2. A Kingdom Not of this World: The NT church is not called or equipped to bear the sword. The weapons of our warfare (prayer, preaching, gospel witness and persuasion, sacrificial service) are not the same weapons the world uses to expand its reach (guns, bombs, tanks, etc)
3. A Name Reserved for Covenant Community: Jesus was very careful and deliberate about what he put his name upon. In scripture, Jesus places his name on his people & his church. Where does he place his name on countries, political parties, platforms, schools, & economic systems?
4. Upside Down Ethics: We think the best way to influence something is to control it from the social top-down. But Jesus exercised influence from the social bottom-up. He explained that his people would follow his example by exercising bottom up influence. see Matt20:25-26
5. Solidarity with the Least of These: When Christians gain social control and power, we lose touch with those who don’t have it. Church history is littered with the casualties of “Christendom” projects that slaughtered people for the sake of “Kingdom advancement.”
6. A Powerful Drug: Social control is an intoxicating drug which can corrupt even the best of us. Once we gain a certain measure of social control & power, we’re tempted to feel we must keep it at all cost. We justify the compromises and casualties as promoting “the greater good.
7. The Faith of the Vulnerable: It’s really hard for people who believe they have power and control to entrust themselves to God. (see Matt 19:23) The social conditioning around power steers us toward self sufficiency and pride and away from divine dependence and humility.
8. The Fellowship of Christ’s Sufferings: There are certain jewels of the Christian experience that are only located within the context of social vulnerability. Although suffering experiences are bad, the Lord can show himself uniquely good, present and gracious in that context.