there has been a firestorm of activity from a previous post entitled the politics of Jesus. through a lot of conversation and comments…here are some additional thoughts not included in the first post.
1. why is it that political Christians are much more likely to defend/preserve a particular political party than to defend/preserve the way of Jesus? let’s be honest…there are elements of each major political party that looks nothing like Jesus…yet we attack the other side as if our side is the Christian side. for example…from a Kingdom perspective…God wants to preserve life. so…it doesn’t matter if it is by stopping abortions OR by ending the killing of people in combat or war. if we view things from a Republican perspective…we ought to support the war (even though Jesus would have us turn the other cheek, not resist evil, forgive 70×7, and love our neighbors AND our enemies). BUT…if we view things from a Democratic perspective…many times it means supporting a woman’s right to choose (abortion). death is not part of God’s original plan for His good creation…but a result of sin. we should protect and preserve ALL life. if we choose parties and view life through those lenses…we completely miss the beautiful Kingdom perspective that exceeds all human standards, perspectives, stances, and persuasions.
2. as far as application…if we are the Body of Christ in the world today…then why do we not act like it? not to be too cliche…but what would Jesus do and how would Jesus act? why do we always believe that the conventional way to respond to situations is by taking the conventional route? when Paul says that our battle is not against flesh and bone…but against the powers and principalities of evil…how do we fight that battle? with prayer and fasting….not through human convention or human wisdom. we have a mighty Holy Spirit that works on our behalf…but we many times resort to our own ways. we, as Christians, want and try to legislate morality on the masses…rather than by loving, praying, and serving those who need to be loved, prayed for, and served. evangelical Christians resort to using powerful influence to get Christianity in our government. Jesus never powered OVER people from the top as much as he got down on his knees to wash peoples feet. as Christians…we can only change the HEARTS of our friends AND enemies by loving and serving…not by lording over people through laws and power…that may change behavior BUT it doesn’t change people’s hearts. and that is what we are to do as Christians…be instrumental in changing people’s hearts.
3. God is more interested in bringing His Kingdom on earth as it is in Heaven through His Kingdom people (that always look and act like Jesus)…than enriching a nation or prospering a nation. Jesus states that this Kingdom cannot be seen or destroyed because it lives in the hearts and minds of those who come to him. His Kingdom grows like a mustard seed…wildly and out control. it is like yeast in dough…expanding. it is like a treasure that is found in a field…and we sell everything to get it…because it is so beautiful and transformative. God has shown us in the 21st century that even in the midst of the worst politically and governmentally…communist China…that His Kingdom grows and expands. in the last 30 years in China…the number of Christians have grown from 3 million to over 100 million!!! God can use any governmental and/or political situation to advance His Kingdom. we should care more about advancing His Kingdom than advancing any system in this world.
i admit…that a Kingdom view and approach to life is unconventional and not very pragmatic. but that was the way of Jesus when he walked this earth…it was unconventional and did not make sense to the wisdom of the world and the competing philosophies of his day. ideas like loving your enemies, turning the other cheek, walking the extra mile, giving your jacket and your shirt has NEVER made sense from a human perspective…but coming from a God that is restoring all things back to Himself…it makes perfect sense…BUT WE DON’T BELIEVE IT IN THE CHURCH. we put our hope and faith in people and systems that continue to fail…while our appetite for the next leader or system is never satisfied. the Kingdom of God and the gospel message is not dependent on these worldly systems (can God use them…of course) but it doesn’t matter if either party “upholds the gospel” because God does not need them to. what God needs is for people who have died to their old ways and the ways of the world…and who have been made into a new creation by the working of the Holy Spirit…and for this people embrace to their Kingdom identity and bring His Kingdom on earth as it currently is in heaven.