Nothing Significant

This point [about the importance of God’s rule] was driven home to me in a story I once heard concerning Will Campbell, the Mississippi Baptist preacher, writer, and civil rights activist. Speaking at a conference on the theme of Christianity and politics, Campbell was asked what he thought to be the most significant thing going on in Washington these days. His answer could not have been more blunt: “There is nothing significant going on in Washington these days.” In saying this, Campbell lived up to his reputation as a theological gadfly. No matter how politically engaged, he is saying, the church must not allow “Washington”—a symbol not limited to a city on the Potomac—to set the terms for what is significant and what is not. When the church lets this happen, it abdicates its specific vocation and calling as a witness. Campbell’s point is not, of course, that the church should be unconcerned with what the state is doing, only that its sense of priorities must be shaped by apocalyptic perception rather than by the powers of this world. “Washington” is simply not a reliable guide to what is most important in God’s eyes.

Mangina, Joseph L. Revelation. Brazos Theological Commentary on the Bible. Grand Rapids, MI: Brazos Press, 2010, p. 83.

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