The intent of my previous post is not to say that the people of God should be apolitical. However, we must reject the Constantinian tendency to seek power and influence for the church through political involvement.
As believers our involvement in the public arena at any level, whether simply voting or seeking public office, is always from the position of service not dominion. Our participation should bring light, not division. This can only be accomplished if we truly serve with humility, representing Christ’s nature.
We lost our focus on the kingdom and misrepresented our priorities by focusing on spiritual and cultural warfare. We failed to recognize the power of the kingdom that is ours and instead sought after influence through politics. Christ’s earthly reign will not be realized through Christian influence in the American political realm.
The Uniquely Spiritual Nature of the Church
We cannot neglect the truly spiritual nature of the church. Where is the church’s testimony of hope, generosity, unity, inclusion, and love for our neighbor?
We must rediscover our story, recover our witness, and restructure our lives and communities to reflect the gospel of the kingdom. It is up to the people of God to demonstrate our first allegiance to His kingdom and an evident hope in our reigning King.
How do we prophesy the kingdom to our nation and neighbors in word and deed? How do we prophesy true hope? We must first awaken ourselves and repent for our isolation, for our neglect, and for our ambition. We must live the gospel of the kingdom, not a gospel of law, moralism, and religion.
Should we intercede? Yes, but we should no longer fast and pray for the world to be transformed to our likeness. We should pray until our hearts are changed. We should pray for wisdom and strategy to subvert darkness and evil in a manner that testifies of the goodness and compassion of God and results in His redemptive purposes.
When we enter into the public arena, it must be with humility, knowing that we overcome evil with good – with love, not power – demonstrating our faith through attention to the poor and becoming examples of the generosity that characterizes life in the kingdom.
Rather than “cleaning the outside of the cup” the people of God must abide in Christ’s transforming power. Transformation is a work of the Spirit resulting in transformation of hearts rather than imposing regulation of behavior. We must lean into this reality for personal transformation, for true transformation of the church, and ultimately for transformation within society.
In order for the church to engage with society redemptively, we must be vitally connected to Christ. Love for others is an overflow of God’s love in the believers’ hearts. As we are transformed by the indwelling Spirit, we reach out as the hands and feet of Jesus to embrace and include others.
Our lives are to be poured out. We are the sent ones. We are to incarnate healing and hope. We are to be ministers of reconciliation, bringing shalom into the brokenness of the world. This is what it means to be salt and light. This is our true spiritual nature.
Why isn’t this our reputation? If this isn’t what we’re about, it is time to wake up and take a look at what we are doing.
When the people of our country look to the church for hope rather than to a politician, we will know that we are becoming the community of the kingdom that we were always intended to be.
In the meantime, let us not grieve if a political election did not go the way we wanted. Let us grieve that the church has so poorly represented the gospel of the kingdom, the beauty of loving community, and the true nature and hope of our Lord.