In a sermon delivered in the 1980s and reprinted as Chapter 2 “Hope” in the book “God, Christ And Us“, the great Dominican Herbert McCabe writes about how the church doesn’t have to seek out trouble. Loving people in a Jesus way will bring down the wrath of the powerful of this world.
“This means that however we may twist and turn to keep in with the people in power, however hard the churches may twist and turn to keep in with the people in power, however hard the churches may even try to sell out to the wealthy and their agents, to collude with the oppressors of the poor – it cannot be done for long. In the end the Church lives by the Holy Spirit and the gates of hell cannot indefinitely prevail. For this we have nowadays the testimony of the men of power themselves: throughout the world, whether it be the businessmen and military dictators of Latin America or the bureaucrats of Eastern Europe, they all agree that the major internal threat to their power comes not from terrorists or political subversives but from those churches that have recovered the gospel. Those who have remembered that the Church is just humankind being drawn towards the Kingdom, and that the Kingdom belongs to the poor. It is these churches that are especially hated by the powers of this world.”
On this July 4th, as my American Christian brothers and sisters celebrate their freedom, it seems proper to suggest that in a nation of totalitarian surveillance, widespread torture and permanent war, the church there won’t know the Kingdom of God until they are known with suspicion by their so called Republic.
Your Correspondent, Offering a suggestion, not a prophetic diktat