Reminders for Election 2007/8

As Election 2008 draws near, we’ll hear countless pastors and Christians assert that electing the “right person” (literally and metaphorically) is the only way to see the nation redeemed from evil and returned to its roots. I’m certainly susceptible to this idea, and while it’s true to some extent, we tend to overestimate the power of top-down social influence. The Scriptures present a very different model, one that’s not bottom-up but bottom-out. In remembering our weakness, we open the door to God’s omnipotence. Professor and farmer Dave Black posted the following reminders on his blog recently, in response to the increasingly politicized American existence.

1) I must be careful to affirm Jesus’ lordship over everything, including the totalizing claims of the state.

2) I must believe, preach, and suffer for the Gospel.

3) The mission of the church is to bear witness to that Gospel, not to transform culture.

4) The offense of the cross must never be watered down to satisfy the world.

5) The church must not allow itself to be co-opted by the religious arm of the state.

6) I must put Christian fellowship above political loyalties.

It’s that third one that’s tough for me. I have to remind myself that God will transform culture as I bear witness to the Gospel. The transformation itself is not my responsibility.

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2 thoughts on “Reminders for Election 2007/8”

  1. Man, great post. Something has been bugging me after all of our conversations on Tuesday mornings. Sometimes i get the feeling we are trying to solve all the problems by transforming our culture as you mentioned above. It’s so easy to jump on that and become wrapped up in it. We probably begin with a decent enough focus, but it very easily warps into anthropocentric concern instead of Christ-centered compassion. As usual, you have stated it clearly and succinctly. Thanks.

  2. Jamie,
    Great post. Ben and I have talked a lot about this. It worries me that Christians want to change laws more than they want to change lives. People will rally behind candidates who want to overturn Roe v. Wade, but won’t talk to the unwed mother in line at the grocery store. In some ways, I view it as the easy way out. We are not called to “reform” our government but to transform our lives and the lives of others. I am also highly upset with Christians who support George W. Bush *just* because he says he’s a Christian. I don’t think we should learn that a candidate is a Christian and then immediately stop examining their actions critically. We have to utilize our brains to engage our faith, not check our brains at the door. Okay, this is long. Sorry.

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