Biblical over Political
In the chaos and unrest of today’s America, it’s easy to lose our way. Each voice seems more demanding than the last, each appears to have a nugget of truth, and each one seems to stand in opposition to the other. As Christ-followers, how do we find our way? We find God’s will in God’s Word, not in a political party or a populace position. Yes, often Scripture will line up with our political party, but other times it will contradict it. Trevin Wax observed that in regards to American politics, “the Christian faith transcends and offends both parties.”
As Christians we are not Americans first, we are Christ-followers, first. For some that may sound offensive, but it’s true. Paul said, “But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ.” Philippians 3:20 (NIV).
Christianity is not called to defend capitalism. The church has thrived in all kinds of political systems. In fact, surprisingly, it has been most fruitful in the most oppressive of times, under the most restrictive governments, including during the Early Church. It is true of the house churches in China. I had the privilege of knowing a pastor who spent over ten years behind bars in China all because he tried to go to Seminary. Harry Lee had such a testimony of God’s work in the midst of persecution. In his book, The Persecuted Church, Nick Ripken says, “Suffering is one of God’s ordained means for the growth of his church.”
For some of us, it seems like we are more passionate over things political than things biblical. Eric Geiger, spells it out this way:
There is a major difference in reading Scripture through the lens of political positions and reading political positions through the lens of Scripture. If one reads Scripture through the lens of politics, then there is a lot in Scripture that will be ignored. If one reads politics through the lens of Scripture, one likely won’t feel fully “at home” in a political party. Because not feeling “at home” makes us uncomfortable, there is a temptation to read our Bibles through the lens of political camps.Eric Geiger
We need to discern between what is political and what is biblical. Yes, as American citizens, we need to be involved in the political process. However, whatever we think and do must flow out of following Jesus.
BEFORE YOU GO
20 “My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, 21 that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. 22 I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one— 23 I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me John 17: 20-23).
The night before Jesus died, He prayed that we would be unified. He didn’t pray for our comfort or our success, he prayed for unity! And he explained that what will set us apart is our love for one another. That means love that crosses racial barriers, political divides, and whether or not we wear a mask! Politics shouldn’t divide us. We need to find our unity in Christ. It is only then the world can know and love Him.