Saturday Evening Thoughts

Here are some things that I am thinking about tonight:

The St. Louis Cardinals proved me wrong … again.

I gave up on the Cardinals sometime in the summer, and didn’t believe the team would make it to the playoffs. Even when they made the playoffs, I had no notion that a World Series title was possible.

I am glad to be proven wrong … again.

I say again because the script of the 2011 season is similar, for me, as it was in 2006. That year, I gave up on the championship potential of that group only to be proven wrong in October.

This group had a lot of heart and poise throughout the postseason. I firmly believe that we will be talking about this team, and the comeback, for decades to come. It was a coming out party for David Freese, a long-awaited championship win for Lance Berkman and Arthur Rhodes, and another legacy building moment for Albert Pujols.

Now with the offseason in hand, Pujols is a free agent. I firmly believe that Pujols will be back in St. Louis in February. I can’t see Pujols wanting to be anywhere else, and I can’t see anyone, other than the Angels, really make a major stab at the soon-to-be 32-year-old first baseman.

We’ll soon see. Right now, though, I’m enjoying a championship, and being proven wrong … again.

One of the things that has been on my mind, lately, is the embracing of the occupy movement and the liberal wing of the church. There seems to be an immediate appeal and attraction to the group, just as there is between the Tea Party and some of the conservative bent.

I wonder, though, if it is good for the church to openly embrace political movements such as the occupy movement and Tea Party movement. Once you get beyond the rhetoric, both are ideological movements geared towards the accumulation of more power. Both have attempted, at least through supporters, to use faith as a justification of their political goals and dreams.

When the church seeks to grab power, it weakens its ability to proclaim the truth of the Gospel that transcends both liberal and conservative movements. To identify solely with one group, or one ideology, is really an idolatrous approach to engagement with the world.

Because of the over political climate we live in few will understand this concept. They will, instead, operate under the assumption of “I’m right and you’re wrong.” When the church aligns itself with these movements, it becomes nothing more than a partisan expression of the Gospel, even though the Gospel speaks above our political fray. In our attempts to engage the deep issues of the day, we confess that our true god is political power and not serving the true God.

The church has every right to engage politically, but it should not be partisan. It must speak to the wrongs committed by both sides, and not simply say “my side is right, and God agrees.”

I yearn for true Christian engagement. As we enter the 2012 political season, I do not expect to see it from the church, which is in desperate need of leaders who will rise above partisan rhetoric and occupation protests, and offer deep, honest, and humble perspectives on the issues we face.

Maybe, I should do that more.

Finally, I want to offer you a chance to read a great article on a family member, Michael Sobeski, who is playing for the No. 5 Clemson Tigers.

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