Saturday, June 21, 2014

Asking a Better Question

My Facebook feed tends to show many people posting commentary and political opinions.  Some of these posts try to claim that God agrees with the person's political opinions.  I have seen conservatives claim that Jesus is a conservative.  I have seen liberals claim that Jesus is a liberal.

I have also seen people attempt to demonize those who disagree with them, one even going as far as trying to assign Satan to the other side of the political spectrum.

This tug-of-war, let's-claim-the-Lord-for-our-side way of debating politics bothers me quite a bit.  One reason for this is because a person attempting to debate politics with this claim reads the Bible with a conclusion in mind and tries to find scriptural justification for that conclusion.  This is a poor way of reading the Bible because it shuts out the Holy Spirit's voice.  One cannot hear the Holy Spirit through the Bible if one is looking for biblical support for one's politics.

The other reason that this way of debating politics bothers me is because it inverts our relationship with the Lord.   The Holy Spirit is calling us onto the Lord's side; we cannot call the Lord onto our side.  I would argue that attempting to call the Lord onto our political side actually puts our political opinions above our worship of the Lord.  Attempting to put the Lord onto our political side puts the Lord in the place of service to a political ideology.  Suddenly, our political ideology has become our idol, the true object of our worship.

The question is not, "Is God on our side?"  The question is, "Are we on God's side?"  Can we agree to focus on discerning where God is acting in the world and calling to us rather than argue whether God is on our side?  If we could do this in both word and deed, we would take a large step towards representing the one holy catholic and apostolic Church.

Will you join me in discerning where God is acting in the world today and how the Lord may be calling us to participate in that action?

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