Wednesday, July 15, 2020

Ambassadors for Christ?

Ugh. Today, besides feeling physically subpar (hello, tick bite!), I feel spiritually defiled. In a moment of weakness and morbid curiosity, I made the mistake of reading some of the Facebook feeds of a handful of people in my church. I think we might have a problem.

The Word of God tells Christians that they are citizens of a new kind of Kingdom. This Kingdom is not one with physical, geographical boundaries, a two-party political system, checks and balances, and a (merely) 200-year-old governing document. It's God's Kingdom, existing outside the physical Universe and governed by God Himself:
But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself. [Phillippians 3:20-21 ESV]
One cool thing is that when we become citizens of that Kingdom, God leaves us in place, planted in the physical realm to serve His purposes. Our job? To be His ambassadors:
Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. [2 Corinthians 5:20 ESV]
But as I read post after hate-filled post on Facebook, it became crystal clear to me that either the Kingdom has fewer citizens than I'd hoped, or those citizens grossly misunderstand their roles as ambassadors. Were I to judge by what I saw (and have heard), I would calculate that "ambassador for Christ" has come to mean "culture warrior". We Christians line up on political, sociological, idealogical, racial, or any other "-al" line we can find, dig in our heels, crane our necks and bend our ears for the sound of the charge!

What if we revisit the idea of ambassador-ship with a new objective: to make—by our every word, thought, and deed—the Kingdom of heaven and the God who governs it so glorious and attractive that its opponents simply emigrate to it. No need for blood shed. No anger. No insults. Just love and faithful representationambassadorshipof the King of Kings.


  1. Really curious what you saw on Facebook... I mean, I don't want you to out anyone. Just a few non-identifying representative samples or summaries would be interesting to see, though. Partly I'm asking because I'm wondering if the *forms* with which different sides wage culture war are actually quite similar.

    1. Hey, Karl! Most of what I saw on that particular Facebook drive-by was a cocktail formulated from equal parts of:

      * regurgitated (if unsubstantiated) single-perspective declarations of What Is and What Shall Be made trivially "share-able" by the machinery common to social media platforms.

      * fruitless opining about what They think/want (where "They" is some person or group on the opposite side of whatever particular dividing line accomplishes the most dividing at the minute).

      * demonization of others who probably spend most of their time on the same side of those dividing lines but dared to poke a toe across it.

      * blatant and prominently declared distrust of ... well, just about everyone (government, media, science, each other...).

      I suppose these things aren't unique to Christians, but they run contrary to the tenets of a faith whose "governing documents", as it were, espouses such things are truth, justice, peace, grace, human government as a divine provision, etc.