Christianity Today has a very thought-provoking article on church and politics; it’s entitled “Aliens and Citizens.” Here’s an excerpt:

In trying to come to terms with our paradoxical responsibility, theologian Stanley Hauerwas’s dictum can be helpful: “The first responsibility of the church is to be the church.” That sounds right, but what does it mean? He explains: “The church doesn’t have a social ethic; the church is a social ethic.” Hauerwas reminds us that before we go off trying to come up with whom Jesus would vote for, we first have to understand what the church is. And when we think about that, we start to realize that the church has a politics (from the Greek polis, or body of citizens) of its own—that is, a way of living together as the body of Christ that shows the world a “more excellent way.”

In the already-but-not-yet paradox between Christ’s resurrection and his second coming, the church is the “already”—the peculiar place in the world that has started to look like the New Jerusalem. Of course, the church is far from perfect, but when the church really does begin to live in the light of Christ’s forgiveness, it’s not too much to say that the church is a reflection of the peace and love of the triune God—even a bit of heaven on earth.

HT: Redeemed Rambling