Primitive Christianity Revived, Again
Politics type a): Deciding who should have [coercive and/or manipulative] "power-over".
Politics type b): The process of seeing-together what we need to see together and coordinating the tasks we need to coordinate together.
People get all focused on 'type a politics' and confuse 'type b' issues with 'type a' political loyalties.
How to address this?
There is a way of administering or management of public affairs or human relationships through a process of thinking and planning that is guided and informed by outward principles and ideologies reflected through thinking. These reflected outward forms (ideologies) are implemented and overlaid over against a person or group of people so that that person or that group of people become guided and informed within the context of those outward principles and ideologies.
The administration of human affairs through reflection is politics.
Contrivance is forming of plans, through reflection, concerning human relations or a perceived need.
There is another way human relationships are administered. In this way, human relationships are administered directly by the motion of immanent Presence itself in itself from within the conscious and conscience of individuals and groups of people. This different way of human being or human relationships does not participate in a process that involves reflection upon and manipulation of outwardly reflected principled and ideological constructs got at through reflective thinking. Outward ideological, moral, ethical, and institutional constructs do not make up the context of this different way of human being. The way of political contrivance is come out of and disregarded.
Political contrivance is the attempting to see together through the mirrors of reflective thought. Participating in the inward motion of immanent Presence itself in itself in the conscious and conscience is seeing together in a completely different and unique way.
To rely on God's active presence within each and all, that is truly what we need to do to transcend the prejudices, misplaced loyalties, unconscious self-interest and self-deceptions we bring with us in our efforts.
The belief that we have in fact transcended all that -- doesn't do the job. Faith that we can be led (and are being led) in that direction is surely worth cultivating. We need also the faith that we can trust God's presence where we do find that palpably at work.
We do not need assurances that we've already arrived. Yes, as I've said, God is at work even in our mistakes. "All things work to good for those who love God." But if people need to make our mistakes as part of the process of getting there, the smug dismissal of the difficulties involved must surely be a wonderful example of how that's done!
Sorry Forest, we can't rely on God's active presence within each and all if by active presence you mean controlling presence. Jesus calls us to be as innocent as doves and as wise as a serpent. He is also quoted as saying Thou shalt not tempt the Lord they God in responding to a request that He trust God to protect Himself from harm. The Wheat and Tares grow together in this place we call home.
You really must start looking at context in these things. Jesus tells certain disciples they need to stay squeaky clean and use what wisdom they've got in the environment he's sending them into. He doesn't tell them to rely on their personal wisdom to do the job.
He does tell everyone who wants to join his renewal of Israel not to fear anyone who could do them bodily harm, because it's God they need to take most seriously. His own example shows that violent people could cause him considerable inconvenience, but couldn't keep him down in the end.
The temptation he was responding to was Satan's suggestion that he demonstrate his divine favor by publicly throwing himself off the Temple roof, relying on scripture rather than on anything God was presently calling for.
God's presence isn't "controlling" us from somewhere else; it permeates the whole situation and our responses to it. He's embedded in us, inseparably part of whatever we do. Anne last night read me a snippet of Buber in which he says that God is "in exile from Himself" because His presence does extend all the way down into human sin. As the Psalm has it, "even if I go down to the bottom of Sheol, You're still with me." (But really we want to do better!)
When we rely on God more than on any virtues and skills of our own, we don't turn out bulletproof; but things work out surprisingly right.
We aren't trusting God to make us infallible; we have to trust in God to provide what we need and ask for -- including, when there's sufficient faith, to let adherents of the American Biparty sit down with objective persons and somehow all be reconciled.
My disagreement with you isn't in trusting in God in us. It's in trusting in God in others. Maybe I misunderstood your point. I believe in loving my enemy. I don't believe in trusting my enemy.
Okay. I don't trust an enemy to think, feel, or behave as anything but an enemy. Sometimes he will, but there's no reason I should expect him to operate under my rules.
On another hand, he is another human being like myself. So far as he behaves badly, I can reasonably suspect there's been fear at work, that he's suffered in ways I may not have experienced, is doing the best he knows even when that's meant adopting 'evil' as a self-image and ideal, or feeling loyal to something I know is evil, though he doesn't.
I can also trust God to influence him in ways I can't, to stir up what George Fox called "the witness of God" in him. What I say and do may be a factor in how God does that. What an enemy says and does, whether or not I like it, is an element of whatever God finds needed and ultimately good for me.
I may not feel, as my old friend Frances used to say, "Spontaneous Natural Affection" for an enemy. I may be appalled at someone like him (or her) holding the human race (not even knowing which hand to use, and also much cattle) in his or her temporary custody. I don't need to be afraid of him because God is running the show.
And if it seemed such a person genuinely wanted us to be rightfully reconciled, not merely tolerant of or tolerated-by each other, but having reached some mutual understanding -- I would have to hold my nose, be prepared to shift perspectives if that was called-for -- and trust God to make that possible.
I agree. I have to love my enemy. I remind everyone that finds that hard to do it doesn't mean you have to trust your enemy or even like your enemy. What makes it harder is you don't often know who your enemies are: Mathew10:36. I often have to remind people that whether or not they have enemies isn't solely up to them.