This would seem to be the epitomy of a transformationless gospel: evangelical drug dealers. I kid you not. After recent conversations on war and peace I am thinking of doing a series around the topic of cheap grace. Instances of where conversion is claimed but the need for life conversion is denied in some way, shape or form.
2 thoughts on “Drug Dealing for Jesus: Mexico’s Evangelical Narcos”
I think what really shocks me about this is the rampant tribalism at the heart of their “gospel” and behavior. It sounds like they justify their actions by saying that they protect their own families and community. But what about the other families and communities they destroy? It’s a mentality that I can’t even begin to fathom.
This very much dovetailes with what Augsburger has said on bipolar spirituality versus tripolar spirituality. Here, in both cases before us here, you have guys who see the good news almost exclusively in vertical, hyperindividualistic terms, between self and God. The horizontal, other dimension is excluded, or at best extended to close personal relationships.
Ultimately this translates into a disconnect between salvation and ethics, or to put it another way, a reduction in our understanding of sin and repentance. An awareness is retained of sins against God, against self and against family. We are prompted to repent of sexual promiscuity (a personal sin) and abortion (a family sin). But what of racism? Hmmm. What of sexism? Hmmm. What of homophobia? Hmmm. Are they also sins we must repent of in coming to Christ? What of drug pushing? Particularly when you are not taking it yourself? Particularly if your kids are not either. Particularly if you are providing for you family through it. Hmmm. What if you’re a soldier in Afghanistan and your government is telling you not to intefere with the polly fields because the Afghani’s are allies? Hmmm. What of Air America during the Vietnam War? Hmmm. If a tripolar spirituality is embraced it is not so easy to get around this, and ultimately I see tripolar spirituality as more authentically Christ-like.
This is where I think we need to recover a more expansive understanding of salvation and sin. We are saved by grace, but if our salvation is genuine we should see evidence of it in our works. We may not be transformed in a day, we may still be struggling with racism and militarism and other stuff, but we should at least be recognizing them as something to be struggling with. When I see people holding them up as a virtue however, everything in me sceams cheap grace.