Chosen to rule? What sort of Christian is Chris Luxon?

Chris Luxon has some explaining to do.

He has been identified as an evangelical Christian, which, if you’ll pardon the religious cliché, covers a multitude of sins.

That’s why I believe Chris Luxon owes New Zealanders a working definition of evangelical Christianity – and how he intends to practice it.

A private matter? Well, that might be true if Luxon was a person moving into private life.

Clearly, however, that is not the case.

Luxon has opted to become an even more public person than he was as Air New Zealand’s CEO.

The core motivations of public persons are not matters to be evaded, they are matters to be explicated, elucidated and explained.

What, then, is generally understood by the term Christian evangelism?

At its core, evangelism is about the active spreading of Christ’s teachings – especially among those who are ignorant of his message.

For a politician to identify himself as an evangelical Christian is, therefore, a matter of considerable importance.

If such politicians are genuine in their self-characterisation, then they will take every opportunity their public office provides to proselytise on behalf of their faith.

They will also feel obliged to bear witness against beliefs and practices they believe to be evil.

To do all they can to save the souls of those who are in the grip of sin. Christian evangelism is, above all else, faith in action.

It is, therefore, disingenuous (to say the least) for Luxon to present his evangelical convictions as having relevance only to himself and the congregation of the Upper Room Church to which he belongs.

The very name of his faith community argues against this claim.

The “Upper Room” mentioned in the gospels is the room to which Jesus and his disciples repaired on the night of his arrest.

In biblical tradition, it is the location of Christ’s last supper.

The Upper Room thus represents the ignition-point of the chain of events that led to Christ’s crucifixion and resurrection.

It was Christianity’s first church: Ground Zero, if you like, for Jesus’s universal mission. In the Messiah’s own words:

Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.

And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.

Does that sound like a private matter? Was the Upper Room really nothing more than the venue for a catered meal for Jesus of Nazareth and a few close friends? Is that it?

Obviously, not. Continue reading

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