Political Goals and the Gospel Mission

This guest post is by Lukus Collins.

There are many positions and actions that Christians support and take that, while often derived from and not contradictory to, are nonetheless not explicitly stated in the teachings of Christ and the New Testament Apostles. Not only that, but most American Christians seem, in my opinion, to most focus their attention and passion on those issues not explicitly stated in NT teaching, while largely ignoring those that are.

I find it very interesting that Jesus and the NT writers never directed Christians to petition their governing rulers for moralistic legal reforms. Every effort they took to redeem the fallen culture around them was carried out through gospel means, not political means. This doesn’t necessarily rule out political involvement for the Christian, but it does place it in a secondary position.

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No Continuing City: The Paradox of a Christian Society

By Edmund Opitz, author of The Libertarian Theology of Freedom and Religion and Capitalism: Allies, Not Enemies.

Benedict of Nursia pictured the ideal monastery as “a little state, which could serve as a model for the new Christian society.” Those who respond to the call of monasticism and draw apart from secular society are to undertake a new community based upon the bond of fellowship set forth in The Rule of St. Benedict. The discipline of the Order was so rigorous as to make the Spartans appear hedonists by comparison. “The life of a monk,” Benedict writes, “should be always as if Lent were being kept. But few have virtue enough for this,” he adds sadly, “and so we urge that during Lent he shall utterly purify his life, and wipe out, in that holy season, the negligence of other times.”

The “negligence” to which Benedict referred might crop up any time, for example, when it came a monk’s turn to do kitchen work. Servers are urged to “wait on their brethren without grumbling or undue fatigue.” As an inducement to good behavior they are awarded an extra portion of food. But what about wine? “God gives the ability to endure abstinence” to some; the others are rationed to a pint a day. Benedict yields this point reluctantly. “Indeed we read that wine is not suitable for monks at all,” he writes. “But because, in our day, it is not possible to persuade the monks of this, let us agree at least as to the fact that we should not drink to excess, but sparingly.”

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