Thursday, March 19, 2015

Seeking the welfare of

Members of the new-covenant community are still to seek the welfare of the city in which they reside, as Jeremiah told the exiles (Jer 29:7). But this must be a good they seek in cruciform mode. Their lives should be a living presence and voice that reflect the cross of the crucified Messiah. This is not, I would submit, the way that most discussions of Christians and politics (or public witness) proceed. If politics as it is normally understood and practiced is at least in part about the exercise of power, Christians have far too often sought to share that secular power, to control the political and/or public realm, and even to participate in the exercise of power in ways that are antithetical to the cross. As we all know, in fact, at times the cross has ironically and idolatrously become the symbol of such un-cruciform power, whether in the execution of medieval crusades, or in so-called “cross-lightings” by the KKK, or in contemporary popular war propaganda in which crosses and American flags are merged into a single blasphemous icon.— The Death of the Messiah and the Birth of the New Covenant, page 221

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