Have You Built Up An Idol?
I often put myself in the shoes of those who came before me. I ponder great historical figures of the past and think, “what would they do and what would they think?”
In our current time my thoughts have been with Paul the Apostle, what would his thoughts be on all the apparent division taking place around us. My sneaking suspicion is that he would have written a very strongly worded letter to the American church for losing her focus.
Here’s a question for you. If you have spent more time posting, worrying, fretting, celebrating, arguing, about the recent political atmosphere than praying for the lost, and ACTUALLY leading them to Jesus, what do you even call yourself? A follower of Christ? Or some cheapened form of political bootlegger on Facebook and insta? I bet you didn’t even send a dollar to one of those campaigns, well, most of you. Christ is the one and only unifying point. Do you honestly believe the cause you have now will unite people?
Social activism is not the point of the gospel. Not even equality (gasp). But the fact that we are all equal in that we are depraved before God, desperately in need of a savior. That he, in his kindness and mercy, died for us, and is gloriously alive and living through us. All he requires is our repentance and to come and follow Him.
As the great cloud of witnesses looks upon us, the church, what is our response to this time? Is it to remind people that Jesus is the only answer? I think, unfortunately, on both sides of the aisle, that has not been the case. Policy won’t fix this, women’s liberation movements won’t fix this, a different president won’t fix this, gun control won’t fix this, banning gay marriage won’t fix this, universal healthcare won’t fix this, chauvinist strongmen won’t fix this, the right chief justices won’t fix this, closed borders won’t fix this, more guns won’t fix this, a bigger military and more patriotism and nationalism won’t fix this, banning abortion won’t fix this.
The simple gospel of salvation through Christ can, and my hope is that it will. Sure, have a political opinion. But don’t assume Jesus has the same one, or even needs to pick a side as he controls and directs all of history. (see the story about tax paying, Jesus brilliantly chooses no side but reveals there is only one side, his, and no other)
Paul the Apostle says,
“Join me in suffering, like a good soldier of Christ Jesus. A soldier refrains from entangling himself in civilian affairs, in order to please the one who enlisted him.”
Also, here’s the kicker, emphasis mine,
15 The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. 16 For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. 17 He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. 18 And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. 19 For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, 20 and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.
If you have made your political activism a part of your walk with Christ, or have adopted his scripture to support the candidacy of either candidate, you have the gospel straight up backwards and are walking down, not a path of reconciliation, but one of a social gospel that never calls anyone to repentance, or a gospel of martial law and not love that legislates the will of God. I know that was a run on sentence but I don’t care. As if GOD HIMSELF CAN’T IMPOSE HIS WILL AS HE PLEASES AND OUR POLITICAL PARTIES NEED TO HELP POOR OLD GOD WHO SPOKE THE UNIVERSE INTO BEING.
I suggest to both sides, get off your high horse, get on your knees, and get in the scripture. Your philosophy won’t save you, NEITHER will it correct society. RED OR BLUE OR WHATEVER. If you are a servant of Christ your job now is to serve others, to make yourself the least, to do the will of Christ as he says in his word, not as you see fit to carry out. Wash some feet, especially of those you hate the most. Even those that would betray you. Like your KING did.
Stop molding the Alpha and Omega into your political viewpoint. Even our justice is broken, we’ve seen that clearly. Hypocrisy is rife in human government. But isn’t that the point? Only the government of the Kingdom will do. Only he can save us.
Early Christians were sent down slides with blades that sliced them in half, boiled in oil, crucified, and send to be eaten by lions in front of crowds because they defied the emperor of Rome by saying he was not god and king, but only Christ was. I am sick and tired of Christians posting about Presidents like they are some kind of deity or savior when I haven’t seen them post, or speak, about Christ, or haven’t led a single solitary soul in their personal lives to Jesus Christ, who so graciously saved them. Yes, these issues are relevant to our lives, but the are not supreme.
Suffer like a good soldier, realize the cross and the resurrection is the point. You are soldier, the war is eternal, 4 years is nothing. But the salvation of your friend, maybe that’s something. We would all benefit from one more word from Paul.
“Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. All of us, then, who are mature should take such a view of things. And if on some point you think differently, that too God will make clear to you. Only let us live up to what we have already attained.”
Jesus and nothing else.