Monday, December 14, 2009

Walter Rauschenbusch 1

The essential purpose of Christianity is to transform human society into the Kingdom of God by regenerating *all* human relations and reconstituting them in accordance with the will of God. The religious spirit is a factor of incalculable power in the making of history. Unless the economic and intellectual factors are strongly reinforced by religious enthusiasm [the communitarian gospel], the whole social movement may prove abortive. The vastness and the free sweep of concentrated wealth on the one side, the independence, intelligence, moral vigor, and political power of the common people on the other side, promise a long-drawn grapple of contesting forces, but if God be for us who can be against us? It is the religious leaders of the people who give direction to the forces of religion, but most have been coopted by the system [prophets for profit; it is up to the common to be led by the Spirit of God, the common spirit granted to all who seek for the *perfecting* of humanity; Work out *your own* salvation with fear (respect, reverence for God) and trembling (Phil. 2:12)]. The conscience of Christendom is halting and groping, *perplexed by contradicting voices*, still poorly informed on essential questions, justly reluctant to part with the treasured maxims of the past, and yet conscious of the call of the future, the voice of our children.


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