I am studying for a sermon from Luke 19:28-44 and ran across a quote from Darrell Bock that has me thinking. The quote comes from The NIV Application Commentary on Luke:
Society certainly runs better when it is conducted on a high moral plane; and in democracies like those in the Western world, we should share in the public square. But we should not confuse the church with government, or vice versa. To transform humanity, a change in the heart is needed. That is not the business of government, nor can it be achieved by laws; rather, it is a part of the church’s prophetic call and the work of God’s Spirit.
It seems to me that we, as Christians, are often quick to point out how our world is falling apart because our governments have let us down. I think Bock’s statement is insightful because it reminds us that the the responsibility to “change hearts” is not our government’s. It is the church’s. Only the power of the gospel and the Holy Spirit change people from the inside out. Laws do not change hearts.
Maybe the church should stop placing the blame on others and take a long look in the mirror and ask if we are doing what we have been called to do. What do you think?