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Evangelical Politics

by Tim Isbell, May 2018

I've long wanted to address the topic of authentic Christian life as its currently expressed in America's political and economic reality. But it seemed "above my pay grade." Fortunately, a couple of weeks ago Dr. Mark Labberton, President of Fuller Seminary (where I attended), articulated it wonderfully in a talk at Wheaton College. Please take 10 minutes to read it: Political Dealing: The Crisis of Evangelicalism.

Dr. Labberton's words resonate with my understanding of God's assignment to live The Alternate Life in the middle of a broken world. This means living as a citizen of God's Kingdom while residing at postal addresses in worldly kingdoms.

My favorite biblical example is Daniel, who grew into his teenage years in Israel when the Babylonians overran his home. His captors forced Daniel to leave home and serve in the administrations of a sequence of Babylonian kings. Later, Persia took over that land and Daniel served another series of kings. He died far from his native Israel. Through all the political turmoil and intrigue, Daniel gave fruitful service to one king after another, always without compromising his citizenship in God's Kingdom.

So let's engage with the political discourse of our day while constantly remembering that Jesus is our ultimate Lord. At every step, Jesus chose the most redemptive option, which is our model for living. Beginning at Pentecost and continuing to the present, God gives the Spirit of Jesus to live within every Christian to guide and empower us to do live redemptively. In the process, we learn that God really is in control, despite all appearances to the contrary. This is what we believe. This is what we have heard. And this is what we have to offer our world.
Scripture teaches us how to live this life: Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect. (1 Peter 3.15)
Blessings,
Tim


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