5) N. T. Wright addresses the issue of church and state (i.e., the kingdom of God versus the kingdoms of this world) in this wonderful You Tube:
I link to it because much is being said these days about why evangelicals should become involved in political activism. I am not against activism. I do have some significant concerns, however. My initial thoughts are as follows. I will probably not support a so-called “conservative Christian” political agenda if its proponents:
Give the impression that they are more “moral” than other people. If Paul could consider himself “the very worst of sinners” (1 Tim. 1:15), it will not help your cause if you pit “moral people” (like us!) against “immoral people” (like homosexuals, prostitutes, and abortionists). We are all sinners.
Think it will “bring America back to God.” America has never been a Christian nation.
Identify the church with any human institution or political party. God is not a Republican or a Democrat. Please do not suggest that agreeing with your particular political position is a precondition to belonging to the kingdom of God. It is not.
Fail to submit to God’s reign in every area of life, including Jesus’ command to love sinners. Nonconformity to the world means more than just opposing social evils such as abortion; it includes a humble, beautiful, peacemaking, servant-like, self-sacrificial love. It means revolting against everything in our lives that is inconsistent with God’s kingdom, including the temptation to grab Caesar-like political power.
Claim that their position is the only “Christian” position out there. We must always be on guard against the seductive lure of a kind of hubris that implies that all “sincere” and “godly” evangelicals share the same view about controversial political actions. They don’t!
Imply that “inalienable rights” and “the pursuit of happiness” are biblical concepts. They are not! I love democracy, I’d rather live in a democracy than in a dictatorship for sure, but nowhere is democracy or political freedom elevated to a virtue in the New Testament.
The bottom line: Jesus’ holiness did not repel sinners. He did go around promoting “faith, family, and freedom.” He attracted tax collectors and prostitutes while the Pharisees kept their distance. The Gospel is a beautiful and powerful grassroots kingdom movement. No, it does not rule out political activism. But the truth is that the kingdom does not look like the thousands of social movements abroad in the land today. The heart of Christianity is simply imitating Jesus.
(From Dave Black Online. David Alan Black is the author of Energion titles Christian Archy, The Jesus Paradigm, Why Four Gospels? and the forthcoming Will You Join the Cause of Global Missions?. Used by permission.)