A young christian take on christianity, politicians and the kingdom of God in times of political corruption
- catagoría: Fe
- Autor: Jacob Paul
Before I begin, let me issue a little disclaimer. Consider this following rant as a form of exhaling. Essentially, my torpid, congested thoughts being breathed all over the page. These thoughts have been stirring around in my head for quite a while and for some reason I feel the need to share.
This article is not meant to exclude those of you who would not identify yourselves as Christians, but is written from a Christian perspective for Christians. I hope this stirs up something in you as well. So, please, read on with this in mind.
I had intended to write a nice article detailing the intertwining of Christianity and the State by using examples since Constantine became the Caesar, but I scrapped that and opted for something with a little more feeling.
Do I believe that the co-opting of Christianity by the Roman Empire eventually lead to the political predicament Christians are in now? Yes, in a certain way, but on the eve of Election night where I live in Armenia, Colombia, I feel urged to go a little deeper.
So, dear friend, reader, or whoever you may be. The question I pose to you is this: Have we, the Church, exchanged our hope in Jesus for a political system? I can’t help but think that in many ways we have. Whether your political ideology swings to the left or right seems to be more important these days than the words of Jesus who had no interest in a State-run kingdom.
In the years after Jesus’ death and resurrection the Church was intensely persecuted by the governing body and yet it still managed to grow and flourish without making sure they had Christian leaders in government to change things for them. In fact, it was quite the opposite, Saul had political and religious backing to persecute and kill Christians and after his conversion, instead of re-entering the system in order to change it, he rejected it all together.
Yes, maybe Saul/Paul was given a different calling by God, but I am hard-pressed to find any examples in the Bible of entering a political system in order to bring about change. Does this mean it’s wrong to be a Christian politician? Maybe. Really, I have no idea and can’t place that kind of absolute judgement on Christians in politics. All I know for sure is that this kind of thinking only leads to the Church becoming more and more apathetic.
Let me explain. I believe that the majority of the Church today has put so much emphasis on getting Christians into government in order to protect our religious freedom and values. This puts all kinds of pressure on the Christians who work in this realm, as there are varying opinions on what these values and freedoms should be.
All of a sudden, it’s these people who are in charge of changing the world, helping the sick, protecting the poor, and guarding our moralistic values. Our responsibility as the Church to change the world around us slowly becomes limited.
Why are there poor people? It’s the government’s fault.
Why can all the sick not be treated? It’s the government’s fault.
Why are our freedoms being taken away? It’s the government’s fault.
This is what breeds the apathy that we see amongst us today. Jesus didn’t come to establish a government to protect the rights of his followers.
He came to establish a kingdom in which his followers take care of these issues together, not to put our hope and pressure on fellow Christians who happen to work in the political arena. Are they responsible? Yes, but so are we. We are called to be the body of Christ, with him as our head. Well, this body looks broken and like it would prefer a different head.
I once heard Tony Campolo talk about this passage from Revelation 18:1-4:
1 After this I saw another angel coming down from heaven, having great authority, and the earth was made bright with his glory. 2 And he called out with a mighty voice,
"Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great!
She has become a dwelling place for demons,
a haunt for every unclean spirit,
a haunt for every unclean bird,
a haunt for every unclean and detestable beast.
3 For all nations have drunk
the wine of the passion of her sexual immorality,
and the kings of the earth have committed immorality with her, and the merchants of the earth have grown rich from the power of her luxurious living."
4 Then I heard another voice from heaven saying "Come out of her, my people, lest you take part in her sins, lest you share in her plagues; 5 for her sins are heaped high as heaven, and God has remembered her iniquities.
Here’s where it gets a little explicit. He explained that we, the Church, have been seduced by Babylon and need to break off this relationship before more damage is done. The language in this passage is highly sexual. We are called to “Come out of her” before we impregnate “her” and create a lasting bond. We are not to stay and try and change things, we are called to reject it all together.
As the Church, we have bought into the political system for too long. We have engaged in some bad sex and it may feel good, but it still leaves us hollow. We have invested our lives and energies into creating governments that are for Jesus, when all he ever asked for was one kingdom that knew no borders.
Should we enter the political realm to fight for our and others rights? Absolutely, but that should not be where it ends. Also, lately it seems like the Church has become more concerned with taking away “secular-people” rights instead.
Jesus never imposed his values on others- there was always a choice and he was always an example. His words were convicting and yet still full of love.
Investing is a form of worship. Where you invest most of your time, love, money, and energy that is what you are worshipping. So, after examining your political views, your life, and your heart, I ask you: “Where is your hope placed?”
I am going to leave you with some lyrics from a song I love:
Who’s your brother, who's your sister?
You just walked passed him
I think you missed her
As we're all migrating to the place where our father lives?
'cause we married in to a family of immigrants
My first allegiance is not to a flag, a country, or a man
My first allegiance is not to democracy or blood
It’s to a king and a kingdom
-Derek Webb, “A King and a Kingdom”
Please stop waiting for your government to become “Christian” and get back to building God’s kingdom.
Investing is a form of worship. And make no mistake about it: we’re investing---the only question is where?
Jacob es el "gringo" de ZONAJ, estudió historia y literatura inglesa, excelente cocinero, excelente lector y crítico y amante del cine.