Politics and Christianity: An open letter to Christians

This is not a topic I plan to touch upon often in this blog, or an audience I will be talking to directly, but I think the current situation in the US and the part that Christians around the world are taking on it, merits touching upon it. I  commented in some forum regarding these issues and I now base this post on that comment.

I  don’t see Jesus defending his faith like many Christians do today. He simply was, he showed truth, and those who had eyes to see, saw, those who were willing to go into the light, did.

This comes from what is being observed lately as part of the US contention for a president and from not so much the stance, but the attitude that many Christians take in relation to these issues. This of course happens in varying degrees in other countries and has happened for centuries all around the world; the present case in that country simply brings the topic for discussion.

It is pitiful not having atheists and agnostics being the main attackers of Christian stands or even Christian beliefs in general. Such people more often simply express their concerns for their society without having experienced the God their reactive mockers claim to have experienced—a God that showed us the way through Jesus, not by attack, but by mercy and authentic love.

What is pitiful  is having Christians attacking such atheists and agnostics and entering into silly discussions to defend a faith. It would be less pitiful even to have atheists and agnostics being the main attackers of Christian stands or even Christian beliefs in general. Such factions more often simply express their concerns for their society without having experienced the God their reactive mockers claim to have experienced—a God that showed us the way through Jesus, not by attack, but by mercy and authentic love. How necessary is it really to create factions to defend a faith that claims not to pertain to this world and its affairs. Will this give anyone a taste of the God who taught his followers meekness and a heart set in heaven and not Earth? Or will it just make them look better as part of this worldly system as they try to show the world they are in the right?

Do not live to defend your faith or your morals against others, be strong enough to live them and let God do what he will while you remain with a willing heart. Isn’t this what the gospel is more about? Jesus was not recorded entering long heated theological discussions to prove He was the Son of God, he lived being the Son of God. Jesus didn’t create political movements for Roman law to change, he loved individual sinners into repentance.

The society of that time belonged to this world as, in this case, America belongs to this world and is limited to it. Through Jesus came a new society whose members have to be born again to join, but not be forced into it through laws. The society Jesus formed will never be a specific country in this age.

Now, if you believe that the biblical apparent disapproval of gay union (to cite a divisive example) means that such a thing could cause damages to the society you live in, it might be your duty at least with yourself not to support such things. Yet, as a follower of Christ, it is your duty not to viciously fight against the people who support them and to not be driven by emotional instead of spiritual reactions.

Your responsibility is to live with discernment and prayer, with humility and prudence. One of the worldly responsibilities of each person might be to work for the betterment of their society (and consider here that some people “outside the church” carry out this responsibility by promoting homosexual marriage, or by promoting women to have a choice over the unborn). Still, according to the life of the One they are supposed to follow, Christians participate in their worldly duties differently—with true meekness and love and not by the means of those of the world—having in mind that in the end (that is, if you believe the Bible) the world will still go wrong as is and has been its nature through towers and floods and kingdoms and crucifixions and holocausts and wars and all sorts of institutions–religious or not. If you follow God, then your ultimate fight is not for any government at hand to be God’s government. I think that a well-versed Christian will tell you such a thing will not happen, and hence, such a fight is worldly, not heavenly, especially if it is vicious.

God wants souls, not offices. Do not become of this world fighting for a religion or worse yet, to defend your beliefs (does God really need your defense, or do you just want yourself to be justified in the world’s eyes?). Instead, actively be God’s child. America has a problem? Yes, it is, after all, part of this “doomed world”. Yes, it has Christians who live as if they were part of that doomed world. It has Christians who are willing to draw swords to cut ears or wprse, just to see their own morals established. So are we going to be light amidst these problems or conform by being  part of them? Study Christ, do you see him debating? Protesting against governments? Dictating how society should live? He dictated how God’s children should live. He cleansed the church, not society. He never showed the need to defend himself or his faith.

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12 responses to “Politics and Christianity: An open letter to Christians

  1. This is an excellent, very insightful post. I hope many Christians read it and take its message to heart.

    Grace and Peace to you,

    R

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  4. wow Alex,
    I found my way to this post through one of breena’s blogs, I was blown a way and very inspired. Thank you so much for sharing.

  5. Alex, I loved reading this when you had posted a version in that forum, and I loved reading it again here, fleshed out and presented as its own thought. A couple lines in your closing paragraphs really struck a cord with me:

    “Does God really need your defense, or do you just want yourself to be justified in the world’s eyes?” Yikes, I find that I’m guilty of the latter on many occasions (or when I don’t have the guts to take a stand I will just sit steeped in my indignity, which can’t be constructive.)

    and

    “[America] has Christians who are willing to draw swords against ears or more to see their morals worldly established.” Swords against ears, that is so incredible. And surely there are nonviolent forms of these swords (I wonder if my blog isn’t one, on occasion) but they are just as dangerous. I think you should try submitting this article somewhere – it needs to be read. What about Relevent magazine (or at least its online counterpart) even though I sometimes can’t stand that magazine. Maybe you aren’t interested in that idea, but I really do think Christians (especially American Christians) need to read this.

  6. Oh, I can’t go back and correct the grammar of my comments once I’ve posted… I would change my first parenthetical to read: “I will just sit steeping in my indignity” instead of steeped. There, I’ve revealed my writing process–constant edits.

  7. Also, I like the photo on the header, with the umbrella – did you take that? Is there a story to it?

  8. Bea,
    Thank you for your nice words (and I thank Rachael and Roubaigh here too). I pretty much made this post of its own from that of that forum because you (back to Bea) said I could/should.
    The header picture I took at a Starbucks in Paris. The umbrella is just a friend’s, I guess she used it a lot in Paris. I like the picture, but the wordpress crop made it look even better. Me selecting it as header was simply because wordpress lost my other picture when I did the change and I think I lost it too. From the pictures I did have I liked that this one looked at the world from behind a window, kind of like in a “zoo” though not really a cage. Plus it was from a coffee shop, where people write…haha… just nice cliches I found when I thought to myself the picture worked.

  9. way to misspell names.. sorry Rachel and Robaigh…

  10. Good for people to know.

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