To Change the World
Jesus’s kind of justice (as introduced in the previous post) has more power to transform lives than any of the traditional political approaches where we try to attain power to change the government.
For instance, imagine what would happen if white kingdom people chose to reverse the white dominance of American culture and, in a variety of ways, placed themselves in service to nonwhites? What if white Christians entered into solidarity with nonwhites and made the struggles of nonwhites their own? What if they used their position of privilege not for their own gain but to support and empower those who are not like them.
What if kingdom people didn’t make themselves dependent on government to resolve racial tensions, but rather assumed responsibility to eradicate centuries of cultural racism in this country in their own lives, in the life of their own congregations, and in the lives of those in their community? What would happen if Christian individuals and entire congregations were intentional in proclaiming—with their lives—that a central reason Jesus died was to reverse the divisions that started with Babel (Gen 11) and to tear down walls of hostility between people (Eph 2:14-16).
Such Calvary-like activity would put on display a kingdom love and kingdom unity the world is not capable of through typical political channels. For this reason alone, Jesus’ kind of justice has the power to advance the kingdom of God and attract people to Jesus Christ. This is “power under” beauty that would turn a spotlight on the ugly racism of American culture that is so easy for whites. It would advance the kingdom of God even while it impacts the sociopolitical structures.
Of course, as American citizens, we can use our access to government to make the kingdom of the world as just as possible. How to best do this amid the ambiguity of the limited options presented by this version of the kingdom of this world is a difficult and controversial topic. But as kingdom-of-God citizens, we need not, and must not, wait for these issues to be resolved before we act. Our trust, time, energy, and resources must not be centered on improving government but on living out the revolutionary kingdom of Jesus Christ in every way, shape, and form.
It must be centered on praying and bleeding for others; it must be centered on coming under others, especially those who suffer at the hands of the kingdom of the world.
—adapted from The Myth of a Christian Nation, 124-125
(Photo by Tyler Nix on Unsplash)