Wednesday, August 05, 2009
How To Change The World
Is it the responsibility of the Church to transform governments to follow our values (i.e. school prayer, abortion, the definition of marriage)? Or is it our responsibility to introduce people to Jesus who is the only one who can transform hearts?There are all sorts of levels on which to attack this question. The clear narrative of scripture, from OT policy making to NT redemption would indicate the later choice. But yet, have you ever really considered the fact that the OT as necessary preparation for the NT story to take hold? Why did God send the Flood way back when - why wait so many millennia to send Jesus? Could Noah not have dealt with Christ? Surely we must conclude that there were certain necessary conditions that the policy-based approach of the OT made for the graceful message of the NT to be as effective as God wanted it. Let's call it "pre-evangelism."
Pre-Evangelism is a term that C.S. Lewis used concerning his first series of talks of the four series that comprise Mere Christianity. Lewis had a very specific idea of what those necessary conditions were, and I shall leave it up to you dear reader, to figure them out for yourself. I would suggest The Abolition of Man as Lewis' definitive statement of the conditions.
What I would like to consider in this post is the fact that while establishing the Kingdom is indeed the work of the church and not government, if we are to take our cues from the biblical narrative, then there must still be a role for policy based action as Christians. For it would appear that it is through policy based action that the pre-evangelistic conditions are established.
The religiously motivated politically active community stands at a brink. Indeed, we have blown it. Politically we are a very low ebb, on the brink of extinction. There is much talk of abandoning the field of play, of declaring the political experiment of the last few decades a mistake.
This would be wrong. Rather we need to refocus. There have been mistakes made, mostly by trying to do the church's work in the political arena. What we need to do is refocus. We need to do pre-evangelism in politics so we can do evangelism in society.
And the need was never greater....