Monday, September 22, 2008

Following Jesus into the Public Square

We continued our journey with "Christ on the Campaign Trail" this Sunday by "Following Jesus into the Public Square." My desire was to answer the question, "Should Christians be involved in politics?" Given the confessions of both presidential candidates to be followers of Jesus, and with one Veep nominee without a doubt a professing Christian, we needed to answer the question.

We started with an interview with Cindy DePaolantonio, a member of the Frisco Independent School District Board of Trustees. She told how she did not seek the job, but through volunteering and opportunity she ran for the position and has served there since 2003. She told us that her desire was to be a "living example of Jesus" as she served the 32,000 children of the district. She acknowledged the limitations placed on her, but she tried in every instance to be like Jesus to the children and their families. You can hear her entire interview here.

I then turned to clips from an interview between Charles Colson, Greg Boyd, and Shane Claiborne to illustrate the different takes Christian leaders have on the church's roll in politics. You can see the entire interview here. Colson essentially says, "Yes, serve in order to correct the injustices in society." Boyd, said the primary task of the church was not to run the government but to "live out the kingdom." Claiborne, who would have the Amish leading Homeland Security, said that we are to be distinctively different as followers of Jesus.

I then turned to Jesus' clear words that His kingdom was "not of this world" and that it grew like a mustard seed and yeast in dough. Jesus' kingdom is not a rival to other world governments. It is something completely different. It expands not through our efforts but organically as kingdom people live out their lives as followers of Jesus.

We also looked at Paul's six-day-a-week strategy of entering the marketplace, or public square, to boldly witness to the person of Jesus.

My conclusion? To confess "Jesus as President" calls for your allegience and service to Him wherever He calls you to serve. The final phrase is key. If God leads you into public service, serve there and reflect His kingdom values as clearly as possible. If not, do not condemn those who do but be involved where you can in the public square to be a bold witness to who Jesus is.

By the way, have I shown you a picture of my granddaughter lately? Here she is at her first attempt as solid food. A doll, I'd say--and very healthy!

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