I am Frederick Christian Blauer IV, but I go by Eric, it sounds less like a megalomaniac but still hints at my Scandinavian destiny of coastal conquest and ultimate rule. I have accumulated a fair number of titles: son, brother, husband, father, pastor, writer, artist and a few other more colorful titles by my fanged fans. I am a lover of story be it heard, read or watched in all beauty, gory or glory. I write and speak as an exorcist or poltergeist, splashing holy water, spilling wine and breaking bread between the apocalypse and a sleeping baby. I am possessed by too many words and they get driven out like wild pigs and into the waters of my blog at www.fcb4.tumblr.com. I work as a pastor at Jacob’s Well Church (www.jacobswellspokane.com) across the tracks on ‘that’ side of town. I follow Christ in East Central Spokane among saints, sinners, angels, demons, crime, condoms, chaos, beauty, goodness and powerful weakness. I have more questions than answers, grey hairs than brown, fat than muscle, fire than fireplace and experience more love from my wife, family and friends than a man should be blessed with in one lifetime.
Why I’m a Conservative leaning, Christian Libertarian
I often characterize myself as a conservative leaning Libertarian. I have gravitated this way both theologically and politically over the years. My decades of experience, pastoring and congregating in conservative Evangelical circles has exposed me to strains of conservatism that I feel undermine freedom and many of the Bible’s core spiritual truths and values.
I began moving out of the proverbial Republican house, or at least to its mother-in-laws house, during the decades where the moral majority and it’s many children reframed the posture and principles associated with the term Christian. I soured on politics and religion that pushed certain sexual issues, war, unbridled-capitalism and hyper-nationalism into matters of biblical and civil first importance.
I’ve grown increasingly wary of dogmatic people advocating to be the Sheriffs of people’s private lives (conservatives) and corporate lives (progressive/liberals). The public pressure to assume the roles of judge and jury on matters that are controversial and inherently divisive, feels more like the early formations of inquisition type politics and policies.
I thought this was interesting about politics and the church
The Political Church
I realized much of the American Christian model, when everything is stripped away, is sharing pretty mediocre news with people… and, understandably, getting pretty mediocre results. In America, by and large, the church sacrificed its prophetic voice years ago for political influence and in the process successfully alienated a generation of young people on the horizon.
We bemoaned the secularization of society blaming the atheists, humanists, and gays for it when in fact, the greatest catalyst for America’s turn from Christianity has been the behavior of it’s church.
* The church saw Jesus as a culture to be defended rather than a love to be shared
* The church chose a political team to support rather than supporting the duly elected
* The church became the behavior referees better known for calling a “foul” than announcing “Good News”
And as the church increasingly becomes more irrelevant and ignored by the average American, we are now becoming experts in claiming “persecution” and “victim” status. Our “rights” are suddenly being violated.
Think for a moment where we would be if Jesus had started claiming his rights were being violated? Hard to even imagine…
Instead when Christ was offered political power by the devil (in the wilderness) or by the people (to make him King) he rejected it both times.
Sadly the church has not!
~ Brian Zahnd
Brian’s new book is free today (June 2):
A Farewell to Mars: An Evangelical Pastor’s Journey Toward the Biblical Gospel of Peace [Kindle Edition]