Political and Theological Thoughts

I originally wrote this post in 2016 during the presidential campaign, but i never posted it. I’ve tweaked it just a bit, and finally built up enough courage to post it now that we are again looking at another election.

In this crazy time of Christians vocally endorsing and advocating politicians as the only hope for our country or vilifying other politicians as the destroyers of our country, i’d like for us all to take a large step back for a more theological and Jesus based perspective on politics.

This blog post will not mention a single candidate in any way positively or negatively. This is about a biblical approach to politics, not which candidate you should vote for (or against).

We could try and come up with a fully orbed entirely Biblical perspective of what politics should look like, but that is the realm of books (and many have been written). It is not the realm of blog posts.

I fully expect that my approach will offend some folk. Nevertheless, i will do my utmost to stay biblical in all that i say.

My goal is simple. Let’s try and see if we can come up with some political guidelines and a philosophy/theology based solely on what Jesus said and did as recorded in the gospels. Jesus, as God incarnate, certainly is a solid place to look for guidance, at least in my opinion. So, let’s try.

Labels

There is no such thing as a Christian party in the United States. Both the democratic and republican parties have those who deliberately try and follow some of what Jesus said and did, while blatantly and deliberately ignoring other things he said and did. The same is true of other labels like liberal, conservative, moderate, socialist and libertarian. Each candidate should be judged on their own merit and positions, not on their party or label.

Warning

You will never find a politician who says and does just what Jesus did. Jesus himself could not and would not ever rise in our political structure to a prominent place. His purpose was to change lives and bring us forgiveness and God’s love, not to change any political system.

Things Jesus did not do or say:

  • He did not say one word either for or against abortion, even though it was practiced in his time
  • He did not say one word for or against gay marriage
  • He did not say one word for or against LGBT rights
  • He did not say one word for or against immigrants

Things Jesus did do or say:

  • He said we should feed the widows and orphans
  • He spoke against divorce
  • He spoke a lot about prayer
  • He spoke about heaven
  • He spoke about the Kingdom of God
  • He spoke about hell
  • He spoke about loving each other
  • He spoke about loving our neighbors
  • He spoke about loving our enemies

Conclusions

If you believe that Jesus is a model for things we should seek and the way we should live, then it would seem reasonable to favor a politician who said and did those things.

If you think that what Jesus said or did is irrelevant to politics, then of course you can ignore both those who do and say things like Jesus and those who do and say things Jesus never did. However, don’t make the mistake of labelling those politicians who focus on what Jesus did not say and do while ignoring the things he did say and do, as Christians. They’re just politicians.

If you find a candidate speaking about things which Jesus said or did, that would be a politician worth considering.

If you find a candidate spending most of their time speaking about things Jesus never said or did, that would be a politician who is not concerned with following Jesus. That doesn’t make him a bad politician or a good politician, it just makes him (or her) a politician concerned with things other than what Jesus said or did. Such a politician should not, however, be labeled as a Christian politician.

It’s my opinion that it is best to support politicians who say and do the things Jesus said and did. You may consider other issues to be more important, but i do not.

I would apply the exact same criteria to a pastor, Christian leader or “televangelist” (whatever that is). Are they saying and doing things that Jesus said and did or are they spending most of their time and words on things Jesus never talked about or did?

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