Commonplace Book #164

Power, after all, is frequently held and wielded not by elected officials and politicians, but by well-positioned lobbying groups, on the one hand, and the media, on the other. They will say in their defense that their mandate–sometimes given theoretical justification, more often just quietly assumed–is to hold the elected officials to account (the media) and to remind them of the real needs and interests of their constituents (the lobbyists). There is not doubt a grain of truth in that, but it is almost completely hidden under a ton of unscrutinized agendas. Official oppositions sometimes provide genuine critique, but often they don’t. Journalists sometimes do, but often simply reflect their own equally distorted agendas. We should not assume that our systems are automatically the best we could possibly have. This is where those who believe in the victory of the cross have something to say–quite literally. As Christians, our role in society is not to wring our hands at the corruption of power or simply to pick a candidate that supports one or another supposedly Christian policy. The Christian role, as part of the naming the name of the crucified and risen Jesus on territory presently occupied by idols, is to speak the truth to power and especially to speak up for those with no power at all.

N.T. Wright, The Day the Revolution Began, 400.