"...I felt His words take the sword from my hand..."
Judah Ben-Hur about Jesus Christ
In the past, I have been politically active (at least in my mind). I've taken vocal, dogmatic positions on all the controversial issues that, to me, seemed based in reason, fairness and justice. I find myself changing in this area. I want to be clear to you that these changes are personal. I don't believe that everyone has to believe the way that I do now. I'm just sort of journalling now, setting down my reasons for where I'm at in my thinking. So if you agree with me great, and if you disagree, that's great too. I'd like to hear from you either way...
In P4E.008 I wrote "If you think that Christ came to fight for "truth, justice and the American way" you are confusing Him with a fictional superhero." I want to follow up on that. The premise is this: In the grand, cosmic scheme of things, Christianity is not patriotic. It is not un-patriotic. If you will, it is "a-patriotic."
American politics has become more and more extreme. In the supercharged heat of the political moment I, as a Christian, have been swept along into the fray. I believe Christians have been used for both "conservative" and "liberal" agendas.
In Jesus' time, a Jewish insurgency hoped to throw off Roman domination. Both His followers and adversaries thought that Jesus might be the One to lead them in the overthrow. Therefore, His opponents came to Him to trick Him into giving Himself away by asking Him if the Jews should pay taxes to Caesar. His answer, "render therefore unto Caesar the things that are Caesar's and unto God the things that are God's" made them marvel. Jesus was contrasting the relevance of the physical versus the spiritual.
The Enemy is real, he is the ultimate Deceiver and he has diverted my attention from the actual war front. While I am engaged in what I perceive to be a battle for "truth, justice and the American way," I am diverted from the spiritual battle for my own soul and the souls around me.
In the 13th chapter of Paul's letter to the Roman church, he also encourages them to "be in subjection to the governing authorities." Why does he use the word "subjection"? I believe it's because contending for or against the "governing authorities" is irrelevant in the individual spiritual context. In the 14th chapter, Paul exhorts the Roman church to self-examination and to refrain from judging one another. And, in the 15th chapter Paul prays that we might be unified in Christ. "...of the same mind with one another according to Christ Jesus; that with one accord you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ." THAT'S important.
My involvement with American politics has brought me to a place that Paul described to Timothy. I have become like one who "is conceited and understands nothing; but he has a morbid interest in controversial questions and disputes about words, out of which arise envy, strife, abusive language, evil suspicions,and constant friction between men of depraved mind and deprived of the truth, who suppose that godliness is a means of gain." Paul tells me, as a man of God, to flee from such things and to pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, perseverance and gentleness.
Scripture says I am (or should be) engaged in a SPIRITUAL battle. THAT'S the important battle. It's an individual battle. In that sense, I truly am an "army of one." The physical circumstances are only analogies for the REAL spiritual warfare. My politics and patriotism seem small when compared to the spiritual battle.
For my part, until I have any personal credibility at home, I feel vulnerable to the criticism of hypocrisy for taking on the world's problems without tackling the spiritual/social injustices that are going on right under my own roof!
So to close the circle on "truth, justice and the American way," God is truth. I can expect no justice here on earth, but I leave room for God to be just. In His sovereignty, God will have His way. I've experienced great relief, freedom and contentment in getting to this place. In just "letting go." I wonder what you think?