Thursday, June 09, 2005

The Great Commission and Government

I have always thought evangelism, spreading the gospel message, is at its best a personal responsibility. In action, day-to-day, I think of it as striving to make that little part of the world I individually encounter somehow better by my compassion. My goal is feeling and showing compassion towards everyone I deal with each day -- though I most often fall short.

Thinking this way, I naturally appreciated the piece Buzzmachine turned me on to in the Christian Examiner. Jordan Ballor, speaking from an evangelical position, warns of the danger lurking when we try and wield the government as an instrument of morality.

Invoking the Great Commission,
All authority hath been given unto me in heaven and on earth. Go ye therefore, and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them into the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit: teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I commanded you: and lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world (Mt. 28:18-20 ASV).,
he reminds me of my duty to profess my beliefs rather than trying to impose them.
A far better way than coercing others to adhere to objective standards of morality is to convert them to those standards. It is ultimately only through proclamation of the gospel that the culture and the nation will be redeemed. For the church is to engage the world not with the sword of the government, but with “sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God”
Amen, Jordan, in me you have a witness. Check out the whole piece for a reasonable Christian perspective on today's political milieu.


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