Sermonating As The World Comes Apart

Posted January 17, 2014 @ 9:14am | by Tripp

Utopianism is totalitarian to the core. This is why Dr. King eschewed it so religiously.

Conspiracy theories abound. I linked to a couple of them yesterday. Facebook is monetizing your timeline. Net Neutrality is now a thing of the past. This is not a glitch in the system. It is the system. Guinness is brewed in New Brunswick, Canada. The world is coming apart at the seams, people!

While the world is flying apart, I thought I should work on my sermon a little.

I am preaching this Sunday (the second of a series of three sermons on belovedness) on Dr. King's notion of "Beloved Community." Again and again authors remind me that this is not utopianism. I have found myself wondering why that reminder is so necessary.

We must want an escape into utopianism. Sadly, that's not King's vision.

Utopianism is totalitarian to the core. This is why Dr. King eschewed it so religiously. Liberty must be the cornerstone for any body of people calling itself Beloved Community. As a specifically religious vision, Dr. King gets rather Baptisty about it all. Liberty of conscience and action is essential to such a vision. Liberty is the fruit of belovedness.

Be loved. Be free.

Dr. King wrote, "When I speak of love I am not speaking of some sentimental and weak response. I am not speaking of that force which is just emotional bosh. I am speaking of that force which all of the great religions have seen as the supreme unifying principle of life. Love is somehow the key that unlocks the door which leads to ultimate reality."

This reality is not without its pains and difficulties, its suffering. But there is, within the life of Beloved Community, an understanding of how one responds to the outrages that befall us all. 

The King Center shares this: "For Dr. King, The Beloved Community was not a lofty utopian goal to be confused with the rapturous image of the Peaceable Kingdom, in which lions and lambs coexist in idyllic harmony. Rather, The Beloved Community was for him a realistic, achievable goal that could be attained by a critical mass of people committed to and trained in the philosophy and methods of nonviolence." 

Challenging stuff in these days of Big Data and Big Viral. Challenging stuff in any age. 

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