Many of our Christian methods for dealing with sin are based on fear. Often we turn to politics as a safety net for when our faith is unable to stop us from sinning. We hope that if our faith doesn’t stop us, the fear of the law created consequences will. Our brothers and sisters actively seek new laws to add new layers of protection against sin. We attempt to shield our loved ones from even having the opportunity to sin. We advocate for anything and everything that will insulate us from sin and from persecution by unbelievers. It appears that many of us have decided that God isn’t influential enough on his own and requires our help to force obedience.
Christian Methods are used for agendas other than Christ’s
Christian methods have been twisted and manipulated to serve the worldly agendas of others. We work and gather other people who believe as we do and deliver them to serve the needs of the selfish and corrupt; while only receiving a few things that make us feel more secure and comfortable in a world of sin.
We can’t allow other agendas to hijack our message and feed on our spirits and hard work like vampires in the night. There is no political ideology for us other than the ideology of Christ. Our politics have to be our message of hope and of the Gospel.
Christianity and Political Ideology is Not Complimentary
If you mix your Christianity with a political ideology or identity, like progressivism, conservatism, liberalism, libertarianism, etc., you become something else. You aren’t a liberal or a conservative and you aren’t Christian any longer, you are melded together by two different philosophies. However, this is not a perfect mixing, the two philosophies are not compatible. One is from God, the other is from man. There is no mixing of Godly ideas and ideas of man. It would be like trying to mix the genetic code of an ant with the genetic code of a blue whale.
Human concepts of what is right is very different than God’s concepts of what is right. So different that if we say our christian faith is blue paint, and our human ideas regarding society is yellow paint, the result is not green but rather the two separate colors existing in the same container.
Illustration of the progression of Christly ideas as a Christian matures
The yellow in the illustration above is worldly ideas like (including but not limited to):
- Social Rules – Things like drivers should drive on one side of the road, stop at stop signs, and go certain speeds in certain spaces.
- Social Policy – Human Rights such as fair treatment, health, employment, justice and protections.
- Tribalism – Preference toward people we are most comfortable with.
- Family, Monetary and Materialistic concerns
- Ambition, Emotions, Sexuality, and Sensuality
Many of these things are addressed in scripture and is part of our Christian faith. Our standards of behavior and thought should come from that scripture, but not everyone in the world believes as we do. There are many agreements and disagreements between the different groups that make up humanity. Christians should strive for fully blue; directed, driven, and guided by Christ alone.
Quid Pro Quo
Many of us are involved in a socially or financially reciprocal relationship with a political party. In exchange for getting some things that we believe are important to our faith; we have chosen to ignore some things that is in opposition to that faith. Our political goal is to settle for the best we can get, rather than hope for and advocate for better. We choose not to ruffle feathers, because we fear the repercussions of speaking out.
Jesus was political, but his politics were politics of Godly ideas and values. He didn’t settle for a balance of some good and some evil. Christ, our Lord, called us to sin no more. He called on us to encourage others to stop sinning by speaking about our hope in Christ. He called on us to correct sin in the church and to not worry about tomorrow. By getting into a covenant with a political party, we show that we are worried about tomorrow. Our support for that political party is an endorsement of all of the non-christian qualities as well as the christian ones. This is especially true when we don’t speak out about the unchristian things done by that group.
Jesus and the Law
How many Roman law changes did Christ call for? The answer is none. Jesus knew that changing rules of a legal system within a government wouldn’t create new believers. He knew that his own laws didn’t stop his people from turning away from him many times. In Numbers, the Israelite people constantly and consistently observed God’s power and grumbled, acted against, or turned from God. After every situation like this, God followed through with the consequences he promised. After the consequences the people were reminded of the law, and after a while they grumbled, acted against, or turned from God again.
Hammering the law into the minds of others will not stop them from sinning. Jesus told stories to help people understand why the law existed and what the true purpose was for the law. Our Lord was focused on using the staff of correction and redirecting his sheep back to him. He didn’t correct just by reciting his commandments. Jesus instead answered their questions with a story that illustrated his commandments.
Watch out for the brood of vipers spoken about in scripture. These are the people who make laws and punish. These are the people who plot to kill and struggle to hold on to their way of life. Instead of using Jewish law, now the brood of vipers use Christian law to maintain power.
Result of Politics on the Christian Faith
I believe the result of our current Christian methods is simple, we further divide ourselves. Christian methods that include political activism include things that make us hypocrites to unbelievers and believers who join the opposite political groups. When I talk to other Christians, especially ones with political interests and motivations, it always feels like a war of words rather than a conversation between brothers and sisters.
I don’t fear one political party winning over another. I care not for democrat or republican interests. My vote comes from my values. Before I was Christian, I believed in helping others and fairness. As a Christian, I believe in a lot more Christly ideas than that. Now I believe things like forgiveness, mercy, self control, humility, kindness, and most of all unconditional love for God and each other.
I do fear having to watch my brothers and sisters in Christ turn on each other. I fear political ideology and political parties are the Midianite (Numbers 25) influence of our time. If our Christian methods were based on Christ alone, we would not be so divided. We should absolutely vote who we believe is the best most Christ like government representative, but we should not allow party ideology to divide us. The result of this continuing is clear.
Scriptural Support for Worldy Influence on Our Faith
Matthew 24:9-13 (View Chapter Here)
9 “Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me. 10 At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other, 11 and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people. 12 Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, 13 but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved.
If this is the moment when we all turn on one another. If this is the moment where the world starts to hate us all, then stand firm brothers and sisters. Do not let your heart grow cold and let your love be replaced by hate for each other and the world. Remember that as God loves you and the world, so should you do the same. Remember that our love has to be unconditional, because conditional love is what causes us to turn away from our faith when things get difficult.