Ecclesiastical and political pragmatism, with a beat
Tuesday, September 1, 2009
"To Not Judge": Sermon For 13 Pentecost
Ted Kennedy died on the day the Episcopal Church remembered Louis IX of France, 13th century namesake of St. Louis, Missouri, a pious and compassionate ruler who authorized the burning of Jewish manuscripts and participated in two Crusades. Imagine that: A good guy, and yet history's jury is still out. How do Christians judge a public person such as Sen. Kennedy? Perhaps on outcomes. (Does that mean he's no good if we don't agree with him?) On process, then. (Which effective politician has never been cynical, hypocritical, opportunistic, or demagogic?) Then at least we can judge them on how close they are to God. (Really? And how much do we really know about someone else's walk?) As it turns out, while we're certainly entitled to our opinion as citizens, our God in Christ doesn't give us a vocabulary for judgment. Instead, the gospel warns us explicitly against two impulses, pride and anger, that often lead to our harshest judgments of others. My Sunday sermon is here.