Jesus never talked politics.
Never. The closest he ever got was referencing the image of Caesar on a coin (Matthew 22:15-22). This is pretty startling considering He and His followers lived under the most oppressive political regime in the history of the world. No matter how bad things have gotten in America, or how bad they have been at any point, they have never been as bad as the early Christ followers had it under Rome.
That being said, things are pretty bad right now. When the FCC removed the “Fairness Doctrine” in 2011, which previously ensured that every media outlet gave balanced reporting, it was a boon for advertisers but a bust for America. It isn’t an accident we are so divided. An entire industry with corporations, publications and pundits make their money by bombastic and divisive claims. We eat them up in order to feel superior to the other idiots who don’t agree with us. We have lost the ability to reason, and in turn we have lost the ability to win and lose well. Jesus said, “Blessed are the peacemakers,” and we desperately need them (Matthew 5:9).
Because Jesus rarely talked politics, I rarely talk politics.
But talking about what happened in DC, where an angry mob overtook the Capitol building, isn’t talking politics. It is talking about some of the Bible’s most basic teachings. It is talking about the dark condition of the human heart. Specifically, the dark condition of the hearts of Christians who can’t separate political conviction from Biblical absolutes. Few Christians give even a tenth of their reading and media consumption to the Bible. Following a spiritual personality who has strong political convictions isn’t the same as following the words of Jesus. Hearing people’s opinions on politics who believe the Bible isn’t the same as reading the Bible. Hearing a rallying speech by a pastor isn’t the same as rallying yourself to conform to the Bible.
I’m not interested in making a political statement against the events on January 6, 2021. I’m most interested in using it as an example—many people aligned with the Christian faith have lost their way. We aren’t conforming to absolute instructions found in the eternal word of God.
Romans 13:1-2 says, “Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment.”
Donald Trump lost fair and square. There is not enough evidence of widespread voter fraud that could overturn the election. Court after court, many with justices appointed by him, are in unanimity over this truth. We live in a country with a system where the ultimate authority is the Constitution. That authoritative document, and all the systems and processes that flow from it, has declared that Joseph Biden is our next president.
Bible-believing Christans can be thankful for many of President Trump’s policies. He has thrown his weight behind protecting the life of the unborn and religious freedom in ways that have been very refreshing. But his cantankerous and divisive demeanor was on full display when he encouraged protesters in their wanton disregard for justice, resulting in anything but a peaceful protest. He has accused others of violating the rule of law, but he has disregarded it in a heinous matter by trying to brainwash us that the election was fixed.
Galatians 5:22-23 says that it is the “fruit” emerging from someone’s life that proves they are in sync with God.
Those spiritual outcomes, known as “the Fruit of the Spirit,” are love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. I expect cynical unbelievers to be Biblically ignorant. I understand that the general population of our country won’t place a premium on basic Bible concepts like honoring authority (no matter who it is) and exhibiting the fruit of the Spirit. But it is shameful how similar Christians have become to the most hard-headed, hard-hearted, cynical people our country has to offer.
Many believers can’t offer up a coherent Biblical defense to combat what I’m saying, or even a single Bible verse. The only defense is a diversion of attention with a classic rhetorical question like, “Well, why didn’t you speak out against protests that those on the left have had?!” Because the Bible isn’t anti-protest. It is anti-subverting-a-rightful-authority, which is what we all saw on our newsfeeds.
To thrive, our country needs a percentage of its citizens who don’t follow a political party and ideology so much as we follow the timeless constitution of the Bible. Our country can survive a lot of bad policies instituted by any number of presidents. But it cannot survive anarchy where a large percentage of the population deny the constitution, deny the courts, deny reason and deny the basic teachings of the Bible regarding being “subject to the governing authorities,” regardless of which party they belong to. More of us need to exhibit the Fruit of the Spirit.
We need to be better than this.
We should want our society to succeed. We should want our government to work. We should want peace in our nation. Followers of Jesus should be different because we serve a king, not a country. We should be different because we’re anchored by scripture, not a butt in a seat in Washington. We should be different because we seek to love and pray for our enemies, not demonize and destroy them.
It is time for those of us who have the Fruit of the Spirit, and who honor authority, to build bridges for peace and reconciliation. That isn’t a political opinion. It is a Biblical absolute.
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