In the wake of the US presidential elections, you may have received many emails from concerned Christian groups decrying the reelection of President Obama. At the heart of most of these messages are two issues. First is fear. This response is laden with an anticipation of the horrors of what is to come. Second is a bold declaration of standing against the erosion of our religious freedom. Now please understand that I too do anticipate the further erosion of religious freedoms and I too believe in standing against those that would remove the freedom to practice our faith in this great country. While defending ourselves in the land in which the constitution holds such moral and legal weight is important, I am concerned that this type of response does not reflect Christ. First, Christ did not fear the kingdoms of the world, nor did he attempt to isolate himself from them. In fact He pushed deeper into the sinful broken communities that existed around him. And while He did witness in the synagogues and engage the religious leaders, He did not challenge Roman politicians or soldiers to alter the political situation in Israel; for He brought a kingdom that was new and that was to be born and realized in the hearts of men.
I fully support calls to prayer. But calls for funding and a bold defense are at best only a portion of how we should respond. Jesus called us to model our lives after Him, so at the heart of every response to this election result, to the feared lessening of our religious freedoms, is not to doggedly defend our “Christian nation” as if it is best but to actively enter the world and show that it is best. We must love those who hate us, we must serve those who persecute us, we must witness the Gospel in word and deed and we must bring Christ’s redemptive love to a world in need. This is what we are called to do. If we have “The Way” then let us prove it, not in the courts, in academic circles or merely from the pulpits or public square, but in the loving service that Christ called us to give to the broken all around us.
- Nicholas Kerton-Johnson, CEO, Ephesus Initiative