There was a time when I was a news and politics junkie. I spent hours devouring articles and newscasts, not to mention the countless time I spent engaged in passionate debate with those who had opinions different from my own. As I’ve drawn closer to Christ and have come to better understand His mission and the role I have in it, I have left those old pursuits in the past.
A pivotal verse for me was 2 Timothy 2:3-4 which states Christians should not entangle themselves in the affairs of this world. The only nation we belong to is the nation of God. We are His people regardless of what piece of land we might find ourselves temporarily occupying.
I understand there are those who feel very passionate about their Country and seem to even go so far as to think a certain political view is consistent with the teachings of Christ. Many years ago I was fairly entrenched in that camp. The more you learn about God and study the life of Christ, the more you must admit no political system on earth will ever look like Jesus.
I like the way Greg Boyd puts it: “In the name of the one who taught us to bless those who persecute us, we engage in preemptive strikes against those who might threaten us at some point in the future. In the name of the one who commanded us to turn the other cheek when struck, we make sure that we strike their cheek first. In the name of the one who taught us to love our enemies, we bomb them. In the name of the one who was crucified for wrong doers, we crucify those who wrong our national interests.”
Governments will never act consistently with the teachings of Jesus because by their very nature, government is about power over people. Jesus was all about bringing His power under people in order to lift them up. Despite being tortured beyond what most of us could ever imagine Jesus did not retaliate. Instead He responded with an incomprehensible love when He asked the Father to forgive those who had beaten and crucified Him. We will never find the love of Jesus inside a political system. What happens in the government of our nations has no bearing on our identity, our mission, or our eternity. We are strangers and aliens in this world and have no business pledging allegiance to anyone or anything other than Jesus Christ.
Our governments will continue to pass laws; some we will agree with, others we will not. Followers of Jesus must remember our only responsibility in the matter is to continue loving people and to continue telling others about the beautiful hope and love of Jesus. We are not of this world and should not live as if we were. Let others debate the merits of legislation. We will love others and worship our Creator regardless of any laws of men. We are merely passing through this place. Our true home awaits those who persevere and follow in the footsteps of Jesus.