Christian Living

Your Role as Christ’s Ambassador Starts in Your Neighborhood

Author Amy K. Hall Published on 12/13/2018

As Christians, we should not focus on politics. I’m not saying we should ignore politics. As citizens of a democracy, we have a duty to seek the good of our nation through informed voting, just as the Jewish exiles were asked to seek the welfare of Babylon (Jer. 29:7). Neither am I saying that no Christian should seek a career in government. Some are called to live out their Christianity within that vocation as in any other (just as Daniel was called to do in Babylon).

What I am saying is that serving God and representing Christ starts in your home, your neighborhood, your community, with the people you know personally.

Politics can only ever be impersonal because laws deal with the masses, with generalities. Laws are not merciful. They’re unyielding testimonies to what’s right. Grace, on the other hand, doesn’t come through laws; grace comes through persons.

Think of the difference between the Old and New Testaments. There are some who think two different gods appear in these two Testaments, but that isn’t the case. We’re merely seeing the same God govern the masses in much of the Old Testament and interact with individuals in much of the New Testament (there is, of course, some crossover because it’s the same God in both halves of the Bible), and this simply reveals God’s character from two different perspectives, as those two different goals require two different approaches.

We see this distinction in John 1:17: “For the Law was given through Moses; grace and truth were realized through Jesus Christ.” Laws convict and judge on a grand scale. Grace redeems individuals one at a time, and the New Testament gives us a close-up view of this in the life of Jesus.

Laws and government are necessary for maintaining order in any nation (see Rom. 13:1–7), and they do much to educate people on what is right and wrong, convicting us of our guilt and need for forgiveness. Laws can reveal God’s holiness and righteousness, but the grace of God is not something the body of Christ can convey to people through laws; it’s something that must be communicated individually, person to person. And it’s the grace of God—the gospel—that saves and changes people.

So now we’re back to this: Serving God and representing Christ starts in your home, your neighborhood, your community, with the people you know personally, not with politics. So make sure the priorities you set for your time, attention, and effort reflect this truth.

In an article titled “How to Evangelize Friends Identifying as LGBTQ,” Rosaria Butterfield, author of The Gospel Comes with a House Key, paints a compellingly beautiful picture of what this could look like for you and your church:

Where should you start? As a church community, designate a house where members live and where people can gather daily. Yes, I said daily. And then start gathering daily. And not by invitation only.

Make it a place where the day closes with a meal for all, and with Bible reading and prayer, and where unbelievers are invited to hear the words of grace and salvation, where children of all ages are welcome, and where unbelievers and believers break bread and ideas shoulder to shoulder.

This is the best way that I know of to evangelize your LGBTQ neighbors—and everyone else. To live communally as Bible-believing Christians who care for each other in body and soul. To live openly, such that you know each other well enough to know each other’s sin patterns and temptations. To be a community where everyone is repenting of something all the time. To be a community where Christ could come, eat, wash his feet, and lay down his head. To be a community where hard conversations are had over warm soup and fresh bread.

Read the rest here.