politics-of-jesus

The Politics of Jesus

By imjohnnykelley, February 27, 2012

I am about to do something you should never do. Talk politics. Especially politics mixed with religion. I am pretty sure that some people are not going to like what I have to say. But that is what comment sections are for. If you don’t want to read on….I understand.
We are in the middle of primary season for the next presidential race here in America. I want to start this post by saying, I am very interested in this race. I read a lot, and talk about it even more (just ask my wife). I am super opinionated, and good at forcing that opinion on others. In fact, it is something that I have noticed more and more, and I have become more and more annoyed with myself because of this. I have spent the last couple weeks reading in the bible, and praying about what I need to do to change this habit. In that process I came to a decision to change the way I operate.
I will say that the church gets a bum rap for being crazy about politics, as if the rest of the country isn’t. The fact is our entire country revolves around this process, not just the church. It is ingrained in our DNA as a nation. We get to do something that most nations don’t have the privilege or responsibility to be a part of. And that fact is where I believe the problem lies.
While I studied Jesus, the disciples, and early followers I noticed something. They lived in a society that was extremely oppressive to the church (not a shocking statement), but they didn’t spend any time really trying to change the government. Instead they focused on changing the individuals. They took all of the oppression, ridicule, and false accusations as badge of honor. It was for Christ. They considered it joy to go through hard times, because it allowed God’s power to shine through them. Somehow the church of America has become a church that looks to change the symptoms of a problem. Better yet, they are trying to change the sickness. We are doing the equivalent of trying to get a flu virus to stop making people sick, instead of trying to teach people how to wash their hands and avoid germs.
Please hear my heart, I am not trying to say Christians should be uninvolved or out of touch. But remember that the reason Jesus was so widely rejected on earth was because the people thought the Messiah would come in on a flaming horse and take out the government. Instead he came in love and just reached out to people with that message. It flew in the face of what people thought the Messiah, our Savior should do. The fact that he wouldn’t have anything to do with the politics is exactly why he was rejected and ultimately crucified. And here we are 2000 years later, once again expending all our energy to change a government that doesn’t matter in eternity. Whats worse is that many times in trying to change that government, we ignore or disenfranchise the people that need God’s love the most.
I do think we should vote. I do think we should try and shape government toward what we believe is right and true. But the more I study, the more I realize that we need a radical change of focus away from the bacteria, and onto the potentially sick. There is going to be things we disagree with in government. Sometimes things our government condones that make us sick to our stomach. But I am pretty sure killing Jesus made the disciples sick to their stomach as well, but they didn’t start going out holding signs to end the hate…..no, they ignored the government and went out with the love of Christ. There were times that they spoke out against the governments policies, but they never took action to change it…..to take action to change government was just wasting time they could be reaching people with the love of Christ. I don’t think we should ignore the problems in America….but I think we will go a lot further in fixing them by reaching people…..not politics.
P.S. Every vote counts. Go vote. But remember, Jesus wasn’t a democrat or a republican…..it was actually politics that killed him.
peace – love – recycle

6 Comments

  1. Hoosier Boy says:

    we actually agree for a change

  2. Haha….true true. I feel a change coming in the way I approach this stuff.

  3. Hoosier Boy says:

    Similar to what you said, I started seeing the social needs and how I believe Jesus would treat them. And I know we differ on some things, but being a social worker and a Christian, the policies and issues I find myself concerned with are those that relate to funding things that help the sick, the poor, children, education, etc. I know people say Jesus was a liberal. Yes and no. But yes, His teachings on how to treat the poor, distribution or use of wealth, reaching out to the sick and hurting are all social issues….and for me that pushes me toward Democratic candidates. But beyond politics, if Christians were truly living like Christ the impact on the world would be undeniable. But let’s be honest. Today’s church claims Jesus but acts more like Pharisees.

  4. Joe Davis says:

    A dear friend of mine on Facebook challenged me to read your blog. As a Christian I agreed with some but much of what you said was out of touch. Jesus and his disciples radically changed the world. There was no voting booth for them to step into but they stepped into the hearts and minds of men.They had to contend with a tyranical government which pretty much left each province or country alone if taxes were paid and everyone stayed in line. Sound familiar? The radical change they preached caused a change in hearts and minds which resulted in the persecution of the church. We are commanded the be the “salt of the earth” not “the doormat of the earth”. I have seen many changes in our country in the last 61 years and not to the good. Prayer, abortion, homosexual equal rights, skyrocketing debt,legality to put seniors to death to name a few. If we as the church do not stand and become th conscience of America we will become it’s history.

  5. Thanks for the comment Joe. I politely disagree…..and think your argument actually pushes what I was trying to say. Standing up for what you believe has nothing to do with politics. Yes they disciples changed hearts….but not for political gains…..they changed hearts for spiritual and heavenly gains. My Jesus needs no defending. The bible says to take joy in persecution, instead we have grown accustomed to angry protests. Jesus was put to death BECAUSE he decided to stay out of the political arena. I am not saying that we shouldn’t voice our opinion and vote for it. But when we make changing government more important than changing hearts….we have made a massive step away from the great commission. The motive of the heart change was never…..EVER political in the bible. That was simply a byproduct. We have made political motivation the key to many things we do as American Christians, and quite simply there is no where biblically that condones that. I agree that much of what I said is out of touch with the Christians of today….but I contend that many of the Christians of today are out of touch with what Jesus actually asked them to do. Only one thing. One command. Tell people about Him. I cant tell you how many Christians I meet that are angry about politics and how their “rights” are being trampled. Yet most of them cant name the last person they led to Christ. Remember….as Christians we don’t have “Rights”. We gave up what we wanted when we died to ourselves. We try to “defend” a God that doesn’t need our defense, and frankly never asked for it. Take joy in persecution. Keep telling people about Christ. That is our job. Not part of it…..ALL OF IT. If we actually reached out and put our efforts into seeing people saved….the other problems you spoke of are taken care of by themselves. Attacking politics is nothing but attacking a symptom. If I have pneumonia I don’t put all my effort into fighting the cough I have. I put my effort into fighting the pneumonia. The cough will go away when the pneumonia is gone. Jesus and the disciples never fought politics. You can say they changed hearts which changed politics….but that doesn’t condone us focusing on politics. Just isn’t biblical.

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