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.