No, he was not. Yet he respected the leaders of Rome whose government and army dominated Israel. The only authorities he excoriated (Matthew 23) were the religious leaders of Judaism, the Pharisees, who eventually had him executed.
Jesus was the founder of a new and higher order, the kingdom of heaven. He was (and still is) its king. His followers now comprise a collective body -- the church -- who, when joined to Jesus as head, are a kingdom of priests. We can offer up sacrifices to the Lord: praise, thanksgiving, and intercession. Not only do we have prophetic spiritual authority, we can model heaven on earth. We can transform our community by living righteously, displaying God's mercy, and doing good works.
Now, as contemporary American Christians, we find ourselves in a unique position of having a dual citizenship. While our eternal citizenship is in heaven thanks to the new birth, our earthly citizenship is here and now in the United States. Our U.S. citizenship has peculiar privileges since we can peacefully overthrow our federal government every four years. This has worked well for over two hundred years.
Since the rise of social media, mainstream values of yesterday -- conservative beliefs -- have developed outspoken voices to counter the left's progressive socialist agenda, which many Christians believe erodes America's core principles and foundational strengths. Indeed, anything which weakens the family or undermines faith in God does tend toward systemic societal disintegration.
The problem doesn't stem from the wrong political party or wrong system of government, although I prefer the American model. The problem that causes society's decay is sin. Sin is a transgression of God's law. It breaks good boundaries. The root of sin is rebellion against God. This leads to going our own way, casting off restraint, and living in denial of holy standards. Individually, sin affects people's lives and hurts families. Collectively, sin affects our national well-being.
I recall a verse printed inside the little red Gideon New Testament I received in the fifth grade... "Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a disgrace to any people." (Proverbs 14:34)
Is Jesus political? No, but his kingdom has embedded values that require we pursue righteousness. It is possible for sinful ideas to become so entrenched in a movement, a group, or a political party that the system itself promotes sin. It has become corrupt and must be judged for righteousness' sake.
Is Donald Trump a sinner? Yes, he is. He has said profane things characteristic of a selfish, arrogant sinner. In my opinion, he has been guilty of immoral behavior. But get real. So did Jack Kennedy and Bill Clinton. The difference is that they didn't have the media in attack mode 98% of the time. I've had religious people criticize my questioning of Democrats. I'll give them the same answer I gave one of my granddaughters who asked me why I didn't like Hillary. I said, "I could never vote for someone who is in favor of aborting innocent babies in their mother's womb."
Personally, I would rather not address political things. I don't like politics. Instead, I delight in the word of God. I love exploring the ways of God. I would much rather talk about biblical topics, scientific discoveries that validate God as Creator, faith, and the sparkling wisdom of God's thoughts toward us. But I have seen demonic ideas, destructive viewpoints, and deep wickedness infiltrate politics. It is sinful. It should be rejected. We need to repent of poor judgment, return to sound thinking, and rescue our nation. The next generation is depending on our vigilance.
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Ron Wood is a writer and minister. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.touchedbygrace.org. The opinions expressed are those of the author.Editorial on 08/01/2018
Print Headline: Was Jesus political?