Jesus & Politics — A Clash of Two Kingdoms
I rarely share political thoughts publicly, as I want to be a place of refuge from the noise. And, honestly, my heart is still tender from losing my dear mom last summer, and I fear being the target of the hurtful and hate-filled accusations I see being heaped onto others. I’ve seen the belittling put downs toward those who dare disagree and the demonizing of the “other side.” Both sides.
Most troubling is that these behaviors are being exhibited among some of my friends who claim to be Christians. And my heart is breaking all over again.
It seems they’ve forgotten how the people of Jesus’ day wanted to raise Him to political power to return the nation to its former glory — to take the country back from its godless rulers and restore its foundational values, to turn their nation back to God. They were ready to overthrow the government and force Jesus to become their king.
But Jesus would have nothing to do with it (John 6:5-15). Instead, He went around the country teaching the Good News, feeding the poor, healing the sick, and being a friend of sinners… and encouraging others to do the same. He had no intention of establishing a kingdom on this earth; His kingdom was not of this world.
The people didn’t like that idea, however. So, instead of choosing Jesus and His way, the people chose Barabbas (Luke 23:18), a zealot, a loud and brazen insurrectionist who wanted to preserve freedom and overthrow the government at any cost and by any means.
Had political power been Christ’s strategy for winning the hearts of humankind, He could have easily rallied His followers and legions of angels to join Him so He could form a coup and rise to political power. But He knew that political office wasn’t where real power, real transformation, and real revival would happen.
It wasn’t then. It isn’t now.
Politics and policies will never transform a heart or bring our nation to its knees. It takes a far higher power.
Now, in addition to mourning the loss of my mom, I’m deeply mourning the loss of some friends whom I once considered reasonable people, whom I thought I knew, yet I now barely recognize. I see professing Christians who in one breath claim to love their enemies and want them to enter His eternal kingdom and, in another, mock and dehumanize them, portraying them as party to an evil mob and minions of the devil himself. Which is it?
Do you think they will ever want your Jesus?
The hypocrisy is blatant. It’s ugly. It’s loud. And it’s void of the fruits of the Spirit… love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23).
For some, I no longer see an unwavering dedication to Christ. In fact, I rarely see them mention His name at all except for boldly claiming His condemnation and rebuke of their opponents and the occasional, hand-picked scripture verse taken out of context.
Instead, I see an unwavering, unshakeable dedication to a person, party, and patriotism. And, when challenged, there’s an indignation that Christ and the cause are indelibly linked, that you can’t claim one without the other. That anyone who disagrees has been deceived by the enemy and can now be counted among his followers. Rather than pausing to consider whether their devotion has been misdirected, they lash out and dig their heels in deeper, deeper, deeper still.
Christ alone is the hope for humankind, not a political movement, not a party, not policies… on either side.
I have to believe there are others like me who have observed from afar, silently grieving, feeling like they’re losing a part of their family, too, and praying for eyes to be opened and hearts to return.
I long for the day when, as believers, we can unite under the banner that matters most in this world and in the next. One thing I know, it’s not a banner of red, white, and blue. It’s a banner of mercy and love.
For those of you reading this who don’t align with the Christian faith, please, I beg you, don’t believe that the voices filled with hate and violence speak for God. That’s not my Jesus. More importantly, that’s not the Jesus of the Bible.