"As citizens and as Christians, we have got to stop compulsively setting ourselves apart." — Sarah E. Hinlicky

"Criticizing immorality is not tantamount to repression. Churches should provide a refuge from what fellow citizens find licentious, degrading and, in its own way, repressive." — Lauren F. Winner

Read part one of this dialogue, which appeared yesterday in ChristianityToday.com, here.

From:Sarah E. Hinlicky
To:Lauren Winner
Date:November 10, 1999, 09:49:31 AM EST

Ach, Lauren, another "city on the hill" is the absolute last thing I want. How many times have Americans tried that before? How many times have we been led on by the utopian ideal, only to see it crash down like the Tower of Babel? What in fact was the Gary Bauer campaign but an attempted city on the hill itself? Nothing wrong was done and it STILL met with embarrassing failure, and there is no reason to think that his campaign is any more "pathetically unimaginative" or "ham-handed" as any other attempt will be.

As citizens and as Christians, we have got to stop compulsively setting ourselves apart, assuming that as long as we are all pure Christians together we'll get it right. (What an ironic attitude for Christians to have anyway, people who are so acutely aware of their own sinfulness and inability to do the good that they desire!) Such is not only a false view of ourselves but an irresponsible lack of concern for the rest of our society. Indeed, as long as we remove ourselves from it, we can expect our society to get worse and our own desire to batten down the hatches to intensify.

No, to use a perhaps insidious choice of word, I would much rather see us infiltrate the culture than set ourselves ...

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