Wednesday, February 26, 2014

"Against Christian Hypocrisy" in markets and morality

Betsy Childs, "Against Christian Hypocrisy" (First Things, February 23, 2014):
In a column called “Conservative Christians Selectively Apply Biblical Teachings in the Same-Sex Marriage Debate,” Kirsten Powers and Jonathan Merritt accuse Christians who refuse to provide goods and services for gay weddings of being hypocritical cherry pickers....
A Mennonite who owns an aluminum manufacturing plant receives a bid request from the Pentagon to supply the aluminum for a newly developed missile. Because of his commitment to pacifism, the Mennonite declines to submit a bid. He does not feel the need to investigate all of his clients to make sure they are using aluminum for good ends. However, because missiles are weapons of warfare, their purpose is essentially violent. To profit from the sale of metal to build missiles would violate the conscience of a pacifist. Would you call this Mennonite a hypocrite?
... Hypocritical Christians are those who forget that they are sinners in need of a savior. Apart from God’s grace we would be damned, and we are hypocrites if we refuse to call others from their sin to experience that same grace....
[Hat tip to G.N.]