“From Resident Aliens to Conquering Warlords”
“…the history of the church…is the history of an institution that has frequently traded its holy mission for what it thought was a good mission. It is the history of an organization that has frequently forsaken the slow, discrete, nonviolent, sacrificial way of transforming the world for the immediate, obvious, practical, and less costly way of improving the world.” (p. 75)
“This growth (of the early church) came about not by Christians fighting for their rights, as so many do today, but largely by Christians being put to death!” (p. 76)
“When Jerry Falwell, reflecting a widespread sentiment among conservative Christians, says America should hunt down terrorists and “blow them away in the name of the Lord” (emphasis added), he is expressing the Constantinian mindset. When Pat Robertson declares that the United States should assassinate President Chavez of Venezuela, he is also expressing the Constantinian mindset. And when Christians try to enforce their holy will on select groups of sinners by power of law, they are essentially doing the same thing, even if the violent means of enforcing their will is no longer available to them.” (p. 80)
“The moment worldly effectiveness replaces faithfulness as the motive for an individual’s or institution’s behavior, the are no longer acting on behalf of the kingdom of God but are participating in the kingdom of the world.” (p. 80)
“One wonders why no one in church history has ever been considered a heretic for being unloving.” (p. 83)
Can you think of other examples of the Constantinian mindset?
Has any congregation you know of disciplined or disfellowshipped a Christian for being continually unloving?