The Future Face of the North American Church, part 3

Posted: March 5, 2010 in On Being Apostolic
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Apolitical…the future face of the North American apostolic movement is apolitical.

The current-model apostolic church is far too infatuated with the halls of earthly power, and has propagated the fundamentalist/evangelical folly that God is a Republican.  Yeah, I know…that’s a bit much.  But to hear apostolics talk, you’d think that every part of the conservative political agenda lines up squarely with the Word of God.  Somewhere along the way apostolics are going to begin to realize that conservative social values don’t necessarily equate with conservative political values, and that knee-jerk, right wing, individualistic populism doesn’t mix well with the authentic apostolicity of the Book of Acts.

Here’s a news flash: North American democracies are never going to vote themselves into some sort of national revival.  I know that my American friends have thought for years that it could be different; that some sort of national repentance ala 2 Chronicles 7:14 could actually be a reality.  But it’s not.  You know, it really doesn’t matter in the grand eternal scheme who leads which party and which party forms the government.  As an Apostolic Christian, when opportunity presents itself you should go and vote according to a conscience informed by your faith.  Then walk out and leave it behind you.  End your obsession with fruitless political prattle.

All apostolics need to remind themselves of the political statement of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ.  It’s found in John 18:36, and was issued by Jesus when He was being questioned concerning His political goals and aspirations.  Are you ready for this?  He said, “My kingdom is not of this world.” It’s time that we apostolics reacquainted ourselves with our true citizenship.  Our spiritual rebirth made us citizens of the Kingdom of Heaven, and as such that Kingdom is our concern…not the kingdoms of this world.  In this world we are strangers and foreigners.

Even the most cursory glance at the Book of Acts reveals the apolitical nature of the primitive church.  In fact, it seems likely that they would have wanted to be as distant from political engagement as they possibly could be…seeing as they were constantly on the wrong side of the political authorities.  The record of Acts presents the church as persecuted, her members scattered, her leaders arrested, her leaders beaten, imprisoned, and murdered…and all by earthly governments.  Political power was not the friend and ally of the early church.  Quite the opposite.  Because the church exercising spiritual power represented a threat and a challenge to political power, every effort was made to extinguish her.  Yet with all of this, Acts records no effort of any kind among believers to rise up against the political power.  She remained firmly apolitical because politics simply wasn’t her purview…her eyes were focused on the eternal.

Understand this; an Apostolic Church that functions as an authentic apostolic church is by her very nature subversive.  Her utter lack of interest in who is running what, her utter lack of interest in politicians and governments, her completely other-worldly focus, her practical ministry that bypasses the channels of earthly authority, her values that are completely at odds with the values of power, and the belief that she should obey God rather than man…all of this makes her quietly dissident.  And that’s as it should be.

Authentic Apostolics aren’t against government, but neither are they for the government.  They obey the law…as long as law doesn’t require the violation of conviction.  They pay taxes.  And they even vote when the countries they reside in allow for democratic process.  But the earthly king isn’t their king; Christ is their King.  And they are working to build His Kingdom.

A truly apolitical nature…that’s part of the real future of the North American apostolic movement.  As apostolics realize that the agenda of government is not their agenda, and that whatever party is elected the will of power is not the will of God for His Church, some will begin to wean themselves of their political fascination.  And those that do will find more than ample engagement in the Kingdom of Heaven.

Stay tuned for part four.

Comments
  1. Cameron Price says:

    And when the church finally did have her love affair with politics in the fourth century, she ceased to be apostolic.

    • Cameron;

      Some think that Constantine was the worst thing that happened to the Church, because his flirtation with Christianity sped her long descent into a darkness so deep as to be mind-boggling. While she was already erring doctrinally, her “love affair” with politics nailed the coffin shut.

      Thanks for commenting!

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