The Gospel& Politics

The Gospel& Politics

Hey Traveling Partners,

Last Sunday, Tom and Darren took a few minutes to talk about our next Gospel & event: The Gospel & Politics. You can watch the announcement below, or keep reading to learn more.
In some ways we’re probably in the calm before the storm. We’re coming up on another election season, and the culture wars are already beginning to rage. We’ve learned some things over the last few years… things like:
  • Politics are powerful influences in all of our lives. I think we’ve even seen that the dividing line of America also runs through the churches, too.
  • Unity in the church is fragile. And although unity is a gift given to the church through Jesus, think about how quickly it is threatened through the influences of our age.
  • Community is SO important. Christians get weird alone. I don’t think we realized how many people live from Sunday to Sunday. And we have seen how needed it is to gather to learn, grow, and build relationships with other believers united by our faith in Christ.

Last year, our Elder Board shared two verses with you that we believe the Lord gave us:
  • Colossians 3:1-3: “So if you have been raised with Christ, seek the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.”
  • Hebrews 12:28: “Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful. By it, we may serve God acceptably, with reverence and awe…”

We want to continue to live out these verses by the grace of God. But we also need to know how. Maybe more important than having the “right answers” is having the “right mindset and posture.” This is why we have two words for Imprint Church for this season: HUMILITY and HOPE. We think these two words give us a vision for the church to survive and thrive in a season of intense pressure in the US. We live in a culture of rage and outrage, and we want to be different. And if we have been raised with Christ and are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, we can live in hope and strive for humility no matter what happens. This is true individually, but we also need to know how to live out humility and hope together. And Imprint Church wants to help us do that.

We’ve had our Gospel & Projects for years. We’ve done The Gospel & Sexuality, The Gospel & Race, etc. Most recently we had The Gospel & Mental Health last year. The purpose is to explore how the Gospel should inform and shape our views on complex topics we face in our culture. So we want to have a Gospel & Project in 2024, too. It’s called The Gospel & Politics.

The reality that we are Kingdom of Heaven (Matthew) people means that we are exiles, strangers, and foreigners (1 Peter) in our land of residence. But how should an exile, stranger, or foreigner relate to his or her current country of residence? Should Christians be involved in the political sphere at all if we’re seeking things above? How do we deal with the complexities of voting, issues, and partisanship in America? These can be difficult questions. And if I’m honest, I have often found myself struggling to find clear answers through the years.

This is why we’re doing The Gospel & Politics. In fact, we want you to know that we are doing The Gospel & Politics to foster humility and hope in the Christian church for the culture in 2024 and beyond.

We have invited Dr. Patrick Schreiner to join us for a Saturday morning conference on July 20, 2024 to help us navigate these waters. Dr. Schreiner is the Director of the Residency PhD program and Associate Professor of New Testament and Biblical Theology at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. He previously taught at Western Seminary in Portland Oregon, and he received his Ph.D. from the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in NT. He is the author of a number of books, including a commentary on Acts, one on the Ascension of Christ, several on Matthew, and for our purposes, one his most recent books is on political discipleship entitled Political Gospel. All our leaders have read this book and we would encourage you to, as well. He has also written for The Gospel Coalition, Christianity Today, and 9 Marks, and he previously hosted a podcast with Western Seminary called Food Trucks in Babylon. What’s great is that he is a church guy. He serves as an elder at Emmaus Church in North Kansas City and previously served as an elder in Portland. He is married to Hannah, and they have four children.

During The Gospel & Politics we will explore what it means for Christians to have a biblical public witness by looking to Scripture, the early church, and today’s culture. To be clear, WE ARE NOT going to tell you how to vote, what candidate is the right one, or what our stance is on certain issues. We will give you some indirect help on those things. But we know that the best thing we can do is to establish strong churches who proclaim the gospel of Christ that transcends any earthly party or politician. This will be our primary political witness. Again, we are doing The Gospel & Politics to foster humility and hope in the Christian church for the culture in 2024 and beyond.

We want you to join us. Please save the date for now — July 20, 2024. It will be at Imprint Woodinville, and space will be limited. Let’s press into this season as a church family more unified than ever, encouraging one another in humility and hope, and trusting the Lord to do great things through the church no matter what happens in our country!
If you have any questions about this, feel free to reach out. We hope you'll join with us as we seek to (one more time!) foster humility and hope in the Christian church for the culture in 2024 and beyond.

Together in Jesus,
The Imprint Church Team