Monday, December 06, 2010

God's Name Is Not "Robert"

I am less political today than I have ever been. Here's a summary of some things I now feel and believe re. politics.
  • I thank God for real Jesus-followers who are called into the political arena.
  • Such Jesus-followers will understand that God's Kingdom is "not of this world," and therefore earthly-political solutions will never be the answer to the human dilemma.
  • Increasingly I am putting my trust in God, and not in political hopes. Our next government leader, whomever they may be, does not become my new hope.
  • The political is not to be divorced from the rest of reality, nor compartmentalized, ignored, or not prayed for. It is all under the dominion of God (the King's "dome").
  • I am uninterested in especially critiqueing our political leaders because I expect little from them in terms of real human change. They are as flawed as any person, should be viewed with compassion and, as scripture tells us, prayed-for.
  • I do not understand Christians and Christian leaders who denigrate political leaders. Aren't we supposed to love them and pray for them? Christian leaders who ad hominem-abuse political leaders seriously misrepresent Jesus and contribute to the politics of the kingdom of darkness.
  • God will lead Jesus-followers who live in oppressed cultures to especially pray for their political situations, as should we. In such contexts non-violent active engagement with our spiritual weapons of warfare are needed and appropriate.
  • The answers to the systemic evils of oppressive governments are essentially spiritual, not political. Heart-change government leaders and they will govern differently.
  • Trust in God, not in government. If government leaders also trust in God and not government, their governing will be more God-led, which will cause Jesus-followers to rejoice. But rhe result will not be a "theocracy" because, again, the Kingdom of God is not of this world.
  • The democratic model of government has so influenced the Church that some (many?) church boards are more concerned about following the parliamentary procedure of "Robert's Rules of Order" rather than the Spirit. It is important to remember that one of God's names in the Book of Acts was not "Robert."
What shall we do?
  1. Abide in Christ today.
  2. Hear God's voice.
  3. Obey. (You might find yourself riding in the chariot of a political leader [Acts 8].)
Thomas Merton wrote: “I must be resolutely non-political, provided I remain ready to speak out when it is needed.” Merton, following Jacques Ellul L’Illusion politique, disagrees with the idea that “the deepest communion with man is in political declaration.” He asks, “What is primary? God’s revelation of Himself to me in Christ and my response in faith.” The goal, the summum bonum of this life and the life to come, is: “Union with God!” Which means the end of one’s own Ego self-realization. (A Year With Thomas Merton, K 5648-5664)

Set the course of your life in this direction.

(See also Greg Boyd, The Myth of a Christian Nation; and Jim Wallis, God's Politics.)