Saturday, May 7, 2016

Soul Searching Politics

The Constitution of the United States of America reads, religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.

When one considers the millions of people killed in the name of religion, historically and today, all across Europe, the Middle East, Northern Africa, and various other places; this type of separation between church and state has served America well.

But while the state wisely precludes religious tests in politics, many within the church have fallen prey to the opposite and more insidious error. That is, they wholeheartedly endorse political tests in religion.

How often have you read or heard Christians questioning or condemning the faith of others on the unbiblical criteria of their voting record (or the lack thereof)? On a daily basis I see professing Christians savaging each other for no other reason than differences of political preferences or opinions. How it must grieve the heart of the Father!

Jesus shows us a different Way.

The Gospels inform us that Jesus purposefully chose as His disciples a tax collector named Matthew and a Zealot named Simon. It’s difficult to imagine two men more politically polarized. In so choosing, Jesus forcefully demonstrates that His kingdom transcends all the kingdoms of this world.

That Christ’s kingdom is greater than every system of man is further revealed in that Sadducees and Pharisees also came to follow Him (Acts 6 and 15). And it seems perfectly reasonable that Herodians would have come to Jesus as well.

In other words, dear reader, Jesus imposes no political tests for living in and enjoying His kingdom. And He says: Follow Me.

So, the past few days I’ve been doing some soul searching.

Do I truly believe that Jesus’ kingdom of love surpasses every other? Do I embrace all those He welcomes into His fellowship? Am I known as His disciple because of how much I love my brothers and sisters without regard to political allegiances?

I think I’m leaving politics behind.

Sure, I’ll commentate on moral and ethical issues; but I’ll avoid the overtly political (things like parties, politicians, and policies) in so doing. I’m learning that Jesus shows us better, more effective ways of communicating His truth.

I realize some will malign and deride me for saying these things. But I’ve no more stomach for it. Christians crucifying Christians in the name of Caesar is nasty, nasty business.

So, goodbye politics! You won’t be missed. 

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