January 22, 2022
Christians can tell that they are no longer living in a Christian age in many parts of the world. They don't need statistics to prove it. It's something you feel -- and you feel it long before you can put words to exactly what's going on. This series about putting words to the feeling, with a little help from philosopher Charles Taylor.
To watch part 1 of this series, click here.
To be a Christian is to be involved in politics. Church politics.
Our great statements of faith are political statements, like Romans 10:9:
“If you declare with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.”
To declare that "Jesus is Lord" is to deny that Caesar is lord. A Christian who makes this confession is saying to all the rulers of the world what Jesus said to Pilate: "You would have no power over me if it were not given to you from above" (John 19:11).
Mary interpreted the birth of Jesus as a political event when she announced (Luke 1:52-53):
“He has brought down rulers from their thrones but has lifted up the humble. He has filled the hungry with good things, but has sent the rich away empty.”
The politics which Christians need to get involved with are God's kingdom politics. The principles of God's kingdom are the principles which should form the basis of congregational life. They should be our study and our practice.
When we are not intentional about being formed by God's politics, we open ourselves to being shaped by the world's politics.
One of the secular myths is that there are spiritually neutral spaces. But the world is alive with meaning, and everywhere we look we are seeing sermons: images of the good life, movies teaching us right and wrong, and songs explaining the meaning of things. Everyone is preaching to us.
Every space is full. And as we go from home, to work, to shop, to church, we are traveling from one spiritual space to another. Each place we stop at is forming us.
Since we cannot escape these spiritually confusing spaces, we need to be intentional about studying the principles of God's kingdom and allowing them to constantly shape and reshape us.