Perhaps N. T. Wright is right to protest against so easily summarily dismissing the importance of politics in this world. He sees it as a wrong headed approach to life foreign to those in biblical times who saw all of life together as a whole. There wasn’t sacred and secular, public and private, individual and community. Everything rather was either in line or not with God and God as King over all. And everything in line under God had its place. Certainly truth there, and to be thought through more.
But I find it sad when pastors leave their churches and the pastorate to pursue political office. They are stepping down if indeed they were called by God to the vocation of pastor. And the same can be said, I think, when we Christians are so caught up in what is going on in the American and world political scene that we can easily spend hours every day on it while neglecting the weightier matters. Since the church itself is to be the center and place in and out from which God’s kingdom exists and makes its impact, we in Jesus should indeed be taken up with that. We are to be a witness to something greater than American politics or any political government of this world.
Ironically I think, the more I am into scripture and into the teaching and practice of God’s kingdom come in Jesus and its outworking today in the church, the more I think I am interested in the politics of this world. Because God’s kingdom come in Jesus is about making all things right and all things new. But that is to be done in the church as a witness of what God’s kingdom come in King Jesus looks like as we await its fulfillment on earth over all government when King Jesus returns.
In the meantime, we have to beware lest we get caught up into the system. Not to say that some of us might have some special work in that system like Daniel of old. But our allegiance, passion and attention must be given first and foremost to God’s kingdom come in Jesus. To try more and more to see everything in light of that.