Politics and Christianity
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Christianity and Politics . . . Many think the two should never be combined. In fact, some have twisted the words of Thomas Jefferson to make the two completely exclusive. As you'll read below, you'll discover that I WISH the two could remain segregated; however, it seems that's not really an option.
Not too long ago, I compiled some thoughts that have been rattling around in my brain for quite some time. So, I'm including the entire text of my musings below. If you can make it through the entire reading, I invite you to leave your opinion. I ask that you keep it nice. I'll be looking forward to the discussion.
More Places to find my Politically Incorrect Rants
Politics in Christianity
What Does Jesus Think of Them?
I hate politics, and election years are the worst. My insides go into this terrible turmoil with every political ad and speech. I actually went to hear one of the more conservative presidential candidates speak when he appeared near my home during the last election season. I’d never done that before, and I’m not sure I’ll ever do it again. I felt like I had snuck into a cult meeting.
I think perhaps one of the reasons I hate politics is that it brings to light the fact that America’s morality level is sinking. Even many “conservatives” don’t adhere to traditional Biblical values anymore. I read an article the other day written by what would appear to have been a more liberal Christian attempting to demonstrate the Bible’s stance on a particular sin. Part of the author’s premise was this: Since we no longer stone children who are disrespectful and society condones adultery and pre-marital sex, the Bible is outdated, so he can be a Christian and remain in the lifestyle he has chosen. I see his point, but I believe rather than giving license to his lifestyle, this increasingly popular philosophy proves that the words Paul spoke in Romans 7 and 8 are true.
Our culture and society is in the midst of demonstrating the one thing that humanity should have learned more than 2000 years ago; it is impossible to legislate morality. God sent the law more than 4000 years ago, and it never worked. It was designed to set apart a people, make them holy and restore a relationship with Him. God obviously knew it would never work, just like He knew that Adam and Eve, when given the opportunity, would choose the forbidden fruit over Him.
In the Garden of Eden the relationship was perfect with only one exception, it was never tested. And when the test finally did arrive and humanity failed miserably, God still loved us. The Creator proved one very important fact on that day, love is something you choose to do. Adam and Eve chose to love wisdom more than God, and God chose to love His creation despite their rejection.
God proved in the Garden of Eden that you cannot legislate love or morality. He gave Adam and Eve instructions for their own good, but they thought they knew better. When this sin finally led to slavery, God came again, rescued His people and offered more instructions. “Follow these,” he said, “and I promise you long life, prosperity and blessings.” Not even one generation passed before the entire nation had rebelled against their rescuer; yet, God still loved them.
Hundreds of years pass and the Almighty chooses to bring His people out of slavery again. They believe they need rescued from Rome, but the Lover of their Soul knows they need rescued from the rules. So He sends his Son. All He wants is for His unconditional love to be returned. His only request for all this rescuing is that we follow a standard of morality that is really for our benefit.
His Son is born. His Son dies. His Son defeats death, the separation from God instituted when the first couple were banished from the Garden, once and for all. He opens the window of His love even larger to include every person He’s ever created, and the largest love in the universe is rejected again. Even those who claim to love Him are still working hard at following the rules.
I think politics saddens me because at the heart of it I see the desire to legislate morality. Politicians would like us to believe they work for the common good, but when you look deep within their past and present, you see that desire to fit everyone into their little mold. They each seek to legislate their own brand of morality, and it won’t work. 6,000 years of history has proven it can’t be done.
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I have written several books that you'll find on Amazon. This one includes forty devotions written for Church Leaders and Small Groups. You'll find it in Paperback and for your Kindle. (also available on Nook)
What, then, is the answer?
Paul spoke it in Romans. Jesus revealed it in Matthew. Jesus said, “Don’t think I came to abolish the law, but to fulfill it.” God put a forbidden tree in the Garden because He wanted a real relationship with Adam and Eve and their children. He gave a law because He wanted a real relationship with His people. The tree and the tablets say, “Do you love me enough to do what I ask, to trust that I know what is best?” Creation's answer to that question was ‘no.’
Yet, Jesus came. God would not give up on us. Jesus came to fulfill the law. If the law was designed to help me have a real relationship with the Most Sovereign God, then Jesus came to fulfill what God proved was impossible with the law. The law is powerless to build a bridge between me and my Father, but Jesus is not. When I accept the gift Christ gave and cross that bridge to the One who loves me more than all of Creation, I am at that moment refusing the fruit from the Garden and telling God, “I do love you and trust you enough to believe you know what’s best for me.”
As I truly accept Christ’s gift, I realize more and more that God sent the forbidden fruit and the law to prove that morality cannot be legislated. God didn’t say those things to be wrong, He demonstrated to us that it doesn’t matter how many rules we make, there is only one answer to true morality and that is in His Son, Jesus Christ.
The message I now understand from the law is not that I should stone my “stubborn and rebellious” child, but that I SHOULD NOT BE a stubborn and rebellious child. It’s not my job as a Christian to teach others a moral code. It’s my responsibility to love God enough to follow that moral code so that through that others will WANT to follow.
I do not wear a seat belt because it is the law. I wear a seat belt because I’ve seen what has happened to others who don’t. I don’t abstain from drinking because my church thinks it’s wrong, I abstain because I’ve seen the devastation the numbing agent brings upon the one who drinks as well as the huge wave of suffering that flows over to loved ones. And I intend to live my life so that others see that loving Jesus Christ and following His moral code offers the most beautiful life possible this side of heaven.
As Christian leaders, it is NOT our responsibility to teach people the laws of the scripture. We have no duty to pass out rules or judge the behavior of those outside the church. Imposing Scriptural morality on a nation of non-Christians is futile, even the founding fathers believed such.
If we intend to change the world, we must do it one person at a time. We must live our lives in such a way that we make others jealous. Paul’s whole premise in Romans was his desire to make his fellow Jews envious so they would want what he had and make a decision to follow Jesus Christ.
I am not asking you to condone sin or put a stamp of approval on immorality. However, I am firmly convinced that Christ came to abolish a religion born of legalism and nurture a faith based on love. After a person makes a decision to follow Jesus, then we can take opportunities to share the “instructions.” We do not have permission to inflict our opinions or desires on anyone, but as our brothers and sisters in Christ grow, we have a responsibility to show them what it means to truly love Jesus, always keeping in mind His two primary instructions. Neither included any spiritual politics because Jesus had no hidden agenda. His commands are simple, His burden is light. Jesus simply said love them and feed my sheep.
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