time in my life. Thus, the podcast resonated loudly with me.
In writing this piece, I am not focusing on people, generally, or the state of governmental affairs. My focus here is the body of Christ and it’s witness in the world. People have always been divided. We have always had wars and fighting to prove it. The Church, however, should be different. The Church should stand a part, like a city of a hill.
The 2020 Census reveals a story of changing demographics in the United States. It should hardly come as a surprise that the story is diversity. “Over the past 10 years, people who identified as Hispanic, Asian or more than one race accounted for larger shares of the population….”
I suspect we could say the same thing about many a decennial census over the history of the United States. During the history of this country, from one census to another, we can trace the movements of people, including the Spaniards and Portuguese, the English and French, the German, the Irish, the Italian, the African, the Chinese, the Poles, and on and on.
I grew up learning that the United Stated of America is a melting pot. The news of the 2020 Decennial Census is simply the continuation of the same story that is America. It is an uniquely American story, though rhetoric in the 21st Century might suggest otherwise.
The new census may reveal a plot twist of sorts, though: a “pivotal moment”. Whereas the American story of the past was primarily an European story, the plot is tending toward greater diversity. The population of “people of color” are increasingly “younger and growing more rapidly” then their traditional American counterparts with Eurocentric origins.
The population growth since 2010 “was made up entirely of people who identified as Hispanic, Asian, Black or more than one race”. We can speculate on the reasons for this major shift, but the fact remains that people of color are increasingly making up a larger percent of the population, and that trend will surely continue.
My thoughts, as always, turn to the impact on the Body of Christ and how the Church is responding… and should respond… to the times. These times are a changing, crooned Bob Dylan in my youth….. But then, they are always a changing.
Thoughts and excerpts from Membership, published in the Weight of Glory and other addresses (by Harper One) by CS Lewis.
C. S. Lewis, the 20th Century English Literature professor, author and thinker, wrote Membership as a speech given at Oxford during World War II. In this speech, Lewis addressed the popular societal trend toward collectivism and the concomitant effort to relegate religion to private, individual belief.
His address was meant to be an encouraging call to Christian hope in a world threatened to be torn apart by war. We find ourselves in different circumstances, and the world as changed in many ways. We can no longer assume a Christian ideal as a collective rallying point, but is address remains stubbornly relevant in our modern world.
Lewis found irony in the dichotomy of exalted individualism in Western society that was, at the same time, becoming more collective in its political direction – individual rights and equality for all. In his typical style, he unravels the uneasy tension of this secular dualism at the seams, exposing the inherent incongruities and turning them on their heads, as he contrasts them to Christian paradoxes that, while seemingly inapposite, hold together in a more harmonious tension. Continue reading “C. S. Lewis on Individualism, Equality and the Church”→
“In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth.” (Ephesians 1:7-10)