Sucked Right Into Politics

Brian Harrell   -  

Leslie Newbigin may have been a prophet. Back in the 1970s he predicted that as the West became more secular, politics would become the new religion.

Political religion. Devotion and passion once reserved for Jesus would be transferred to political parties and ideology. Instead of looking to God to be the solution to our problems, people would be looking to politics for those answers.

Newbigin was right. I have witnessed the shift. People have replaced devotion to faith with devotion to political ideology. It’s not just the irreligious who have done this, it is also the devoutly religious. I know way more about many of my congregants political leanings than I do about their testimony. It may be far more likely to see the fruit of someones political fervor than the fruit of the Holy Spirit. Some people are more guided by a political platform than by the word of God. If only people were as zealous to post about Jesus as they are to spew their vitriol about the latest Congressional bill.

That’s one of the reasons I haven’t listened to talk radio since 2007. The talking heads were trying to convince me that our Savior would look a lot more like Ronald Reagan than Jesus Christ. They also tried to constantly whip me into a frenzy about the upcoming doomsday if the other side got their way.

I couldn’t take it anymore. It was depressing. It was a toxic world of fear.

Have you ever noticed that this wasn’t the practice of Jesus? Even though he lived under the oppressive hand of the corrupt Roman Empire, Jesus rarely mentioned it. He was not obsessed with the Caesar’s latest edict. Jesus was more concerned about the mission he was on, a mission of love, a mission of laying down his life as a ransom and then building a church full of followers who would be obsessed with the kingdom of God. He taught them to live by a higher law and that they were citizens of a better kingdom and that they were empowered to change the world by love and good works rather than coercion and political upheaval.

And they did.

The world was changed not by voting out Roman political administrations or packing the courts, but by a group of Jesus followers who picked up the cross, renounced the world and did exactly what Jesus did; “He went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with him” (Acts 10:38).  They also did what Paul did; “I am sending you to open their eyes, so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me” (Acts 26:17). It was subversive. It was counter-cultural. It depended on love. And it was backed by heavenly power.

Remember Jesus said to love the Lord your God with all your heart, not your politics.

This isn’t all the Bible says about this, but it is one thing!