2016 will be another political year. That fact is both exciting and dreadful. Politics are always interesting but are so messy.
It’s understandable that there are such strong opinions; a lot is at stake. People will thrive and people will suffer based on what decisions are made. But it’s frustrating when things become polarized. Back in 1941 we united as a nation and fought Hitler; now we point fingers and compare each other to Hitler. That’s when things get nasty.
It seems dualistic, but really there’s quite a spectrum out there. There are Socialists, Green Party candidates, liberal Democrats, conservative Democrats, moderate Republicans, religious conservatives, Libertarian-minded voters (including Tea Party Republicans and actual Libertarians), etc. What’s the right way for the Christian to go? Here’s where it helps to look to Jesus…
There were several political cohorts in Jesus’ day that were vying for dominance over the kingdom. The main question back in those days was one of Roman totalitarian rule: What can be done to restore the kingdom to Israel? (cf. Acts 1:6). Israel had a longstanding history of independence. The people were frustrated under the oppressive and often violent Roman occupation (e.g. Luke 13:1, Matthew 5:41). The most notable “political parties” of Jesus’ day were these…
John MacArthur, Jr. has pointed out something: “This is a rather unpopular doctrine in the church today. We emphasize celebrities and experts and superstars and rich, famous Christians. But happiness is for the humble.”
This made me remember a church in a small Kansas town that I saw while traveling on my sabbatical this summer. I visited with a woman who was raised in that church. She said, “It’s so sad. There are only old people there now.” I listened to her lament. Later a few things occurred to me…
God bless you,
Andrew McHenry, Pastor
First Congregational Church
The blog of Andrew McHenry, Pastor of First Congregational Church of Emporia, Kansas.