Forgive my zeal…
I am not saying that we should not promote the goodness of the Gospel in general society. I am not saying that Christians should not run for public office. I am not saying we should not get involved in government. Frankly, I don’t have a lot to say about it. We live in a democracy where we are led to believe that the government is of the people, for the people, by the people (which is really a farce)…and so getting involved in government is an option that our biblical predecessors didn’t really have.
However, I don’t think that our situation today is much different than it was during the first century. In a day when Israel was hungry for their vindication and to see God finally pull through for them, there sprung up a whole variety of responses. The Pharisees believed that if Israel could only adhere to strict piety, only then would the kingdom of God be quickened. The Zealots wanted to revolt against the Roman oppressors, overtake the government, and thus force in the kingdom of God. The Essenes withdrew from society into monastic orders. Sadducees were politically power hungry aristocrats.
And then there was Jesus. The way Jesus planned to usher in the kingdom of God was by dying.
vnee made a good point that if we turned the other cheek, we might create a further chasm between those who believe in Jesus and those who don’t, because they would see us as essentially doormats. That’s really sad, because our world is really that evil. As negative as that sounds, however, I think vnee and I could both agree that it’s a lot better than being known as unloving flag-waving fundamentalist bigots…which is the case right now. And also, if we came in ushering the kingdom of God with not only turning the other cheek, but all that other hard stuff that Jesus mentioned in his Sermon on the Mount, then we are painting a fuller picture to the world what the kingdom of God looks like. If we could learn to love our enemies, keep true to our word, and stop worrying about “stuff”, I think we’re gonna be onto a radical way of living…something we would never have to stuff down people’s throats because they would be feeding themselves in a frenzy…could they get enough of this sort of kingdom? (ok, I’m being overly optimistic…Jesus was the perfect display of the kingdom and he got killed, but at least we know we’re walking in his steps.)
I’ve got tons more to say, but lemme get off of my soapbox…I’d enjoy some dialogue.