The Tea Party: following the advice of Jesus?

Mark Roberts has been discussing the problems of conflict. His latest post is about What To Do If Someone Sins Against You: When the One You Confront Doesn’t Listen. It provides for an interesting comparison to what we see in the Tea Party phenomena.

First, it should be noted that the Tea Part arose from the feeling that the ‘political class’ has sinned against the citizens. The first step in resolving such a problem as described by Roberts is to “go to the person and tell him or her the fault in the hope of reconciliation.” Remember the town hall meetings?

Now, step two.

Jesus is realistic. He knows that sometimes confrontation does not lead quickly to reconciliation. Sometimes the one who sinned against you will not listen to the facts, no matter how kindly and clearly you present them.

The problem was not resolved with a face to face, in-person, meeting and discussion of issues so it is time to “take one or two others along with you.” Think of the primaries. Those who did not ‘get the message’ in the town hall meetings are now facing a vote in the primaries. As Scott notes at Power Line, Notes on creative destruction, some Republicans still do not get the message much less the Democrats.

So what’s next?

“If the member refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if the offender refuses to listen even to the church, let such a one be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector.” (Matthew 18:15-17, NRSV)

We will see if it comes to this and what this means or we will suffer the consequence. – always do.

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