I hope your week is going well. January is more than halfway behind us and 2017 is off to a roaring start. We’ve sworn in a new president to the United States of America. This president has been more controversial than many I’ve seen in the past. All the division surrounding his inauguration and administration has just been another reminder that Christians are ultimately citizens of a different kingdom.
Last week, during prayer meeting, we looked at a passage on how masters should treat their slaves. Slavery as described in the Scripture wasn’t exactly like what we think of when we think of slavery today. Nevertheless, it was a less than ideal institution and it seems odd why Paul didn’t address it in his letters.
It was the Christian worldview that would later help men like William Wilberforce lead a movement that abolished slavery both in England and (eventually) America. Why, then, didn’t Paul explicitly condemn it when writing his letters so long ago? Has that question ever bothered you before? It certainly has me!
People have offered many different answers to that question. The one that satisfies me most is the idea that Paul didn’t see his calling as political activist but rather a gospel advancer. Politics have never been effective at changing culture. Culture drives politics, not the other way around. The only thing that’s going to change our culture is the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Paul knew that if enough people came to embrace the gospel as true, then slavery would take care of itself. History is proof positive of this theory. This is just one more reminder that the church wasn’t given the stewardship of political ideologies. We’ve been entrusted with the message of Christ crucified for sinners.
Don’t get me wrong. Embracing the gospel as true WILL INFORM your politics. I personally don’t find any political party that perfectly represents the Christian view of reality. The thing the gospel will most change about your politics is the amount hope you put in politicians to fix the world’s problems.
Our hope doesn’t lie with the Republicans or the Democrats. It rests in the palm of the “Most High who rules the kingdom of men and gives it to whom he will.” (Daniel 4:32)
So whatever anybody else decides to say tomorrow as we inaugurate a new president, I’ll join in the chorus of a pagan king turned believer from long long ago…
“His dominion is an everlasting dominion, and his kingdom endures from generation to generation; all the inhabitants of the earth are accounted as nothing, and he does according to his will among the host of heaven and among the inhabitants of the earth; and none can stay his hand or say to him, “What have you done?” (Daniel 4:34-35)
Daniel wrote that after King Nebuchadnezzar said those words, his “reason returned” to him. I want to remind us to be reasonable as well. Don’t get too caught up in the politics. We’ve got a better solution to a deeper problem and bigger God for a larger mission.
We should pray for our leaders and seek the good of the country in which we live. I’m praying that this administration will afford believers greater religious liberty and advance the purposes of Christ. Yet, my hope is not in the politicians but rather the Lord who can change their will.
This world is not our home. Our ultimate loyalty is to the King who sits in heaven. Let’s have our politics shaped by that reality before any other. “Your kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” (Matthew 6:10)
If I can pray for you in any way this week please let me know. I hope you’ll join us this Sunday for a special word from the Lord. Have a great rest of your week!