**I do not own the rights to this photo.
Hello everyone. I have been deeply troubled these last few weeks. I have been sitting with this topic for a few weeks now and I feel like I can speak to it with some clarity. My prayer is that you will hear the heart of the King and my heart, whether you are a Christian or non-Christian, political or apolitical. *I have covered variations of this topic in other blogs such as Sunday Musings and Serious Questions: The Fate of a Nation and “Making America Great Again”: Loving Your Neighbor as Yourself. My purpose in writing this blog today is to bring clarity to a misunderstanding of Christianity's role that may cost the Church much cultural ground if we don't move in another direction. We must get back to the basics of our Christian walk with our neighbors and communities once again. It is not in policy that they will know we belong to Jesus, it is in our love.
You might be thinking at this point, “Well Elizabeth, can't the basics of the Christian faith be reflected in policy at the federal, state, and local levels?” Yes, they most certainly can but policy, is based on law and in many cases, someone's or a groups' less than objective opinion on how a country, state, or city should be run. Policies are tied to power and power to politics. I don't see much love these days in politics. In fact, I don't see a lot of Jesus' character either if I'm going to be brutally honest – even from those I would expect to display such attributes. Our politicians talk a lot but talk is very cheap. This begs the question: if we place our faith in policy and forget about the basic tenant of Christian love and charity within our own communities - which by the way leads to the repairing and restoring all the things in this nation we want to see change because of love's trickle-up effect - then who or what is it that we have really placed our faith in? Jesus or political parties? Who is really our King? Jesus or President so-and-so? Jesus or Donkey and the Elephant? Jesus or the flag? Jesus or the Constitution? Who is truly our Lord if we reject the basic tenant of love? And to be brutally honest wit you, without love, none of these other things, including freedom, would have ever been possible. Think on this.
The Apostle Paul said in 1st Corinthians 13:13 to let “love be the prize for which we run.” He valued love above all things, even power. Jesus did not value the power of the Roman Empire or any other govt to accomplish his purposes in the earth. He did not use policy. He used a ragtag group of twelve men who had their own faults and shortcomings to change the face of the ancient world. They didn't turn the ancient world upside down through politics or violence, they turned it upside down with their love. Many times they had to work around the politics and violence to spread the Gospel. They lived quietly and minded their businesses and families. They cared for the outcast, the poor, the misunderstood, and the stranger. They welcomed sinners and there was no need they did not meet in their communities, including taking care of the orphans and widows (Acts 2:42-47, James 1:27, 1 Thessalonians 4:11-12). Is this not the love that spread far and wide in the person of Jesus Christ? Neither Paul nor any of the other New Testament writers encouraged the 1st century Church to run after wordly power to accomplish Kingdom purposes. You won't find that in the New Testament (which is the covenant we are under in this age). What you will find is Paul's admonishment in Romans 13:1-6 to Christian's regarding those whom God sets in place to rule. I think it would be wise for some who call themselves Christians in our nation to review these verses in Romans, understand they still apply, and search their hearts. If there are those who believe these tenants do not still apply then either the Apostle Paul and the Holy Spirit are liars (which is not possible) or we have some Americans who are amiss in their spiritual understanding.
We must keep in mind that when Jesus said to go into all the world and preach the Gospel, baptizing people into His name, and teach them to faithfully follow all He commanded (Matthew 28:19-20a); he was talking about preaching the Gospel, loving people, and discipling people at the individual and community level, not at a political and national level. He had already told Pilate before he was crucified that His Kingdom was not of this world (John 18:36). Even the Jews made the mistake of thinking He was their political savior. Paul and others would re-emphasize this individual/community level Christianity (this love) later on in their letters as I have already shown you. No where in Matthew 28 does Jesus admonish his followers to use political power to “take over a nation” or force the Gospel on anyone. Do not be deceived by poisonous, silver tongues who twist the Holy Scriptures to justify the evil and unrepentance in their hearts and tell you otherwise. I pray for these people that they would turn from the wickedness in their hearts and seek repentance – Jesus is faithful to forgive.
I will close with an excerpt from my blog *Sunday Musings and Serious Questions: The Fate of a Nation. May it give us pause and allow us to refocus our true callings as Christians all over this nation:
My point in my questions and commentary today is to help us to see that the work of the Kingdom of God can't be established by un-Kingdom like or un-Christlike means. We can't use the state or the laws to be Jesus. Jesus didn't use the Roman govt or law to further his message. He worked outside of their power structure. We can't practice "means to an end" Machiavellian philosophy in our Christianity. Jesus didn't do that. We can't force or bully people personally or politically to see things our way. Jesus never did that. We can't wield truth like a weapon without grace and love. Jesus never did that. He exemplified truth, grace, and love to affect the world and ultimately died to save the world. Jesus didn't worry about what the Romans govt was or was not doing in his day-to-day ministry. This is the same man who non-chalantly told the Jews to render unto Ceasar what belonged to Ceasar and unto God what belonged to God (Matthew 22:21). He did not answer his Roman accusers (John 19:10-11) and he allowed them to beat him (John 19:1-3). He also allowed the Romans to crucify him for all of us, remember (John 10:18 and John 19:17-30)? He never once played any religious or political cards to accomplish his Kingdom work on the earth or get himself out of trouble.
John 13:34-35 NIV; “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
*To go to my blogs see: www.elizabethbillingsley.com/blog