Someone wrote me this week asking a curious question. The email read, “Do you believe we are at war with Islamo-fascists?”

The following was my answer:

You and I, (and the Church in general), are not at war with Islam… and I am certain that God is not at war with Muslims. If we have a responsibility with regard to other religions, it’s to ensure that when they encounter us (you and I) they see the real Jesus, not the version that confuses civil religion (patriotism), with following Christ.

Just like all real politics are local, so are the most effective missionaries. Whatever we do, wherever we go, if we do it in service to God, we are emissaries of Christ, and are therein missionaries of his Gospel. And if it is true that all mission is local then, where, how, when and why the American system confuses or confounds that Gospel is definitely our concern. I for one am VERY troubled by the global rise of corporate imperialism.

Having spent nearly twenty years as a counselor, I am capable of using the DSM VI to assess the “personality” of the corporate “person.” By employing that checklist as a diagnostic tool, I believe the operational principles of most corporations result in highly anti-social “persons.” They are: self-interested, inherently amoral, unfeeling and devious; they breach social and legal standards to get their way; they do not suffer from guilt, and yet they can mimic the human qualities of empathy, caring and altruism.

This point-by-point analysis results in a disturbing diagnosis: the institutional embodiment of imperial capitalism fully meets the diagnostic criteria of a ‘psychopath’.

Without a moral compass, and neither corporations nor capitalism are instilled with one, extreme, exclusive profit motives are inescapable. In fact, Capitalism as an economic philosophy is intentionally amoral. And today, Capitalism is a global theology. As such, the postmodern world has a international belief system, that is absent morality, absent the bible, and absent the teachings of Jesus.

What was so seductive about Marx and the theory of communism was the fact that it was as much a moral treatise, as it was an economic theory. No such moral treatise exists for postmodern Capitalism. And if the unchecked, unbridled, savage aspects of corporate imperialism become ever more triumphant, I don’t know how we can hope for a world where democracy, equality and freedom are the norm, not the exception. What we need today is a moral manifesto for capitalism; something that can reign in the ever increasing power of international corporations, something spiritual, something Christlike.

And with regard to capitol, I think the Roman Catholic priesthood got that ‘vow of poverty’ thing wrong. The world would be much better off if we all took vows to generously share our wealth and its creation… as much, and with as many people as possible. And not just in terms of legal tender, but wealth in the forms of equal access to health-care, quality education; fair and safe employment standards, and ecologically sound environmental habits. I believe that these are some of God’s goals for the Mosaic Generations; 21st century expressions of authentic Christian piety. And as such, they require that we practice these things missionally, not isolating ourselves from the world, but rather working for the healing and blessing of God’s beloved creation.

Pietism and piety, are masterpieces of Christian tradition. But even the most genius masterwork needs generational reinterpretation for it to remain historically relevant. I for one am tired of hearing that disavowing homosexuality, supporting lower taxes, and condemning Islam are the touchstone missions of the American church. Instead, we need a new kind of piety, one that combines the Sermon on the Mount, with the issues of the day. If we can accomplish that, the juxtaposition would transform the Church from an arm of the Republican Party, into the voice of God Almighty.