Friday, January 29, 2016

Do Politics Trump the Gospel?

Being an American is pretty great.  Beyond even language barriers I can't think of another country I would want to call my home.  And with that I have to say I like things "mostly" the way they are and have some strong opinions on ways we can improve things.

By improve things I mainly mean, "Make my life continually more and more comfortable".

One of the best parts about being a parent is that I get the daily conviction of my own sinful inclinations on full display visibly manifested in the lives of my kids.  I don't mean they are these terrible kids, but that the absurdity of children and their self-centered thought processess point to the  reality of my more subtle, yet still absurd, self-centeredness.

This morning.....wayyyyy toooo daughter woke me up and asked if she could watch something.  Like a loving father I replied, "Sure hunny, go downstairs and I will be right there......"

Cut to 20 minutes later as I continued to sleep.  "DADDDDDDYYYYYYY why did you forget me?!?!?"

I begrudgingly got up out of bed, annoyed that she was up so early and acting so darn selfishly.  She was inconveniencing me for something stupid.  Life, and especially my kids, needs to be thinking about what I want.

Selfishly her selfishness was annoying me......

Rarely do we see beyond our own nose.  What we want is what we want and we want it when we want it.  Those who get in the way of that are clearly; lazy, selfish, immature, wrong, evil, dangerous, jerks, idiots, etc.

As I came to grips with my own conviction and snuggled my sweetie on the coach while watching Octanauts and waiting for the rest of our family to wake up I thought how silly we "adults" can be sometimes.

And it is reflected in our politics.

Right now the front runner for the Republican Primary, Donald Trump, launched his campaign by promising to build a wall to keep out Mexicans and wants to stop all Middle Eastern Muslims from entering from any border at all.

Let me be clear.  There is an argument that can be made that America can be more economically prosperous and physically safer by following Donald Trumps populist rhetoric.  If we build a wall and stop all immigration there will be more for the rest of us.  Pragmatically speaking we can make a stronger Nation with such policies.

But why do you want to have a stronger America?

Because YOUR life will be better.

Now, don't get me wrong, I am not trying to argue that we shouldn't want a healthier economy, or, that we should get rid of all borders.  What I am saying is that what we don't often want to admit is that at the heart of our political grandstanding is a self-centered goal of selfishness.

Where in the Bible are we ever commanded to build a really awesome country that has a high standard of living where there will be low unemployment and physical safety?

Still looking????

Find a passage yet??????


You won't find one.  But you will find plenty of statements about how this is NOT OUR home.  Or, we are supposed to lay down our lives for the sake of the Gospel.  Or, we must give up everything to follow after Christ.

None of those concepts fit very neatly into a political campaign about making America great again.

One of the concerns with unfettered third world immigration is that the tone and culture of America will be forever changed.  So what?!  Even if we never vote republican ever again what does that have to do with the Gospel?  Some people make a strong case that letting people immigrate won't actually solve any economic problems.  So what?! Even if our immigration policies don't help the immigrants, our citizens, or the countries of origin, what does that have to do with the responsibility of the Gospel.

And to be clear.  What is the Gospel?  That we are sinners, seperated from God.  Jesus has died as your subsitution for the penalty of sin and through  faith in Christ and Christ alone we will be saved. That is it.  That is the work we are supposed to be about.

Ask yourself this.  One day you stand before God and He asks you what you are most proud of.  Is your answer going to be, "I kept the Republican party in power for 50 more years!!"

I hope that for me, and for you, the answer will be, "I declared hope to the captives that Jesus was King"!

If you find the Gospel message aligned with this one, you're reading the Bible wrong

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