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It was important for us to remember why we were in Jamaica. We were there to bring Christ, not make people into Americans or even lovers of America.
Making that statement may sound like I’m being facetious, but it is important to think about. In the US, our Americanism permeates our Christianity in ways we don’t think about. Living in another country showed me interesting ways that my Americanism permeated my faith in sometimes unhealthy ways.
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I noticed that our politics tended often to relate to our theology…sometimes in unhealthy ways
Not long after returning to the U.S. I realized that politics was permeating the U.S. church in unhealthy ways in many places. For example, many people tended to see alignment with one particular party as being more Biblical.
Unfortunately, the political parties don’t tend to be all that Biblical in their approach to life. They are there to get their candidates elected. Whatever is popular with their base is what they are happy to support. But if their base, who also provides money for their candidates, changes their wishes, the party will go along with them. The party itself doesn’t really have a moral code.
That’s only one of many reasons why we can elect people from our preferred party, but they won’t get some of the basic planks passed that we would like. Each party has special interest groups that provide money. I’m convinced that often the leadership of the party may not even agree with all the planks, but will go along with them because in order to have power, that is what they have to do to keep it.
In some places it is more “Christian” to be a democrat for these reasons
Those whose priorities are along the lines of social action, tended to see a Biblical approach in the Democratic party and their slate…forgetting that government in the Bible was supposed to govern, not do the work of the church that was caring for people including the poor. Government isn’t supposed to legislate morality either. As we have seen, government doesn’t do a good job of that at all! As a result, the Church has often abdicated its role and allowed government to take over that place.
Hopefully government will be moral, but when they are legislating morality, it becomes problematic. We are not a theocracy, but a democracy. When the majority doesn’t care about GOD or His values, it will be reflected in the people who are elected.
In other places it is more “Christian” to be Republican for these reasons
Then there are those who want fiscal responsibility and/or certain kinds of moral stands taken. These days, the moral stand is along the lines of pro-life. They may care about the poor on a certain level, but they don’t feel it is the government’s job to care for them.
They often see the Republicans as being able to bring about what they want. But each group fails to take into account that we need to look to GOD to bring about lasting change, not government. I think that lesson is slowly being learned the hard way. As time has gone on, each group has become less and less tolerant of the others’ differences.
The level of respect for each other has been incredibly low and we now have a horribly divided country. People, even Christians don’t even seem to try to pretend to listen to each other anymore.
If we are gong to work together as a nation, that is a recipe for catastrophe! Add to that a media that is extremely slanted and…we have a nation that needs to fall down on our knees before GOD.
Sadly it is the last place most of us want to go!
This may explain all the anger
It may explain why there is so much anger. The frustration at not feeling heard and not getting their agenda done is frustrating. But understanding that we need to spend more time on our knees and less time hating our president and opposing parties would be helpful.
How did people like the apostles manage in the days of the Roman government that wasn’t very just and was killing Christians in arenas? They managed to live peaceably. It has to be possible for us today.
It often seems that if we work hard enough and long enough, somehow we will be able to convince people that our way is the right way! But it doesn’t happen that way. It never has.
GOD’s Word says:
For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven
against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men,
who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth.
For what can be known about God is plain to them,
because God has shown it to them.
For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature,
have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world,
in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse.
For although they knew God,
they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him,
but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened.
Claiming to be wise, they became fools,
and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images
resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things.
Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity,
to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves,
because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie
and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator,
who is blessed forever! Amen.
For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions.
For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature;
and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women
and were consumed with passion for one another,
men committing shameless acts with men and
receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error.
And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God,
God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done.
They were filled with all manner of unrighteousness, evil, covetousness, malice.
They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, maliciousness.
They are gossips, slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless.
Though they know God’s righteous decree
that those who practice such things deserve to die,
they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them.
Challenge: Do you find yourself feeling one political party is more Christian than another? Why?
I have found it helpful to realize there are Christians in both parties. Neither party has a corner on the market of truth. GOD is our Guide. We need to follow Him and His lead. Neither party is an extension of the Church.
As we face a presidential election, the wisdom we need for this election is major! What ways do you have of encouraging each other to pray for our country, this election, GOD’s agenda for our nation?
Wow, this isn’t the way I planned for this post to go! But this is the way it went, so despite the fact that it isn’t a whole lot about Jamaica, I let it stand. I hope you find it helpful.