I’m gonna take a big risk here this 4th of July. Please try to understand the spirit in which this is written because I’m not advocating one side of the spectrum or the other; those are your choices to wrestle with. But I do want to throw out there some interesting ponderings…things that will be rolling around in my mind for some days to come.
Sunday School this week for me consisted of a hot topic: Christ and Politics. Oh boy. This could get heated. My Pastor (Timmy Brister) came ready to put out flames. I won’t re-hash too much of it, but a few things stuck out there for me and got me thinking. We live in a politically charged world, with all sides wanting to appeal to Christians or convincing people they hold to Christian values. And we (Christians) can forget that Jesus’ world was just as politically charged. In fact, it’s something I had never really put together! His disciples were a mixed group of representatives of His day; fisherman (who probably didn’t care too much), a tax collector (sold out to Rome and considered a traitor to his people) and a zealot (someone who’d we call a political extremist). As my Pastor said, could you imagine their conversations at Starbucks? What a picture of the Gospel of Grace at work in and through these men as they slowly relinquished their own agendas for God’s.
All our relationships in the Church (the body of Christ) are blood bought. When we have family feuds we are trampling the blood spilt for us. Christ didn’t die for Democrats or Republicans, Americans or Canadians or Chinese. He came to die to save sinners. And since we are all in that boat, we can’t accuse each other of being the problem. We are all the problem. And in the end, my motivation for everything should be for the glory of God. If I can’t sit across a table and disciple someone of another political party (or race, age, culture), what am I saying? Isn’t Christ bigger than our differences?
Yes, there are issues politically as Christians we should stand up for, because of what the Bible says, but always in a way that draws people to Christ and forgiveness, not shaming or blaming them or pushing them away because they aren’t like us. The body of Christ is a wonderous diversity of backgrounds, habits, cultures and preferences. So while I’m very thankful that God has placed me in this country, with the freedoms I have, I am much more thankful for the blood that was shed for me so I could partake in His Kingdom that will one day be the only one standing. May God bless you this 4th of July.