Christianity and politics make strange bedfellows

You’ve probably heard it before – Religion and politics make strange bedfellows. Today though, we’re going to narrow it down to Christianity, rather than religion as a whole. So we end up with Christianity and politics make strange bedfellows. And when we narrow it down like that, the combination of Christianity and politics is even more strange than religion and politics! Why? Because some religions do intentionally have the government, politics and governmental laws, integrated with their theology and religious laws.

Christianity and politics make strange bedfellows

I’ll say right up front, that is not the case with Christianity. It may be hard to believe these days, based on what we see happening around us, but it’s undeniably true. I’ll even go so far as to say I see why it happens. However, I still don’t believe it should. We’ll see why as we go along.

I will say one thing though. The central question is one of choice. Keep that in mind as we proceed.

The choices between Christianity and politics

The first time I wrote this, I did not include one passage that’s probably the most expected one to see here. This time, it’s front and center. Why? Because I decided to focus on choice. The choices every Christian must make as we navigate the various positions held by Christianity and politics. Make no mistake about it. They are in conflict. And we must choose one of the other. All I can say for now, choose carefully!

With those thoughts in mind, let’s look at the obvious passage for this topic.

Paying Taxes to Caesar

22:15-22 pp — Mk 12:13-17; Lk 20:20-26

Of course, it’s the one about paying taxes. No one likes to pay taxes. And it out religion can be a convenient way to avoid them, why not try to take advantage of it? Well, remember what I said about choices? Check out these choices.

Mt 22:15 Then the Pharisees went out and laid plans to trap him in his words.

Mt 22:18 But Jesus, knowing their evil intent, said, “You hypocrites, why are you trying to trap me? 19 Show me the coin used for paying the tax.” They brought him a denarius, 20 and he asked them, “Whose portrait is this? And whose inscription?”

Mt 22:21 “Caesar’s,” they replied.
Then he said to them, “Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God what is God’s.”

Mt 22:22 When they heard this, they were amazed. So they left him and went away.

It was a trap!

Mixing Christianity and politics leads to lots of traps

Choices between Christianity and politics

And do you know what? It’s frequently, if not always, that choices between Christianity and politics involve traps. As Mark Twain notes, reading newspapers has issues, whether we read them or not. Same with Twitter, Facebook, or any other social media platform.

Even with reading the Bible, there are possible issues. As Christians, we’re supposed to look to the Holy Spirit, the mind of Christi as Paul puts it.

Of course, there are also various commentaries. But then we have to pay attention to who wrote them in order to know their background, denomination (if any), and be able to pick out their biases.

Unfortunately, too many Christians and non-Christians alike, also look to political leaders to see what they have to say about Christianity and the political viewpoint from their party.

Again, make no mistake, people are going to try, and they do succeed, in bending our view of Christianity to fit their political will. Choices. Choose wisely. Let’s see what Jesus does when the Pharisees try to trick Him into an answer that will start an uprising between the Jews and the Roman government that’s over them.

16 They sent their disciples to him along with the Herodians. “Teacher,” they said, “we know you are a man of integrity and that you teach the way of God in accordance with the truth. You aren’t swayed by men, because you pay no attention to who they are. 17 Tell us then, what is your opinion? Is it right to pay taxes to Caesar or not?”

Mt 22:18 But Jesus, knowing their evil intent, said,

The trap is set. People watch with bated breath to see how Jesus will answer.

Jesus knew things because He’s God. We aren’t.

But, Jesus has an advantage we don’t have. Jesus, being one with God, knows exactly why this question is being asked. Jesus knows the implications of answering, no matter what His answer is. Let’s turn to one of those aforementioned commentaries for a starting point on this issue.

The Tribute Question (22:15–22)

Christians concerned about political issues and church-state relations eagerly approach this passage, hoping to find a principle to guide them through the maze of contemporary controversies. We must be careful, however, not to draw from the passage more than it contains.

The popularity of this passage for Christians seeking answers to all sorts of questions is exactly why I didn’t include it in the earlier version of this article! So why include it now? Because the further explanation provided below helps to explain why we should be careful, however, not to draw from the passage more than it contains.

According to Matthew and Mark, the question about paying the Roman tax is brought to Jesus by a coalition of Pharisees and Herodians. We know little about the latter, but their name suggests that they were a secular political party that supported the right of Herod the Great’s successors to rule Palestine. By necessity they were pro-Roman, since no one could rule any segment of the Mediterranean world without Rome’s approval. The Pharisees, on the other hand, tended to be quietists who resented the Roman occupation but accepted it as a necessary evil; they counseled submission as long as Rome did not interfere with the practice of religion. 

Here, we see the biases of the two groups. Neither is Christian, obviously, since it wasn’t yet formed. After all, Jesus is still alive.

But even with these two groups, both of which are, to one extent or another, somewhat “Jewish”. Notice, I put that in quotes, since Herod, the so-called king of the Jews who was put in power by the Romans, was very was indeed from a model Jew. As for the Pharisees, there’s plenty to read of Jesus’ own words to get an idea about them.

They are, interestingly enough and not planned ahead, a good example of religion and government being strange bedfellows. Both are out to trap Jesus and essentially end Christianity even before it begins.

These diverse groups are brought together in this incident by their common opposition to Jesus. Their intention is to place Jesus on the horns of a dilemma. If he argues against paying the tax, they will be able to accuse him to Pilate of anti-Roman activity. On the other hand, if he supports the tax, he will be bound to lose some of his support in the general population, for whom the tribute was not only an economic burden but also a hated symbol of lost freedom.

More information is presented, and now we see even more clearly the importance of knowing where the various factions striving to bend out religion are coming from.

Clearly, a lack of this kind of knowledge would end up with Jesus giving a very bad answer. As I said, that didn’t happen to Him. He’s God. But we aren’t. We must do our homework, so to sppeak. To the extent that we don’t, we will make wrong choices and will therefore give up our religious beliefs in order to satisfy a political desire.

With Christianity and politics – issues are complicated

It should be noted that the question, while profoundly political, is phrased in religious terms: “Is it permitted …?” (cf. 12:2). The question can be paraphrased: “Does it accord with Torah to pay tax to Caesar or not?” One facet of the legal question involves God’s ownership of the land of Israel: “The land shall not be sold in perpetuity, for the land is mine” (Lev. 25:23). Since Caesar is a usurper, is it not an act of disobedience to God to pay a tax to this pagan ruler?

Did you catch that? It should be noted that the question, while profoundly political, is phrased in religious terms… These days, the questions/choices may not even be phrased in religious terms. There might be just a hint that it’s religious. Further, to make things even worse, the so-called religious thing might not even be truly religious. Or it might be a misstatement of the issue. No matter what though, we need to be careful. Think, with the mind God gave us. Pray, as Jesus taught us. Be aware of the reality that Christianity and politics make strange bedfellows. And choose wisely.

Instead of taking the baited hook by discussing the legal niceties of the issue, Jesus calls for a Roman coin, knowing that the tax can be paid only in Roman currency. When a silver denarius is presented to him, he asks, “Whose image is this, and whose inscription?” Most probably the head of the coin showed the head of the reigning emperor, and the tail an inscription that identified him as “Tiberius Caesar, Son of the Divine Augustus, Pontifex Maximus,” that is, as high priest of the pagan Roman religion. Exodus 20:4 prohibits “graven images” of any kind. Yet here, in the most holy space in the holy land, Jesus’ adversaries promptly produce a coin that violates the dictates of their religion! The hypocrisy is obvious. They are happy to do business with Caesar’s coins. Why then should they raise a religious question about giving Caesar his due?

This case had an obvious, at least after the fact it was obvious, example from real life for Jesus to make His point. That’s not always going to be the case for us. Especially when it comes to some physical object. However, having said that, I can immediately think of several sticky issues where putting ourselves in someone else’s shoes might be very helpful. Consider both sides of the argument in question, as if we were the affected person. Then, and this is incredibly important, look for the unsaid things, the issues no one wants you to think of, and consider them. Again, consider them as if you are the person getting the worst of whatever the issue is.

Also notice, and look for this: The hypocrisy is obvious. They are happy to do business with Caesar’s coins. Why then should they raise a religious question about giving Caesar his due? If we take the time to observe, think, pray, look for the hidden things others are hoping we don’t notice, pray some more, the problems will come out.

Remember to pray – it is about Christianity

I’ve mentioned prayer a couple times now. I encourage you to check out This then is how you should pray. It’s what Jesus said just before He gave us what we know as The Lord’s Prayer. Among other things, it looks at how prayer is a two-way conversation. That two-way part is essential to praying.

Since the question posed by the opponents is sufficiently answered by the object lesson and the first half of Jesus’ epigram, special weight must be attached to the second half, “and to God the things that are God’s.” Perhaps we should imagine Jesus pausing in the middle of the sentence, so that the full force of the conclusion will be felt by his audience. Although there is strict parallelism between the two halves, they are by no means of equal significance, because Caesar’s role is so vastly inferior to God’s. That is, Jesus is not saying, “There is a secular realm and there is a religious realm, and equal respect must be paid to each.” The second half practically annuls the first by preempting it. In Jewish religious thought, foreign kings had power over Israel only by permission from God. Tax may be paid to Caesar because it is by God’s will that Caesar rules. When God chooses to liberate his people, Caesar’s power will avail him nothing. [1]Hare, D. R. A. (1993). Matthew (pp. 253–254). John Knox Press.

This is the part that especially led me to use this commentary, and even to include the passage about paying taxes to Caesar. So, once again:

Although there is strict parallelism between the two halves, they are by no means of equal significance, because Caesar’s role is so vastly inferior to God’s. That is, Jesus is not saying, “There is a secular realm and there is a religious realm, and equal respect must be paid to each.” The second half practically annuls the first by preempting it. In Jewish religious thought, foreign kings had power over Israel only by permission from God. Tax may be paid to Caesar because it is by God’s will that Caesar rules. When God chooses to liberate his people, Caesar’s power will avail him nothing.

Remember who’s in control. Hint- it should be God if you’re Christian

As Christians, we must pay attention to this just as much as Jewish people should. We often talk about God being in control. And about God’s timing. When we don’t do that, we must ask ourselves about the choice we are, in fact, making. If we choose to do things according to our desires and in our preferred time, we are going against God’s will.

In addition, just as the Jewish people understood that it is by God’s will that Caesar rules, we must also understand something relevant to our time. Jesus told is something about the Holy Spirit as well as something about Satan, aka “the prince of the earth” in the passage below.

The Work of the Holy Spirit

Jn 16:5 “Now I am going to him who sent me, yet none of you asks me, ‘Where are you going?’ 6 Because I have said these things, you are filled with grief. 7 But I tell you the truth: It is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Counselor will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you. 8 When he comes, he will convict the world of guilt in regard to sin and righteousness and judgment: 9 in regard to sin, because men do not believe in me; 10 in regard to righteousness, because I am going to the Father, where you can see me no longer; 11 and in regard to judgment, because the prince of this world now stands condemned.

Jn 16:12 “I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear. 13 But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. 14 He will bring glory to me by taking from what is mine and making it known to you. 15 All that belongs to the Father is mine. That is why I said the Spirit will take from what is mine and make it known to you.

Jn 16:16 “In a little while you will see me no more, and then after a little while you will see me.”

Yes, the prince of the earth, Satan, has been condemned. However, we must understand what Jesus said and also understand something of God’s timing. I don’t often get this deep into grammar, but I think it’s necessary here.

Because the prince of this world hath been judged (ὁτι ὁ ἀρχων του κοσμου τουτου κεκριται [hoti ho archōn tou kosmou toutou kekritai]). Cf. 12:31; 14:31 for the title. Perfect passive indicative of κρινω [krinō]. He stands condemned. The sinful world is in his grip, but he will be cast out (12:31).  [2]Robertson, A. T. (1933). Word Pictures in the New Testament (Jn 16:11). Broadman Press.

Translation: Satan has some degree of power on the earth still. Power over us. Power allowed by God. Of course, it all goes back to The Fall. However, explaining all that is beyond the scope of today’s topic. You can get an intro to the problem in Why were Adam and Eve kicked out of the Garden of Eden? Guess what? It was all about choices!

So – we have Satan with some amount of power over us. And, on the flip side, we have Jesus telling us how He has ransomed us, paid our price for all the wrong we do. Jesus even goes on to tell us how to bring that news to others, so they can also be saved. Once again, guess what? It’s not by getting involved in politics! It’s something we Christians know as The Great Commission.

I write about The Great Commission quite a bit, so I’ve got three references related to today’s topic:

  1. Who’s supposed to do the Great Commission? Christians or the government?
  2. Is the Great Commission for Everybody, Somebody, Anybody or Nobody?
  3. The Great Omission from The Great Commission

Christianity and politics – with a dash of Paul

Yes – Paul. Let’s take what we saw above from Jesus, add in some final instructions from Paul, and see if they apply to our issues of Christianity and politics.

We’re going to look at 1 Thessalonians, but I want to include a brief look at the background related to 2 Thessalonians. That’s because the church didn’t really understand, whether intentionally or mistakenly, what Paul told them in the first letter. (Underlines added for emphasis.) I’m doing this as an extra incentive to really pay attention to what Paul writes, and to evaluate ourselves against his “Final Instructions” to be sure we follow them.

Purpose. As in the pauline practice, Paul never writes a church but what he commends them. This is his purpose here as well. But the overriding purpose is the correction of errors.

The Thessalonians had misread Paul’s intentions in the first letter. 

This epistle, written to Gentile believers, is especially helpful to new converts to Christianity. New Christians need to understand God’s prophetic program and the work ethic of serving until the Lord comes.  [3]Hindson, E. E., & Kroll, W. M. (Eds.). (1994). KJV Bible Commentary (p. 2483). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.

I don’t believe the exact misunderstanding is relevant. The idea is to take the larger purpose of this letter, to correct misunderstandings, and use it to view how we treat each other in the political arena. That’s where we have misunderstandings, some of which are unfortunately quite intentional. I further believe those types of scenarios make it even more important to remember that we, the people I’m addressing most directly here, are Christians.

So, with that in mind, let’s go through the short passage Paul writes. The NIV calls it Final Instructions. As such, they should serve as good reminders for us as we go out to “do battle” in the political arena. In other words, a reminder that we are to show kindness and love, not try to destroy each other.

Final Instructions

1Th 5:12 Now we ask you, brothers, to respect those who work hard among you, who are over you in the Lord and who admonish you. 

Respect

First off, working hard doesn’t mean following our political goals. But before I comment more, let’s look at this from a Biblical point of view of the situation in the Thessalonian church.

12. The first exhortation concerns the leaders of the Thessalonian church who labor among you, and are over you in the Lord, and admonish you. The words who are over you (Gr proistēmi) obviously indicate a governing leadership, and refer to spiritual leaders like pastors, elders, or bishops. Since the church was very young, its leaders must have been appointed by the apostolic missionaries in a manner similar to that mentioned in Acts 14:23. Paul asks his readers to know or recognize and appreciate the spiritual leaders. The spiritual nature of their leadership is indicated by in the Lord.

 No, politics isn’t the church. But then, as Christians we (should) believe that governments are instituted by God. And that we should obey them, even when we disagree with them. Just look at the Roman government in Jesus’ time and think about what goes on now.

We also learn in the Bible that leaders are appointed by God. The question is, does God choose them to teach us a lesson, or because we are being blessed? Although, after writing that sentence, I must point out that even being taught a lesson by God is a blessing.

Anyway, the point is that as Christians, whether we be in the government ourselves or voting for someone, we must pay attention, not to our own desires, but to God’s. Maybe not to what’s best for us as individuals, but to what’s best in terms of God’s plan.

Live in peace

13 Hold them in the highest regard in love because of their work. Live in peace with each other.

13. Esteem them very highly in love. The adverb here (Gr hyperekperissōs) is a double compound with a very intensive meaning which is probably quite adequately translated by very highly in the English text. The means of this high regard is suggested by in love. The reason for the high regard is that they have earned respect by their work. Paul in fact used the same word to describe their labor as he had used earlier for his own.

You may already be thinking, what does all this Christianity stuff have to do with Congress? Well, it turns out, a whole lot. Just check out the numbers below, from the Pew Research Center. I was astounded by them.

At the time, there were 531 members of Congress at the time of the survey, plus 2 empty seats. 468 of them claim to be Christians! In the overall population, only 65% of Americans identify themselves as Christian. But in Congress, it’s a whopping 88.1%. As I said, I was shocked!

So my comments here are even more relevant to the current Congress than they are to the general population. However, by the time we’re through, we’ll see huge differences between the way Christians should act and the way Congress and too many American Christians really do act. The lack of respect is just the starting point.

Be patient

14 And we urge you, brothers, warn those who are idle, encourage the timid, help the weak, be patient with everyone.

14. This verse sums up the responsibilities of Christians one toward another in three areas of ministry. A different imperative verb is used with each distinct group, implying that one’s method must change according to the type of ministry. The first imperative (Gr noutheteō), warn, denotes a rather firm reminder to be used with the unruly (Gr ataktos, meaning, “incorrigible”). The second imperative (Gr paramytheō), comfort indicates soothing and comforting words for those who are “depressed” or discouraged (feeble-minded has other connotations not found in this verse). The third imperative (Gr antechomai), support calls for a supportive ministry for those who are weak or sick. The fourth exhortation in the verse is general, be patient, and encourages true patience toward all men.

We need to consider the terms timid and weak. Timid, for our purposes, should be those who are afraid to act according to the Christian beliefs they claim to have. Weak should be those who go along with the crowd, rather than follow their self-claimed Christian beliefs.

In that light, based on the number of self-identified Christians in the current Congress, there should be plenty of appropriate warnings when they’re needed, comfort when it’s required, and support for those who need it – all in order to practice Christians values in the course of doing Congress’ work. Finally, there should be patience galore. More than enough to go around.

And yet, it’s difficult to see any of those things going on in Congress. It’s equally difficult, to no surprise, to find it among voters in America either. It seems, after only a few verses, another letter is going to be required, just like the one Paul had to send to the Thessalonian church. Obviously, we Christians aren’t getting the message today either.

Be kind, joyful, and pray always

15 Make sure that nobody pays back wrong for wrong, but always try to be kind to each other and to everyone else.

1Th 5:16 Be joyful always; 17 pray continually; 18 give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

15–18. Paying back evil with evil, in a manner similar to the Old Testament “eye for an eye,” is not a part of the Christian philosophy; we must pursue what is good in our relationships to all men. Paul encourages other positive attitudes: a continual joy, or looking for the positive possibilities in every situation, persistent prayer, and thanksgiving. These are the things which are in accord with God’s will for the Christian.

Wow. An eye for an eye doesn’t quite describe the current Congress. Maybe two eyes for one eye? They remind me of my father in many ways. Do you remember what Jesus said about love for enemies?

Love for Enemies – Luke

6:29, 30 pp — Mt 5:39-42

Lk 6:27 “But I tell you who hear me: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, 28 bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. 29 If someone strikes you on one cheek, turn to him the other also. If someone takes your cloak, do not stop him from taking your tunic. 30 Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back. 31 Do to others as you would have them do to you.

Lk 6:32 “If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even ‘sinners’ love those who love them. 33 And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even ‘sinners’ do that. 34 And if you lend to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit is that to you? Even ‘sinners’ lend to ‘sinners,’ expecting to be repaid in full. 35 But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. 36 Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.”

Well, my father’s version of that was: do unto others before they do unto you. That sounds mild compared to the way Congress acts today. Clearly, these self-proclaimed Christians in Congress don’t seem to be acting in accord with God’s will for the Christian. That is, unless, they are in power to teach us one heck of a really huge lesson! One that we aren’t learning very well at all, since things are getting worse, not better.

With the Holy Spirit, test everything

1Th 5:19 Do not put out the Spirit’s fire; 20 do not treat prophecies with contempt. 21 Test everything. Hold on to the good. 22 Avoid every kind of evil.

19–22. Quench (Gr sbennymi) means in this context to “suppress.” It is, in fact, a synonym of the word despise in verse 20. The work of the Spirit should never be quenched, stifled, or suppressed. Verse 20 is parallel to verse 19; a gift like prophesying is not to be despised or belittled. Yet, in spite of the fact that the Thessalonians are quite literally called upon to stop these kinds of activities, they are encouraged to continue “testing” all things, that is, applying Christian principles to all situations, and to continue holding fast to that which is good. The idea is that, while they should not hinder someone who is genuinely working for God, neither should they be gullible and accept anyone who claims to be religious. Paul also reminds them that they should continue to abstain (Gr apechō) from every possible kind of evil. What Paul is calling for here is balance; Christians should neither be overcritical nor gullible.

Don’t quench the Holy Spirit? If our Congress people are truly Christian, what we’ve seen so far seems to indicate a lot of Spirit quenching.

There’s another line in there that we need to really pay attention to as well: neither should they be gullible and accept anyone who claims to be religious. That’s especially important for those of us who vote for these people. Rather than vote on what someone says they believe and claim to be Christian, we should evaluate their words, actions, how they live, and how they treat people. And by people I mean all people – friends or enemies.

And finally, don’t forget: abstain from every possible kind of evil. Think about that, and consider just how much evil goes on in Congress.

Remember, and live like, we are sanctified by God

1Th 5:23 May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. 24 The one who calls you is faithful and he will do it.

23–24. And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly. Paul’s prayer for the Thessalonians here is put in the form of a wish (optative of wish) and might better be translated as, “may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely.” The word sanctify (Gr hagiazō) is related to the word “holiness” and implies that God himself is the ultimate influence in changing a man’s life. Holiness is more than a set of rules which can be legally imposed. Holiness or sanctification is the work of God’s Holy Spirit who indwells us. Paul, having done all that is within his power to teach the Thessalonians to be holy, now commits them to God who alone can make them holy. I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless, should rather be translated “may your spirit, soul, and body be kept sound and blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Paul is not here giving us a list of the separable parts of man, but is simply asking God to preserve the whole man in safety and holiness so that there will be no reason for shame or punishment at the coming of Christ (cf. Phil 1:10). Again, verse 25 emphasizes that, as it is God who saves, so it is God who keeps; God called them in the first place, and He will preserve them.

Here comes some evaluation. Evaluation for the people in Congress, when they look at themselves in the mirror. But also evaluation for us – to evaluate both them and us – before we vote, as we talk about them amongst ourselves, anytime we get into political issues. After all, as Christians, everything we do is supposed to be for the glory of God. How many of us really think God is glorified by the leaders in this country? And keep in mind, nearly 90% of those leaders claim to be Christian!

Remember this letter and the grace of God

1Th 5:25 Brothers, pray for us. 26 Greet all the brothers with a holy kiss. 27 I charge you before the Lord to have this letter read to all the brothers.

1Th 5:28 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.

And with that, Paul closes the letter. I can’t help but feel that as far as too many Christians in America are concerned today, there are too many places where we don’t live as if the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ is with us. And political issues seem to be right up there among the worst areas.

Conclusion – Christianity and politics make strange bedfellows

Yes, the Bible does tell us about Christianity and politics. Actually, Christianity and anything. And in this “Final Instructions” section, Paul tells us a lot. Like:

21 Test everything. Hold on to the good.

So yeah – we should look at things and come to conclusions. But then, before acting on those conclusions, or before just going off without thinking, we should test everything to be sure it’s good. Good in God’s eyes. As part of God’s overall plan. Not that we’ll know for sure what that plan is. We won’t. But God did give us the Holy Spirit to help us discern, among other things, the truth. And remember what Jesus said –

The Greatest Commandment – Matthew

22:34-40 pp — Mk 12:28-31

Mt 22:34 Hearing that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, the Pharisees got together. 35 One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question: 36 “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”

Mt 22:37 Jesus replied: “ ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

God gave us our heart, our soul, and our mind. We should, and must, use all of them in everything we do. Including the political stuff, to be sure what we do is really in line with what Jesus taught, and not what someone else says or what our selfish desires tell us.

I know, especially over the past few years, a lot of you don’t like this message. However, it’s a message offered out of love. Out of a concern for your eternal soul. Truth be told, it’s a message that is sometimes depressing. Mournful.

Do you want to know why it’s a message that comes with mourning? If so, then I invite you to check out Blessed are those who mourn. And if that speaks to you, or even if it doesn’t, I hope it gets you to read the whole series on The Beatitudes. It really gets into the section of The Sermon On The Mount that is often called Jesus’ manifesto. It seems very appropriate, given that we’re looking at Christianity and politics.


Choices Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

Mark Twain Quote Image by Gordon Johnson from Pixabay


Footnotes

Footnotes
1 Hare, D. R. A. (1993). Matthew (pp. 253–254). John Knox Press.
2 Robertson, A. T. (1933). Word Pictures in the New Testament (Jn 16:11). Broadman Press.
3 Hindson, E. E., & Kroll, W. M. (Eds.). (1994). KJV Bible Commentary (p. 2483). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.

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