Have you heard the latest news? The president is coming to Martha's Vineyard for vacation. The Cape (Cape Cod) and the Islands (Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket) prepare for his arrival -- Cindy Sheehan is already there, God Bless her soul. Close by Ted Kennedy has asked the Democratic governor and legislature of the "Bluest" State, Massachusetts, to change the very same law they put in place to keep Republican Mitt Romney from appointing a Republican in the event John Kerry had won the '04 election. The change would allow the Democratic governor to appoint a speedy replacement (without a vote of the people as the law is now) for him [Ted] should his brain cancer consume his life-- in particular, so that the US Senate can have a Democratic vote during the highly publicized health-care debate.
In other headlines there is the fallen Governor of South Carolina, Mark Sanford-- a Christian no less, and a has-been, the ex governor Elliot Spitzer; from New York. Sarah Palin is out on the road making noise and a host of others are conspicuously quiet in the wake of the economic recession such as Barney Frank and Chris Dodd-- who's ratings have dropped drastically.
Politics-- politics as usual.
Politics, and the issues it involves, are as big a deal now as the Roman occupation of Jerusalem during the time of Jesus. There were the supposed spiritual leaders of the day, the Pharisees; a legalistic group of Jews who the scribes (lawyers) were a part of, and the Sadducees. These opposing religious groups publicly argued over theology-- the resurrection of the dead in particular. There were the non-Jewish (gentiles) who were outcast by the religious called the Samaritans; hated by the Jews. Oh, and of course there were the greedy such as Zacchaeus who was not only a publican, but the text tells us he was the chief among the publicans. There were the regular old sinners like Mary Magdalene, the woman at the well, the woman taken in adultery-- and well, all the other Bible characters including Moses, Mary the mother of Jesus, Joseph and all of the apostles.
There is nothing new under the sun!
Some folks think that Christians should stay out of politics - separation of church and state, and others think we need to take over the Republican party and get going again. My friend thinks it might a great idea to have a Christian party. I broached the idea in a comment on a blog that I follow: What I Meant To Say... yikes. Thanks Tony! :0)
Politics and religion are polarizing-- the Protestant Reformation was polarizing! And God knows the church needed reform then and it does now! There is nothing new under the sun! Along the way we have had revivals and renewals too. You know those are times in the church when people are convicted of their sin, repent, and do something different.
Primarily, in the first world churches, but around the world there is a lot of debate causing splits from woman in ministry to allowing gays to hold leadership positions-- well that's what makes the news. The church runs the gammet from "we beleive in God," to "we have sold all our possessions to follow Jesus. " So, who's right?
I suppose that you think that I am going to offer some balanced view of politics and church-- or let's all get along or WWJD? Well, I am not. I am tired of the rhetoric, the lies and hypocrisy in general. Recently I tried to tell my friend that I am not liberal or conservative-- I think for myself. And hopefully after all these years, my twisted little mind is more conformed to that of Christ then it ever was.
Here is where I stand, and sometimes kneel-- before the altar of the most High God-- His name is Jesus. I do not get to have an opinion-- I don't get to be conservative or liberal -- or right or left, but by the Spirit I am to judge all things, not people, but that which goes on in my house, my city, my country and the world I live in. "Is it of God?" is the only question that needs to be answered. I am to be led of the Spirit, to love others and because of the work done in me, to be an ambassador for the Kingdom of God. I am to be humble, but not apologetic for the biblical world view. I am to be meek without shrinking back--I am to be strong because of Him, not persuasive with words, and I am to lay my life down for the sake of the Gospel (that Jesus died for the sins of all mankind-- even Ted Kennedy's.).
So how about it? Next time you hear someone out there spouting Bible versus, telling folks what Jesus would do, and supporting political leaders with views and policies in opposition to the Word of God-- next time you are out having a politician shake your hand, kiss your baby or promise to pay for your hemorrhoid treatments, ask yourself this. "Are my elected leaders, the ones I vote for, the ones who claim to be godly, to be Christian, Catholic, Baptist or Pentecostal-- or to have faith at all, how do they measure up to the Bible? And if they don't, do you challenge them? Do you write them letters, or shout them down at a town hall meetings? Do you?
Jesus turned over the tables of the money changers... some say that was because his focus was the church-- but they were all members of the political party of the day. There was no separation of church and state for the Jews, yet it the government was corrupt (at that time) -- Jesus took a stand. Will you?
The religious people of Jesus' day were involved in the local politics even as they suffered under the tyranny of the godless Romans. He called them whitewashed tombs and a brood of vipers. Some, however; had a real change of heart. Here is the story of one in a high place and this is the story of what Jesus did. John 3:1-20. And here is another story of a changed heart: Luke 19:1-10.
Where are you with politics? -- Before you close your browser, check out this passage. 1 John 3:1-20