Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Political season again...wake me up when it's over

Don't expect to see much on the blog about politics this coming election year. We need to stop being surprised that Caesar does not govern like Jesus would. We need to stop being surprised that a society which is overwhelmingly ignorant of what the Bible says does not follow its principles. We need to stop expecting people who don't believe what we believe to live like us.

Occasionally I will pop my head up to make some statement when we are talking about massive moral wrongs, like abortion or war...particularly when I hear Christians on the unBiblical side of things. But for the most part, I will continue to just pray for the time that we will be delivered by the True Leader, who is the only one capable of fixing our broken world.

Until then let me just give one brief warning to all Christians, as you engage in political discussions:

Please avoid the temptation to pretend like the Bible speaks about your political beliefs. Usually it does not. The Bible has some pretty rough things to say about adding to or taking away from Scripture and thereby mis-leading people...don't be that guy (see: Prov 30:6; Rev 22:18; Jam 3:1; Matt 18:6).

Issues2000.org lists 24 major issues of American politics. Of those 24, the Bible directly speaks to 5, and indirectly speaks to 3 others. So even if you stretch it you end up at 33%. Two-thirds of the issues in American politics (at least) have nothing whatsoever to do with Scripture. (And frankly, even the other third, Scripture just gives broad principles and rarely provides directly actionable policy.)

And yet you will hear verses ripped out of context and proof-texted so that people can make their political opinions masquerade as Biblical morality. And Hell hath no fury like a political position masquerading as a moral truth. Those are the ones that they will argue the harshest about.

So please be careful this political season. You belong to God's Kingdom, not this one. Pray, vote, support the people in power. Show them respect--no matter whether they are your guy or the other. And please, don't fall into the trap of believing that whoever gets elected (your guy or the other one) is going to magically change this into a Christian nation. That is absurd.

We are strangers in a strange land, pilgrims in a godless country. Our King is returning one day. Until then we live under the reign of the Caesars. And just because one Caesar panders to you to get your vote, don't be so foolish as to believe that he or she will actually follow God's principles...and don't fall into the all-too-common trap of twisting Scripture into a political platform.

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