How can the Church be in the world but not of it?
The Christian Church is comprised of individual humans who all to one extent or another adopt specific ideologies, act on personal preferences and make partisan decisions. Thus it is not possible for the Church to operate in a domain that is isolated from human opinion. In fact, by attempting to do so it abrogates its responsibility to provide spiritual guidance in this current life.
The problem is that the Church can become so caught up in the exercise of politics that it becomes virtually indistinguishable from any other partisan interest group. This is the case for Mainline denominations with respect to Progressivism and also for some Evangelical churches with respect to Populism / Conservatism. How then can the Christian Church provide spiritual guidance to its members on things political without becoming captive to secular political movements?
One of my greatest frustrations with Mainline Protestant leadership is the way that they have politicized every aspect of the Bible’s teaching. In their view almost everything that the Prophets, Apostles and Christ Himself did or said had a secular political motivation. Thus, Christ is reduced to not much more than a particularly influential Progressive, pacifist, socialist community organizer.
However, it would be equally false to contend that nothing done by the Prophets, Apostles and Christ Himself intersected with secular politics. In fact, there are cases where it is virtually certain that human worldly politics provided the framework for the Biblical text. How then can the Christian Church fulfilled its duty to deliver spiritual and moral teaching that informs its member’s political deliberations without becoming captive to secular political ideologies and movements? Answering this question will be the focus of following posts.