It’s now January 3. But really, it’s just another in the continual drumbeat of politics. 2018 is a Congressional election year. And so we will hear the non-stop onslaught of how this and that will affect the election. It’s not about the policies ultimately, it’s about who has power. I get it to some degree – whoever has power determines the policy to a great extent. And yet…
Woven into this narrative is Christianity. Or certain types of Christianity. It’s Christianity that is wrapped up in allegiance to political parties. Will the Evangelicals come out for the Republicans? Will the Mainliners or Progressive Christians come out for the Democrats? Since when did it become normal to make Christianity just a subset of partisan political loyalties? Since when did the church allow itself to be just a tool for political power gains?
I’m not interested in a Christianity that requires a swearing of allegiance to one of the political parties of the empire – As if the political party were the foundation of life and belief. It is not. Nor should it ever be.
If that is all Christianity is about, then it’s no long a religious or faith system by which a person lives their life. It’s just another membership. It’s anything worth living into or guiding my life.
No where in the bible has it ever said that the kingdom of God is reliant on the Democrat or Republican parties, their policies, or their power. No where. When our faith becomes too closely aligned with the power structures of the earthly empires of the world, it is no longer faith in God, but rather faith in government, politics, and partisanship – these become idols.
Policies from politicians will not save us. Politicians will not save us – no matter how great they try to make the country. Politicians will not save us – no matter how much hope they think they give the country.
Christianity isn’t some subset of politics. If it is, it is misguided. If your god fits nice and neatly into your partisan political beliefs, then you have an idol. God, on the other hand, should challenge our beliefs and desires. We should be the ones to alter and change based on God’s will and God’s word.
I want a Christianity that challenges me – personally, in my beliefs, in my political preferences, in how I live and work, in my relationships with people and creation. I want this because it exposes the reality that is – I am not in control and I don’t have all the answers. If your version of Christianity makes you really comfortable, then I’m willing to say, you’re missing something. Christianity should make you uncomfortable – uncomfortable with the reality of homelessness, hunger, addictions, violence, war, sex trafficking, brokenness, and more. It should make you uncomfortable enough to get up and start doing something about it in response. This is how God works. We pray, then God makes us uncomfortable and invites us to respond in trust to what God is up to, and then we respond without knowing what will happen. It’s scary. Actually, it can be frightening. But it reminds us that we aren’t in control.