Here is an interesting article looking at the response of (some) churches to the Occupy ______ movements. Given that the Occupy movements are anything but monolithic, a generalized yet in-depth assessment of church responses to these movements is difficult if not entirely impossible. To truly evaluate how appropriate churches’ responses have been, we’d really need to look at each individual church’s response to each iteration of the Occupy movement, which is not particularly practical. However, this article will at least allow us to consider some of the potential issues – both positive and negative – raised by church involvement in the Occupy movements.

On the positive side, some of the Occupy movements may well be in line with Christian values – desires for justice, concern for the poor and downtrodden, etc. – and as such may give churches a chance to positively influence both the protestors and the community at large. Some protestors expressed surprise that churches were interested in these topics, and that is both unfortunate and worth changing. Further, the Occupy movements focus on societal problems may well provide fertile soil for the Church to further its message of hope and salvation to a broken and groaning world, which should be our ultimate goal.

But on the negative side, church involvement in the Occupy movements may just be a new expression of the Church tying itself to political ideology (even if from the opposite end we’ve grown accustomed to seeing it). We’ve spoken several times about this American phenomenon, and will continue to discourage formal Church involvement in furthering political agendas; it is distracting from the Church’s true focus, divisive to that end, and also fails to recognize that true social change must come through changed people, not simply changed policies.

But which category do you think these responses fall into? Have they lost sight of the spiritual in favor of the political? Or are they using hot cultural topics to further a spiritual message?