One of the criticisms of your book [Resident Aliens: Life in the Christian Colony] is that it is socially irresponsible to suggest that the Church quit trying to influence the government.I don't post this because of any particular opinion I have about the war in Iraq, but because Willimon puts forth the very interesting notion that the Church should have it's own agenda and be it's own frame of reference regardless of the nation-states around it.
Willimon: Politicians love words like "responsibility." But once you accept something like the Gulf War in the name of political responsibility, then everything else goes down easy. We are the Church, and maybe the most "responsible" thing we could have done in the war with Iraq is to have said, "Here is a country ruled by a despot. We'd better make that a major area of evangelism this year, so we are going to send 1,000 missionaries to Iraq." That would have screwed up things beautifully. The government would have said, "How are we going to bomb Iraq with all those damn missionaries running loose?" And we would have said, "That's your problem. But if you hit one of our missionaries, there's going to be hell to pay." That is political responsibility from the viewpoint of the Church.
Stanley Hauerwas and William Willimon, Where Resident Aliens Live: Exercises for Christian Practice (Nashville: Abingdon Press, 1996), 114-15.
The Church of God is it's own ekklesia, it's own polis.