This post is part of a monthly synchroblog. The topic for this month’s synchroblog is “The Politics of God“.
Is God red, blue, or purple? Is he a Democrat, a Republican, a Libertarian, or a Constitutionalist? Is God for big government or small government? More spending or less spending? More social programs or less social programs? Big military or small military? Federal control or states rights? Conservative, liberal, or moderate?
These terms seem strange and somehow out of place when used to describe God. Why? Because God is none of these things. These terms are used to describe human efforts to govern themselves, and assigning them to God immediately begins to recreate a god in our own image.
I grew up in the deep south of the United States where most people voted Democrat in local and state elections and Republican in the national elections. Why? Four main reasons: carpet baggers, abortion, military, and taxes – not necessarily in that order. Abortion was the only issue that could be considered a moral issue, and I’m not sure how people would have voted if “pro-choice” had been pushed by the “pro-tax” party. In other words, I think that “fiscal” concerns would have easily outweighed “moral” concerns.
What does this have to do with God? What does politics in general have to do with God? Besides throwing around God’s name to garner a few votes, is God’s agenda even considered among the various political agendas? (Can you tell that I’m cynical? Yes, I know that there are good, honest, authentic Christians in politics – at least, I’ve been told they are there.)
From what I’ve seen, when Christians get involved in politics, they rarely do so in a Christ-like manner. Oh, they may pick a few moral issues on which to base their campaign, but the methods, techniques, and goals of their campaigns are rarely different from nonChristians politicians. The problem, of course, is that Jesus did not call his followers into politics. Don’t misunderstand me – I’m not saying that being a politician is mutually exclusive with being a follower of Jesus Christ. Instead, I’m saying that a follower of Jesus Christ recognizes that human politics will not solve the world’s problems.
God’s politics works differently than human politics. God reveals needs and opportunities to his people. God gives his people the means to meet those needs. God gives them his Spirit to empower them and lead them as they meet those needs. Then, God expects his people to obediently follow where the Spirit leads – in meeting the needs of the people around them – as God as revealed those needs.
God’s politics works if our government is conservative or liberal, democratic or totalitarian, pro-Christianity or against Christianity. God doesn’t change the land through protests, but through a demonstration of his love. God doesn’t change people through voting, but through the service of his people. God doesn’t honor patriotism, but obedience.
Is God red, blue, or purple? That’s the wrong question. The correct question is this: Are God’s people demonstrating God’s love by serving others in obedience to the work of God’s Spirit in their lives. That’s the kind of “political agenda” that I can support 100%!
Here is a list of other bloggers who are tackling this month’s synchroblog topic of “The Politics of God”. Enjoy as you read!
Phil Wyman rants about The Talking Points of Presumption
Lainie Petersen considers Questioning the Citizen Diety
Jonathan Brink enters The Political Fray
Adam Gonnerman explains The Living Christ’s Present Reign
Sonja Andrews Won’t Get Fooled Again
Mike Bursell at Mike’s Musings
Sally Coleman at Eternal Echoes
Steve Hayes on God’s Politics
Matthew Stone at Matt Stone Journeys in Between
Steve Hollinghurst at On Earth as in Heaven
KW Leslie tells us about God’s Politics
Julie Clawson at One Hand Clapping
Dan Stone at The Tense Before
Alan Knox asks Is God Red, Blue, or Purple?
Beth Patterson writes about Learners inheriting the earth: the politics of God
Erin Word discusses Hanging Chad Theology