Wednesday, January 24, 2007
Missional Churches - Fifth in a series
Here is the original article from which this is derived.
(5) Finally, missional communities are not only ardent listeners for the earmarks of God's redemptive work in our world, these communities are passionate activists when they find the pathways and trajectories of God's redemptive presence. The work of justice, reconciliation, peace, and spiritual direction are becoming the dominant reflexes of missional communities.
What strikes me about this is how much of a difference this is from the main thrust of evangelical churches at the end of the 20th Century and beginning of the 21st. Rather than run around condemning, protesting and exercising political power, these communities look for examples of lives that have been redeemed and seek to continue that process for all who are willing.
And by embracing "liberal" issues such as reconciliation, justice and peace, they have moved the church out of the right-wing ghetto that threatened to enslave it. God is not right or left-wing. God is holy. The church needs to keep a healthy distance from political movements that threaten to distance it even further from the people who so desperately need to hear its message of redemption and hope through Christ. The end of the Constantinian era will hopefully make some headway in this area, but the church needs to be apolitical and always be on God's side, regardless of the political landscape.
We so desperately want to be accepted and liked, that we sometimes sell our birthright for political power and access. The church needs to keep the ability to critique, rebuke and cajole the government to do what it right. We cannot do that if we become factional.