Friday, January 04, 2013
What young people find compelling in Ron Paul is he’s not ringmastering a dog and pony show. There are no smoke and mirrors. With Paul, they see a man who is not a political reptile but an authentic conservative from before the neo-cons grabbed control. They see a man with a real plan and genuine vision to fix problems and not just talk, talk, talk. To young people, authenticity matters more than just about any other trait. As they see it, Ron Paul lives what he believes, and what he believes rings true to them.
Can you see where this is going?
Oddly, the title of Jethani’s piece is more accurate than what follows in his post. Christianism does lead to atheism because Christianism (which is to Christianity as truthiness is to truth) isn’t genuine Christianity. It’s a twisted clone, inauthentic to the core.
It’s not that young people don’t like the politics of churches today. What they can’t stand is the dog and pony show that our churches have become. What throws Jethani and others is that Christian political maneuvering is nothing more than a natural outgrowth of churches gone bad. It rushes into the vacuum left behind when genuine Christianity is gutted. The political mess and the culture wars are symptoms, but they are not the root of the disease.
Before I get into this, Ron Paul is as much dog-and-pony as anybody else, but his particular dog-and-pony has more appeal to young people who tends to see correctives in massive change, not subtle. But rest assured Ron Paul is in it for the money.
Young people aren’t stupid. They can read the Book of Acts too. And the Church they find there is radically unlike the American Church of 2012.
But the essential point Dan is making is most valid - church does seem very fake. When you point this out to people most simply say "We are all sinners." Can't argue with that, can we? I say yes. The statement "we are all sinners," is a charge, not an excuse. That may create circumstances wherein we have to make compromises, but it does not mean we should enter in to those compromises enthusiastically. And it means that we must confess our compromises.
That's where "authenticity" springs from - not perfection, not even the attempt at perfection, but from the confession of imperfection. That's as real as it gets.
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