Jesus, an equal opportunity offender

Although I am more appreciative of differences thoughtful Christians have on government and politics, I am also increasingly more convinced of the idea that if Jesus were present, he would offend everyone with his politics. How can I say Jesus’ politics? The grace and kingdom of God present in Jesus, both when he came and now by the Spirit even in the church.

You would be hard pressed to think the latter, since the church has all but sold itself down the river, I think, since the Constantian shift. But skipping that historical point and looking at America today, church left and right is aligned with the Democratic and Republican parties practically in lock step. Jesus would have none of that at all. I would argue that Jesus’ agenda would undermine the entire American project in a true sense. And at least it should bring a world of difference in the spiritual, moral influence brought to bear on government and politics today, and in the pointer to the goal of God’s kingdom come in him. To be actually lived out in community and mission be it ever so imperfectly in the church today.

Yes, Jesus would not be at home in the halls of Washington, D. C. What that would look like we can only play out in our imaginations, and we would differ across the board on that as his followers. We have to consider what he did within the times in which he lived and where the narrative of the New Testament points and ends. One of the key problems I have with how we Christians approach the subject is just the amount of importance and weight we put on government and politics of this world, and how next to nothing or very little we think God’s kingdom come in Jesus has much to do with any of this. We in Jesus are the light of the world, and nations are to be judged in part according to that light. Yes, Jesus is present within his body, the church. We are supposed to be an alternative community in this world by the Spirit in and through Jesus in the good works we do, as well as the good words we say in the sharing of the good news of God’s grace and kingdom come in Jesus.

For important, helpful thoughts on this and more, see Allan R. Bevere’s book, The Politics of Witness: The Character of the Church in the World.