Peaceful Resistance and Subversive Conformity

Posted on by Jeremy Daggett

John Mark Hicks consistently churns out thoughtful (and timely) content on his site. His latest post is no exception. He walks through 1 Peter 2:13-17 to talk about “living as exiles in an empire.” If you have ten minutes, read the whole article and chalk it up as your theological workout for the day (don’t worry, it’s a light workout that leaves you feeling accomplished—not dead—at the end of it).

If you can’t spare ten minutes, here’s the turn from 1 Peter to reflecting on current events in U.S. America:

I find it rather distressing (saddened rather than distraught) that Christians in the United States live in such fear of the future, specifically the loss of a “Christian nation.” This fear generates anger, suspicion, hateful rhetoric, and despair. It is misplaced “fear,” and reflects misplaced allegiance (or authentic fear, the worship of God).

1 Peter called its first readers to live in hope, gentleness, love, and reverent awe among the nations. Without doubt, the imperial Roman culture was saturated with non-Christian values, commitments, and practices. These shaped every aspect of that culture—education, entertainment, and civic religion. Their children, nor anyone else, could escape that cultural reality and influence, and they won’t escape in our present culture. Yet, Peter—though realistic about the harsh criticism and hostility of that culture—calls believers to a way of life that is saturated with goodness and hope.

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