Sjolander Road Fellowship




Declaring the God of Unconditional Love

God and politics

7/31/11

Did Jesus suggest that His kingdom would come through political action? You’d get hat impression from watching how so many in the Christian community actively embrace so called conservative political issues, never hesitating to suggest that they are doing God’s own work and bidding in doing so. 

Jesus famously told His disciples that His kingdom was not of this world, was invisible, and existed within. He also noted that if His kingdom were of the ordinary type, then His followers would fight for its establishment, just as many Jews of His day suggested in their struggle against Rome. In a very real sense, Jesus was rejected by the Jewish leadership for the very reason that He did not espouse a physical kingdom brought about through the political process and armed conflict. The religious leaders pictured an earthly kingdom which mirrored the glories of David and Solomon, composed of those of the proper lineage and ruled by God appointed men such as themselves. They had no interest in or appreciation of a kingdom of the heart under the direct control of God.

Given this story of Jesus, His message, and the reaction of many Jews, it is more than ironic that so many Christians imagine that through the American political process they are called to assist in the fulfillment of God’s purpose in Christ, namely the promised kingdom, nearly 2000 years after Jesus predicted an imminent kingdom in His day. No matter how you perceive the kingdom, the idea that God cannot and will not achieve His purpose without human help is a preposterous assumption. God’s sovereignty guarantees His success despite any and all impediments and thankfully so. I’d hate to believe that human failure could contribute to God’s own.

Any suggestion of required human effort to supplement God’s own in achieving His purpose automatically injects an element of doubt into the entire plan. Faith cannot be secured on such a basis because we all continuously experience the failure of human achievement.

None of us can or even should avoid taking our religious convictions into the political process. However, we need to be cautiously aware that the workings of politics can be the excuse and the means for demanding our personal convictions of everyone else. Any suggestion that what I believe should be enforced through political action implies my moral and intellectual superiority. A little more humility in our politics would serve us all better and also better reflect the message of Jesus.

 

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