As I mentioned in my previous post, I read two articles today about faith and politics. One from Beckwith was summarized above. The second, by John Piper is equally deserving of consideration. In his article, Taking the Swagger Out of Christian Cultural Influence, Piper walks the fine line between cultural imperialism (he doesn’t call it that) and total withdraw from society and politics.
Piper reminds us of something we all know, that this world isn’t our home. We are exiles and stangers, sojourners and pilgrims. Consequently, Piper adds, “American culture does not belong to Christians, neither in reality nor in Biblical theology. It never has. The present tailspin toward Sodom is not a fall from Christian ownership.”
Too often, however, Christians have embraced this biblical truth and coupled it with an unbiblical hardness to their world. Piper seeks to bring us to balance.
But Christian exiles are not passive. We do not smirk at the misery or the merrymaking of immoral culture. We weep. Or we should. This is my main point: being exiles does not mean being cynical. It does not mean being indifferent or uninvolved. The salt of the earth does not mock rotting meat. Where it can, it saves and seasons. And where it can’t, it weeps…Being Christian exiles in American culture does not end our influence; it takes the swagger out of it. We don’t get cranky that our country has been taken away. We don’t whine about the triumphs of evil. We are not hardened with anger. We understand. This is not new.