I am amazed at how people, even Christians divide over politics. And how sharp and divisive political speak and discussion can be. Even when people disagree there’s a sad tendency nowadays to veer off the issues and talk about how bad the people are on the other side.
What is worst of all is when one is practically disfellowshipped among Christians because of a different stand on political matters. This happens both left and right, by the way. In fact from what I pick up it’s worse on the religious left than on the religious right. I happen to have been raised and to live around those on the religious right, so most of my experience is from that angle.
The gospel in and through King Jesus is what unites us who are in Jesus, and it’s not American at all in and of itself. The gospel can have a healthy amalgamation into a culture so that it can somehow become American or whatever culture it has impacted in its outworking and impact. For example the gospel could impact the church to embody and practice justice and help for the poor and oppressed, something society then might take on in the form of various functions and practices.
But the gospel in and of itself is not from and understood properly of this world at all. Yet it’s for this world. It is strictly in terms of the grace and kingdom of God come in Jesus, in his appearing, life and teachings, death and resurrection, and ascension with the promise of his return. It actually is political in being God’s kingdom come, since the gospel is as big as all of life, as all of creation, so that instead of seeing things through a Democratic or Republican lens- of any strains within those systems or something of the like, we need to see everything in light of God’s grace and kingdom come in Jesus. We are united in that and that alone. Of course the gospel is for the forgiveness of sins and for new life. And it’s a good news which penetrates and permeates everything beginning now and fully realized in the end.
American politics and such like are indeed important in their place. Down on a certain level. But not at all on the same level as the gospel. And oftentimes the issues of the politics of this world are quite debatable, not cut and dried. That is a whole other discussion in itself, yes important, but not for this post. Again, it is the gospel which unites us even in all of our differences in this world. That is part of the beauty of the gospel. People with different worldly ties and persuasions are united in King Jesus in a way, truth and life that trumps everything else. And in the end will be standing when all other things, provisional and important in their place are gone.