Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Resisting the Empire

The election season is nigh upon us. Lot's of folks are asking what kingdom of God people should do when it comes to elections. Essentially, should we be red or blue?

This is how the world phrases questions for us. Are you for mothers or babies? Are you for workers or immigrants? Do you give the poor jobs or money? The list goes on and on. Jesus got these questions, and he always came up with a radical third way of answering them. What if we said we love mothers and babies. And by love we mean we will take them into our homes, not just try and change their minds. If we look at these situations through the lens of radical love, the solution is neither of the two options presented by the world, it is a radical third way. The catch is it involves huge sacrifice on the part of the lover.

Now what do we do about the upcoming election? Back in the first generation of the church the saying Jesus is Lord was particularly offensive. You see the Romans had a saying too, Caesar is Lord. It was this resistance to the empire that got most of them killed. Before we go any further I am not advocating suicide, but I am advocating resistance.

Imagine if the entire church in America united and said "Jesus is our Leader (president), we will not vote." Already you may have had the thought, "but THEY would win if we did that". I felt it too initially. I suggest this, by refusing to vote we are saying that whoever is elected will not determine how we respond to the world. We respond with radical love to all, because of the love Christ has placed in our hearts. It does not matter if the tax rate goes up or down, we will still give sacrificially. It does not matter what the state says about marriage we will be faithful to our God and spouses, and love homosexuals. It does not matter if the state builds walls between us and Mexico, we will love US workers, Mexican immigrants, Iraqi civilians, US soldiers, and Al Quadi insurgents alike. None are to far gone for God's grace.

I know sometimes I am guilty of saying, "if the government could create this situation, the gospel could advance." We trust in God for protection and guidance. When dramatic situations arise we respond based on what we put in our hearts. If we are filling our hearts with Jesus, it doesn't matter what situation, whether peaceful or dangerous, our response will be one of radical love. When non-Christians see us act with radical love no matter what the situation, the gospel message will go forward. Unfortunately love looks most radical in the midst of suffering.

God Bless the Revolution.

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