Saturday, October 14, 2006

The politics of Jesus?

I’ve been meaning to point out a very good post by Ted Gossard over at The Jesus Community. On Tuesday, October 10, he posted about Confidence in Politics. Here are a few snippets:

I believe that we, as those of the Jesus community, and I'm speaking for those of us who live in the United States- we tend to put too much stock in politics. I don't want to be misunderstood. I'm not saying that politics doesn't have its place, and that, in fact, it is an insignificant place. No. But I do believe our confidence in this political process and in political parties all but borders on being idolatrous…

What is needed is nothing less than a revolution. But not from either the Democrats or Republicans or some other political party or entity. Oh, we'd do well to want to see them all turned on their heads, for that matter.

No. What we need is a major revolution in seeing the kingdom of God in Jesus have an impact through us, as the Jesus community, first in our homes, then in our neighborhoods, workplaces, schools, and in all spheres of life to which God calls us.

To get an idea of what this revolution would look like we should read and meditate on Matthew 5-7, for a start. If we concentrated on living this out, we would not put so much stock in the political process. We would not be sweating over who is going to win what race. We would know that these things can have their place. That God can truly be at work in them (look at William Wilberforce). But that the way of Jesus and the kingdom of God is a way that will cross out the ways of the world. It will run counter to it in how we live in Jesus. And we will be calling people to and endeavoring to live in no less than Jesus and his teaching.

And then, today, he has another post, this one entitled a small editorial: political (and talk radio) arrogance: let's avoid it. Quite a mouthful, that. The actual post is almost shorter than the title, so I will quote it in full:

I am fascinated by the charges of arrogance given by talk radio against the political party they oppose. There is really arrogance on every side. And the devastating part is when we Christians are caught up in all of this. Then we unwittingly can become partakers in this same kind of arrogance.

I am sad at saying this. I really can't take seriously much of what I catch on talk radio. Because those ready to do eye surgery on others, or ready to stone others, fail to see their own blindness and sin.

It is refreshing to see people talk about issues and with respect to their opponents, as Eikons of God- when that happens. Let's not lower ourselves, as those in the Jesus community, to the thoughts and standards that are common fare- and even more so, this political season.

<idle musing>
Well put. I couldn’t say it better myself. As Christians, we are called to live differently from the world. We are a light placed on a lamp stand; we are salt, but if the salt loses it saltiness, what good is it except to be thrown out and trampled under foot. I submit that christians earn a good deal of the scorn which is cast upon them. I include myself in that statement; anytime I don’t allow Christ to shine through me, I am bringing scorn upon His name. As it says in Romans 2:24: “The name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you.” RSV

Now, lest you think I am saying we can do it, let me disabuse you of the idea that outside of the power of the Holy Spirit resting and abiding in us we can do it. It must be the power of God, as we abide in Christ, living His life through us. Works won’t cut it. You and I will just end up failing—usually pretty dramatically, too.
</idle musing>

1 comment:

Anonymous said...


Thanks! Your thoughts are so true. Yes, we can't do it alone; as Jesus tells us: Apart from him we can do nothing of God's works.