I read an article in The Atlantic entitled “The Evangelical Church is Breaking Apart” by Peter Wehner, and in spite of his obvious political leanings, there wasn’t much in the article that I could disagree with. As the following quote from the article shows, we have become more concerned with our tribal ideals than we have with the gospel of Jesus Christ. The same Lord who has commanded us to love our enemies, to love one another and maintain a humble spirit of peace.
“The root of the discord lies in the fact that many Christians have embraced the worst aspects of our culture and our politics. When the Christian faith is politicized, churches become repositories not of grace but of grievances, places where tribal identities are reinforced, where fears are nurtured, and where aggression and nastiness are sacralized. The result is not only wounding the nation; it’s having a devastating impact on the Christian faith.”
While Romans 13 compels us to be ‘subject to governing authorities,’ and 1 Timothy 2:1-2 exhorts us to pray for them, we have felt it is ok to demonize them for anything that doesn’t comply to my rights and my autonomous self! While at the same time there are governments like the ones in the New Testament that were truly evil, and truly oppressive, yet Jesus says “If anyone forces you to go one mile with him, go two miles” (Matthew 5:41).
What interests me is how scripture is often weaponized by both liberals and conservatives, and how easy it is to say that scripture alone is your authority, yet the constitution seems to be the thing we defend the most. I am by nature a rebellious person. My football coach in high school once said that I am a “rebel without a cause.” You older readers can figure out the cultural connection of that statement 🙂 It is one of the things I struggle most from, because I too see the nonsense behind some of these political decisions, vaccine mandates and ridiculous virtue signaling (PETA now wants MLB to change the Bullpento the Arm Barn since it “Mocks the misery of sensitive animals“), but am I an Ambassador of the USA, or am I an Ambassador to the USA, representing another Kingdom? (See 2 Corinthians 5:17-21 for an answer).
We need to be better than this, because we are not only fracturing the church, the very institution created by Jesus to bring the gospel to the world (See Matthew 16), but we are hurting the gospel that we have now politicized under the guise of “Freedom of Religion,” leaving the gospel of Jesus empty and silent. We are a people called to God and His Kingdom for His purposes, and believe me, it’s a way better journey than trying to defend a human gospel that is devoid of love, grace, and compassion!