Warning right up front: this post will probably be offensive to some. I’m just trying to take an honest approach and share my thoughts. They are by NO MEANS gospel. You have been warned.
Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about the election. Who am I kidding? I think about politics all the time.
I’m especially concerned with what I perceive to be a lack of interest in politics in the church as a whole. Perhaps people are afraid to trample on the Separation of Church and State. Here’s a hint. It doesn’t exist, at least certainly not the way it’s used in today’s society.
And I quote…
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof
That’s it. Do you see anything about not putting up a nativity scene in the town square during Christmas? Or not being able to pray at a school baccalaureate service? Yeah, I didn’t think so.
I’m so tired of people telling us what we can’t do when it comes to our freedom of religious expression. It simply doesn’t exist in the Constitution. PERIOD.
Ok, that tangent aside. I’ve started to think about our perception of Jesus, especially when it comes to political issues. I know this a sensitive subject people don’t like to talk about, but guess what? We need to talk about it. We need to take an objective look at Jesus and the inspired Word of God to see how they approach political issues.
- Jesus was pro tax. No, seriously, He was. Check out Mark 12:13-17.
Later they sent some of the Pharisees and Herodians to Jesus to catch him in his words. 14 They came to him and said, “Teacher, we know that you are a man of integrity. You aren’t swayed by others, because you pay no attention to who they are; but you teach the way of God in accordance with the truth. Is it right to pay the imperial tax[b] to Caesar or not? 15 Should we pay or shouldn’t we?” But Jesus knew their hypocrisy. “Why are you trying to trap me?” he asked. “Bring me a denarius and let me look at it.”16 They brought the coin, and he asked them, “Whose image is this? And whose inscription?”
“Caesar’s,” they replied.
17 Then Jesus said to them, “Give back to Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God what is God’s.”
And they were amazed at him.
Certainly seems Jesus supported the paying of taxes, and this was during a time of extreme Roman oppression. I also LOVE that it was the religious leaders who were trying to trap Him, and He dropped a big ol’ Truth Bomb on them.
- The Bible supports hard work. There are countless examples of the importance of work, not being a sluggard, etc. throughout the Bible. One verse in particular stands out. Check out 2 Thessalonians 3:10.
10 For even when we were with you, we gave you this rule: “The one who is unwilling to work shall not eat.”
Hmmm…that doesn’t sound terribly pro hand out, now does it? At least not supportive of government hand outs. Paul makes it pretty clear. You work hard, or you don’t eat. I don’t see anywhere in that verse where it mentions food as a right.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not advocating for starving people, or anything insane like that, but there is something to be said for taking personal responsibility, working hard, and reaping the rewards of that hard work – no matter how big or small they might be.
- The government isn’t supposed to take care of the needy. The church is. Again, countless Scriptures to back this up, but check out Jesus’ own words in Matthew 25:34-45.
Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world.35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in,36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’
37 “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink?38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you?39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’
40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’
41 “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.42 For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink,43 I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’
44 “They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’
45 “He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’
Jesus makes it clear that when we take care of the “least of these” we are in fact taking care of / doing good deeds toward Him. It’s on us, not the Federal government or some spending program. The church needs to be the hands and feet – meeting peoples’s basic needs and showing the love of Jesus in a tangible way.
Just going to throw this out there, if the church really stepped up in that area, we probably wouldn’t need the litany of government entitlement programs out there today.
So, there you have it. Again, this is my take on things, and I certainly might be wrong. But we need to take a hard look at Jesus and God’s Word as we make crucial decisions in this election year.