My friend Allan Bevere has written an outstanding post exposing the false vision of both the religious right and religious left. I say false in the sense of each of them seeking to promote the imposition of some kind of theocracy on the United States. Power through Washington politics, and all that comes with that.
What is needed is the seeking of a clear vision of God’s kingdom come in Jesus, the fulfillment of God’s revelation in scripture. And that politic comes from the church, period. Whether or not a follower of Jesus serves in the state as Daniel did, is another matter altogether, as well as whatever political views one has with reference to the politics of this world.
This is a kingdom vision simply speaking of shalom, which is translated “peace” in our Bibles from the Hebrew, and means prosperity in a complete sense. Not just the absence of war, but a society living in and out of the love of God.
The kingdom vision is to be on display, be it ever so humble and even weak, through the church. We in Jesus are to live out this vision. It is fulfilled in Jesus and is meant for the world through us here and now.
That is why I am not excited over worldly politics. It has its importance to be sure, but it’s limited in scope as to what it can and will accomplish. It makes me hardly care who wins what election, but that’s me and my own political view, which is secondary to the point of this post. Except that it is relevant in us avoiding getting sucked into the system which won’t leave us untainted, and ends up at least tending toward being a sellout of the kingdom vision we are called to fulfill in Jesus. If we’re not always in an uneasy tension with the world in which we live, with the world system, yes with earthly governments, then our witness has been compromised somewhere, somehow.
Does this mean that we don’t speak at all into the world? No, of course not. We need to speak truth to power, and I don’t believe we’ll make anyone happy when we do so, or at least we’ll make everyone unhappy in some way. At the same time we need to know where our own calling lies. We in Jesus in a true, albeit surely limited way, are to be the truth to the world in how we live in relationship with each other, as well as in mission to the world.
The world’s one hope is not America, nor any other worldly entity. The one hope of the world is King Jesus, and God’s grace and kingdom that has come in him. And we in Jesus individually and together are to humbly be seeking to live out that kingdom in and through Jesus by the Spirit for the sake of the world. That others might catch a glimpse of Jesus, and of this kingdom.
This is the one true political position for us in Jesus, the one we can unite around–God’s kingdom come in Jesus. That others might see and embrace for themselves this hope, as well as join us in living it out in Jesus as we anticipate the day when the kingdom of this world will become the kingdom of our Father and of his Son, the Messiah, Jesus.