The "Quiet" Christians
July 3, 2004
By Mary Pitt
In perusing newspapers and websites regarding current events, one
would be led to believe that all Christians are right-wing Republicans
and that all Democrats and "leftists" are Godless Communists. In
fact, qiute the reverse is true. There are many in our nation who
are devout Christians and are Democrats and Progressives by way
of living their deeply-held beliefs.
One can understand why the "evangelicals" are attracting all the
attention. They have, for years, striven to make their voices and
their beliefs a major political force and have adopted a militant
attitude in accomplishing this. Their major target is and has been
the hands-off attitude of the government and the courts regarding
abortion. They parade in the streets, picket and even bomb medical
facilities which they suspect of performing abortions. Several medical
professionals have been killed and maimed in their pursuit of forcing
all Americans to abide by their religious beliefs. More recently,
they have become militant about the attempted marriages among the
gay population. To that end, they have influenced the Congress to
pass the Defense of Marriage Act, but that is not enough to satisfy
their urge for power over the personal lives of other citizens.
Now they demand nothing less than a amendment to the Constitution.
It appears that they consider legalistic fiat the only way the bring
America to God.
On the other hand are the "Quiet Christians" who believe that
they can lead others by example, by living their religion in quiet
faith and service to their fellow man. Whereas the Evangelicals
spend their time studying and expounding upon the caveats and prophecies
of the Old Testament and Jewish Law as well as the dire projections
into the future by the Book of Revelations, the Quiet Christians
study the life and teachings of Jesus Christ and attempt to live
according to His exhortations. "Love thy neighbor as thyself" is
one of the primary lessons taught by Jesus, along with The Beatitudes.
These modern-day followers of Christ are all too mindful of the
answer by Jesus to those who would have made Him an earthly King,
"My Kingdom is not of this world,"
One must remember that the Christians who actually followed with
Jesus on His journeys of evangelism did live in communal
groups and shared possessions, meager as they may have been. Jesus
taught them that they must live under civil law while also abiding
by the Higher Law regarding their personal behavior and aspirations.
They were told that they should pay their taxes while not seeking
after personal riches, to work for their sustenance while sharing
with those who could not work, to maintain their bodies in healthful
condition while healing those who suffered from ill health, to contstantly
strive to conquer the evil that lived within themselves.
At no time did He tell his followers to commandeer the government
of their nation and to pass laws to force others to live according
to His commandments; rather His concern was that His followers concern
themselves with their own souls, influencing others with their kindness
and the serenity of their exemplary lives. Gone were the old laws
requiring death or mutilation for specific sins; forgiveness and
love were the new watchwords. His followers were expected to live
circumspectly and to present themselves as an example of the kindness
of a loving God.
This is not to say that all Quiet Christians are totally pacifist,
rather that they are not in accord with violence for its own sake.
They are quite capable of righteous indignation, which many are
currently feeling at having their faith represented by hatred and
war-mongering in the Name of God. Neither are they people who will
march in lock-step at the command of any earthly leader, but are
thoughtful people. They realize that any law which demands that
a woman bear a child can also prohibit that woman from bearing children
if she chooses and any law which allows a government to give money
to church efforts can require the church to abide by governmental
rules which may prohibit church practices or beliefs.
You will not see these Quiet Christians shouting prayers on the
street corners or placing huge stones engraved with the Ten Commandments
in public buildings, though you may see them, as ordinary citizens,
marching on the streets with signs in opposition to what they consider
an immoral and unjustified war. You will not see them accosting
13-year-old girls in front of abortion clinics, but you may see
them, lovingly and forgivingly, counselling that same youngster
to help her recover from her psychological trauma so that she can
complete her growing-up process and get on with her life. You will
see them marching to the polls in November and expressing their
distaste for the behavior of this adminstration and its Evangelistic
"compassionate conservative" leadership which has caused so much
hate around the world toward Christians in general and so much agony
among our own people, not only for the deaths of our youth in an
unjust war but for the worsening fortune of the poor and afflicted
in our own neighborhoods.
If there is a time for Quiet Christians to raise their voices in
defense of their Lord and to allow their justified indignation to
express itself, that time is now evident. It will not be done by
shouting prayers on street corners as was done by the Sadducees
and the Pharisees. It will not be done by "the sound of trumpets"
with great fanfare. It will be done to the cadence of thousands
of human feet, marching to the polls to cast their votes in favor
of a kinder, gentler nation. And, God willing, we will prevail!