I’m urging everyone who follows Jesus the Messiah in the U.S. and everywhere else to vote “Redemptocrat.” Then, beyond the upcoming elections, I would implore Christ-followers to stay current with their membership in the “Redemptocratic Party,” and live, breathe, sleep, eat., sweat, bleed … redemptocrat.
Okay, so I made the word up and there isn’t really a party, as such, called Redemtocrat. But you can figure it out—redempt-o-crat. I submit, if we’re anything as earnest followers in the way of Jesus, we must be that: Redemptocrat. Let me say a bit more.
As I’ve been insisting in recent months the message of Jesus unleashes explosive though often subversive social, cultural, and political consequences. It simply won’t do to proclaim that Jesus is Lord, as his followers have done from the first, and then claim that his Lordship doesn’t inform every facet of human life personally and communally, whether one names him as Lord or not. From the beginning of the movement, his first followers have claimed that Jesus is Lord, not Caesar. Throughout the successive generations this declaration transmutes to match whatever social and political realities prevail—Jesus is King, Jesus is Prince, and in a sense we could even say that Jesus is governor, Jesus is President, Jesus is Prime Minister, more so than those who hold such offices or bear such titles because Jesus is Lord. Which is to say: Jesus with his good and gracious governance prevails for those who embrace him and his way.
This is not to say that other governments have no legitimacy or authority. No, Jesus recognizes them. His Father planned, provided and allowed for such. At their best, these governing authorities reflect the good order and benefit of God’s Kingdom. At their worst they represent the now-doomed rivals of the one who is King of kings and Lord of lords.
Accordingly, Christ followers belong and live responsibly with dual citizenship. They belong supremely to, and represent ultimately, the Kingdom Jesus brings. And they belong secondarily to the present world-government of their current home land.
I am suggesting that Christ followers embrace and care for the agenda of their King and Lord above all else. And, clearly, in that agenda Jesus is at work is at work redeeming the world through his own acts of amazing grace, costly mercy, and sacrificial, steadfast love—acts that he continues now through his followers, who together constitute the ongoing presence of Jesus in our world today. We are a redeemed people participating in the would-be redemption of all that is. We are a restored people who live in restoration communities and who pursue a restoration mission by the power of Jesus’ own Spirit.
I am suggesting that Christ followers are redemptocrats—they are all about the power of redemption initiated, and one day to be consummated, in our Lord Jesus who is King.
I am suggesting that Jesus and the Word of God that tells his story—from creation to new creation—is not so concerned with who comes into power and by what means as much as he is concerned with how such persons will govern. And the standard for assessment, for judgment, is the Person and Character, the Word and Ministry of the One who is King. All who govern will be judged against the Kingdom-way of the Lord Jesus.
Therefore, one may belong to a number of political parties, alliances, and movements. All of these, however, are secondary at best. Christ following members of such groups will all advocate and act for what is compatible with the redemption Jesus is working. They will also advocate and act against things that are incompatible with Jesus’ redemption plans. Subjects of the Lord Jesus will seek to speak and facilitate redemption wherever they are in whatever arena they happen to be. Christ followers who are secondarily republican will advocate, agitate and act to conform “republican” to a fuller redemptive shape. Likewise, Christ followers who are secondarily democratic will advocate, agitate and act to conform “democrat” to a fuller redemptive shape. And, Christ followers who are secondarily independent or libertarian or whatever will … . For all the assignment, “the political and social mission” (which, by the way is part of the “spiritual” mission) is identical, though each will serve the mission in ways most appropriate for their context.
I am suggesting, urging, imploring that we who follow Christ step up to full missional integrity in the social, cultural and political arenas of our day. Every arena desperately needs the “redemptocrats” bringing light everywhere and leavening everything with the goodness, beauty, wisdom and loving power of Jesus.