Politics: The Embassy of Christ's Rule
By Matthew Castro
In an era of extreme partisan views in American politics, the church is at a crossroad. It seems society is drawing dividing lines, and expecting everyone to pick a side. Political agnosticism is frowned upon by the general public. So the church is placed in an awkward situation. With the emergence of the Donald Trump presidential run within the Republican Party, most Christians are confused to the proper course of action. How should the church proceed within political discourse and action?
Jonathan Leeman, who is the editorial director of 9Marks, wrote a book entitled, Political Church: The Local Assembly as Embassy of Christ’s Rule. He argues that the church is not only a spiritual assembly, but also a political one. The church is a kind of embassy per se. He writes, “This embassy represents a kingdom not from across geographic space but from across eschatological time.” Jesus has decreed that His people, the church, has the authority to establish local congregations that are visible embassies of his present and eventually kingship. Therefore, the church is a political assembly that represents, displays, and announces Jesus’ righteous rule over all people.
Each local church manifests visibly and institutionally the universal rule of Christ through the preaching of the gospel and the ordinary activities of the congregation. A governmental authority over humanity by Jesus Christ is expressed through the organization of Christians into churches. The keys of the kingdom of Christ are given to the church for building a people, who are under the headship of Jesus. Jonathan Leeman writes, “It is to place them within a construct of rules, beliefs, or norms that will shape their behavior relative both to one another and to outsiders while also providing them with a measure of social stability, identity and meaning.” Jesus rules visibly and institutionally through the church.
When the church affirms in worship, “Jesus is Lord,” they are stating a political truth. There is no territory in His creation that is independent of Him. He has chosen to act in the world through His church. His ministry of redemption and justice is channeled through them. The church is therefore political when it is preaching, evangelizing, and ministering to people through the Word. These are the activities of the embassies of Christ to visibly expose the world to His kingdom.
Therefore, Redeemer Fellowship is a political assembly that manifests Jesus’ rightful claim over the world. Our thoughts and actions are shaped by His teachings alone. We believe the gospel of Jesus Christ must be the foundation of everything that we say and do regardless of the political platform it affirms or rejects. It is our humble calling by God to redeem the cultural issues of our day through the gospel of Jesus Christ. We hope to regularly analyze and provide gospel perspective on societal trends through written, audio, and visual mediums. We want you to join us in the conversation by contributing your thoughts, words, and voice to the comments.