e-Literature

Ignore the Sideshow

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“The media doesn’t have the authority to call the election.”
“Trump is asking all Christians to pray as the Supreme Court deliberates over election results.”
“Did you know that Siri will say that Kamala Harris is President? What does that tell you about their plans?”
“Trump will be president. I believe God is moving.”
All the above statements are from discussion groups or statuses of people in my contact list. All who shared claim to be Christians and part of the Kingdom of Heaven. Is something wrong with this picture?
I wonder about this pro-Trump right-wing sentiment in our church and family circles. Why do Christians who have been taught the concept of a heavenly kingdom care so much about which political party is in power? Will the “right” political party really solve the social, economic, and moral issues in our country? Will Amy Coney Barrett’s confirmation as a Supreme Court justice really make the USA a righteous nation? Did Jesus not say to Pilate, My kingdom is not of this world?
I am alarmed at how we Mennonite Anabaptists are being undermined by the ready access to media on our phones and internet. Why are we struggling to believe that mixing politics with Christ’s program is a disastrous move? History should teach us that we have not been very good at knowing which candidate to back. Is God setting up Mr. Biden for a reason known only to Himself? Is God limited by a flawed voting process?
Does the Bible teach us anything about relating to the earthly authorities and politics? In Jesus’ life and ministry, we find almost no mention of the current ruling power. If we had to rely only on Scripture for our understanding of politics in Jesus’ day, we would know little about the Roman rule. We certainly do not learn whether they were “left” or “right.” We don’t know whether Jesus liked his current Caesar or not. He called Herod a fox once. He forgave the people who put Him to death.
Similarly, when we go to Acts, the apostles are quiet about their political leanings. Did they have any? What did they think of Herod when he killed James? What did Paul think about Felix and Festus and their political policies? We don’t know. We are left to assume that either the political involvement and sympathies among Christians were so much a given, or they didn’t care because they had much more important things to do. Basing my conclusion on what they did talk about, I believe they were too concerned about Christ’s kingdom to worry very much about the Roman Empire.
The epistles give a little instruction about earthly government. The passages that speak directly to the issue are Romans 13:1-7; 1 Timothy 2:1-4; Titus 3:1; and 1 Peter 2:11-17. We learn that God ordains the governmental leaders, we are to be subject to them and honor them for who they are, we are to pray and intercede for them, and our respect for them should put to silence accusations of evil doing. There is just really not much to it. The old pray, pay, and obey proverb still works.
If the church of Christ will refuse to cede her power to the politics of the world, she will again turn the world upside down. Only those who are part of Christ’s kingdom and acting as His agents – His body – will have solutions to the issues that plague humanity. Social injustice is solved when we love our neighbor. Economic injustice is solved when we work with our own hands and have to give to them that need. Moral degeneration is solved when we accept the way we are made and live by the standard of Christ for marriage. Violence is solved when we do good to the ones who hate us. Only the Gospel of Jesus has the answers to the world’s problem. Politics is a little sideshow that Satan is directing to try to attract our attention elsewhere. Ignore it and join the real program – Christ’s work on earth through the community of genuine believers.