If you've been reading this blog for awhile (is there anyone really?), you know that I rarely post anything political. Sometimes things get to a point where I just have to break with tradition and say something. This is one of those times.
The air is hot with political goings on. A congressional district in South Carolina has elected a former congressman/former governor who has been the fodder for late night television comedians. At least four storms have hit the current administration, and any number of controversies continue to pop up from time to time.Conspiracy theories abound on both sides of the political aisle, and the gap between "left" and "right" continues to widen. Facebook posts range from support of "our side" to almost wishing the other side would die horribly. To be honest, some of the things that are said and put on-line are sad.
In all of this I am reminded of one thing. Jesus is the King, the one we who call ourselves Christians owe our allegiance to. I am reminded that the United States, while it may be the best nation on earth (and you're free to think otherwise), is still a kingdom of this world. As such, it will never be God's kingdom on this earth. The President, no matter who they may be will never be perfect. And everything they do will not be "God's work."
Christians in America have fallen into the trap of thinking that we can bring the Kingdom to earth using human means. Of course, this is nothing new. It started with Constantine, and has continued through the centuries. As Dr. Phil asks, "How's that working for you?" (I can't believe I just quoted Dr. Phil!) We have somehow bought into the notion that political power is the way to save society. We have embraced the sword while claiming to follow the Prince of Peace who gave his life. We have believed that we can change people through legislation, forgetting that true change can only come from within.
Many Christians live in fear, not really believing that our God is sovereign. God is the one who sets up and takes down kingdoms. All of the kingdoms of this world, including the United States, belong to Christ and are under his rule. He uses them as he sees fit, and moves on when he is finished with them. We have nothing to fear. Even if this country becomes just like the European nations, or just like an old time banana republic, our God is in control and is working to bring about the renewal of all things. Our hope is in God, not in kings or princes, congressmen or presidents.
I don't believe we have to totally stay away from the political scene. We are told to seek the good of the city where we are. We are told to be good citizens and obey those whom God has placed in power. We live in a nation where we have the right to participate in the political process. I'm not saying we should all sit on our hands. All I am asking is that we remember where our allegiance lies. We are citizens of a kingdom that does not operate by the ways of this world. The Kingdom of God does not come with a sword, but with a basin and a towel.
God help us to focus on what Christ has called us to do. Make disciples by showing the love and grace of the Father to others. Anything else is not our task.
From my opportunity to teach in our gathering this morning:
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