One of the issues that I was keen to ‘place on the table’ at this gathering concerned the relationship between Reformed Churches and the State. It seems to me that a tradition like mine which is so heavily imbedded in what is now a rapidly-disappearing Christendom has well and truly entered (in most parts of the world) a time in which our relationship with the State is overdue for a rethink. Put differently, is it time for Reformed Churches who have long been in bed with the State to start thinking about wearing an ecclesiastical condom, at least at more ‘risky’ times of the month? Conversely, is it time for Reformed Churches who have long sidelined themselves from their societies to re-think their bed etiquette?
What Jason states here with great eloquence goes twice over for confessional Lutheran bodies which infamously have hidden behind a wooden reading of Romans 13 and the bizarre doctrines of "two kingdoms" and the "left hand of God" to consistently excuse the utterly inexcusable. He goes on to cite four points (excerpted from a longer remit) which he offered at a session of the body:
- We will not kill one another.
- We will make disciples in our congregations who might learn to resist participation in the State’s machinery of violence and thereby offer a distinctive Christian witness to an alternative way of living that is determined to not perpetuate the practices of that world which is passing away but which is formed by the new creation inaugurated in the resurrection of Jesus from the dead.
- We will communicate – in word and in action – to our respective states and governments that our principle allegiance is to Jesus Christ.
- We will offer our full support to all those in our communion for whom this commitment will come at great cost.