- Created on Friday, 08 August 2014 08:53
Brian Zahnd’s “A Farewell to Mars” beautifully reveals Christ and the true nature of his Kingdom, while at the same time exposing the sad history of nationalist idolatry that Christians have participated in since the time of Constantine. This book has the power to fundamentally change the way Christ-followers view the world and our mission in the world today.
We appreciated that Zahnd was transparent about his own participation in nationalism. His story of once rooting for America on the battlefield to conquer their enemies, much as a sports fan zealously cheers for their team, is one that many Christians may identify with. In fact, one popular view of eschatology has patched Bible verses together to create a certain idea of the future that eagerly looks for the next military conflict as a sign of fulfilled prophecy proving that the end is near. According to Zahnd, however, “We are not to be macabre Christians lusting for destruction and rejoicing at the latest rumor of war. It’s high time that a morbid fascination with a supposed unalterable script of God-sanctioned-end-time-hyperviolence be once and for all left behind. A secret (or not-so-secret) longing for the world’s violent destruction is grossly unbecoming to the followers of the Lamb.”
Zahnd calls us away from the nationalistic crowd and shows how easily we can fall into this trap:
“…here is why it’s such a powerful deception: it doesn’t feel unholy. It feels holy; it feels spiritual; it feels patriotic; it feels right. It has a deeply religious aura to it. It is a spiritual experience. The spiritual experience of expressing a shared hostility can even be confused for the Holy Spirit…because of how it feels. It’s what’s so seductive and dangerous about religious rants against popular scapegoats: liberals, socialists, gays, Muslims, immigrants, etc. A unity is achieved around this kind of angry rhetoric, a unity that is undeniably cathartic and religious.”
Zahnd describes his own painful journey away from this view of violent nationalism and that “It broke my heart to learn that people are not as easily drawn to a gospel of peace as they are to a rally for war.”
- Created on Wednesday, 20 November 2013 07:09