The church is the place where God is working in new creation power. The church is the outpost of the heavenly Jerusalem, the city of the future, a society of resident aliens gradually filling the earth with the citizens, values, laws, and life of heaven.
Which means that all our plans for transforming human society must be church-centred. Reform the church, change the world. Not the other way round. The church models what it means to be the city of God to the city of man, pointing to a better way of life, a better King.
Which is why one of the primary ways we should respond to the HFE bill disaster this week (and it is a disaster, how else can we describe the willful abandonment of God's structure for the family and the destruction of precious human life?) is to build, in the church, a strong counter-culture where children are accepted, honoured, disciplined and loved in the Lord, an alternative society where godly fathers serve through loving headship. We have to reform ourselves according to the word, pursue deeper levels of faithfulness, study and pray harder, evangelise, serve, weep, disciple the next generation. We change the world by growing, being, reforming the Church.
So, we must continue the campaigning and the lobbying. Christians should be committed to speaking the mind of God on public issues where we can, doing what good we can, serving, loving, arguing. Those of us unable to do so in person should pray and support financially those who can. But long-term deep change will come, by the grace of God, in the gospel, through the Church.
[DF has some thoughts on the link between the state of the church and the state of the nation HERE]