It’s election season here in the US when I’m writing this post. If you’ve followed me for very long, you’ll have noticed that I never voice an opinion on politics per se. I have zero political agenda and, frankly, next to zero interest in politics, LOL. But I do have an interest in the Church and the body of believers. And as talk increases about elections and duties and moral obligations and who Christians “should” vote for, I want to chime in. Not with a political stance. But with a spiritual one. And I’ll begin with a statement some will probably find outrageous:
God is not on the side of any political party. Ever. God is not on the side of any political candidate. Ever.
And here’s where I get that.
13 Now when Joshua was near Jericho, he looked up and saw a man standing in front of him with a drawn sword in his hand. Joshua went up to him and asked, “Are you for us or for our enemies?”
14 “Neither,” he replied, “but as commander of the army of the Lord I have now come.” Then Joshua fell facedown to the ground in reverence, and asked him, “What message does my Lord have for his servant?”
15 The commander of the Lord’s army replied, “Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy.” And Joshua did so.
Joshua 5:13-15, NIV
This was Joshua–the very man appointed by God to lead Israel after Moses died. But do you notice the response of the angel here? He was not on either side. The angelic warrior is on GOD’s side. And that, my friends, is our role too.
God is on no politician’s side–but a politician could be on God’s. Any of us can be–and SHOULD BE–on God’s. But we have to get the order straight. HIS will, HIS purpose, HIS righteousness comes first. Ours is secondary.
How often, though, do we get it backwards? How often do we make our own decisions–emotional, logical, or otherwise–and then pray afterward, “God, bless this!”? How often do we assume that our reading, our interpretation, our understanding of events is right and then search for Scripture to back us up…even though there are believers on the other side of the topic too? How often do we even make claims that if someone takes another stance than ours, they can’t possibly even be a Christian?
How often do we let our political leanings divide the body of believers? How often, when we pray for “unity,” do we really mean, “Lord, may everyone agree with me!”?
I hear so many prayers that we will be “a united nation under God again.” But friends, we never were. We were always a collection of states with different governments who sought different goals. We were a collection of people who wanted very different things and believed very different things. We were a nation made of many different religions, denominations, and convictions. My personal opinion is that we need to stop worrying about being a nation under God and start worrying about whether we’re a Church under God. We need to stop assuming we’re right and then praying God will make others see it, and start asking Him to show us HIS side; where HE is working; what HE desires, and how we can meet Him there…even if it means giving up an opinion.
Even if it means admitting that sometimes our political action and opinions may be hacking away at the body of Christ.
Because Christ didn’t come to create another nation here on earth–He came to establish the Kingdom of Heaven. He didn’t come to promote “Christendom.” He came to change individual lives. He didn’t come to do any earthly empire work. He came to give hope to the marginalized.
Christianity can certainly have a positive influence on a nation and politics. But politics will ALWAYS have a negative impact on Christianity. Why? Because it requires compromise. Because it’s built on promises that lose their efficacy once they’re fulfilled. Because those politicians and representatives are not elected to serve the Church–they’re elected to serve a diverse constituency and serve a government.
So in whom are we putting our trust? Our faith? Where do we spend our time and attention? Are we spending more time worrying over the country than the Church? If so, then that means we are citizens of our nation first and the Kingdom of God second. And that means we have it backwards. That means we decide on OUR side and then ask God to join us here.
A politician may be the Church’s ally…for a time. A season. When goals happen to coincide. But a politician is by definition someone serving the polis–the city, the state, the government. NOT just the Church. The Church is not a government in the earthly sense. And it shouldn’t be.
I firmly believe there have been and are godly men and women called to serve in the political arena to help achieve a particular goal. But I also firmly believe that the majority of politicians are merely pandering. I believe a politician can be an ally; but I know for a fact that whether they are or not is not the important thing. The important thing is this:
Are WE being God’s ally here on earth?
Are we on His side? Or just assuming He’s on ours because of X, Y, or Z?
My hope does not rest in a political party or any elected official. My hope does not rest in America being a Christian nation. My hope rests in God moving among the hearts of the faithful. My hope rests in the Lord calling people all the louder in times of persecution. My hope rests in the Church taking care of its own, not waiting for any government service to do it for us.
My hope rests in being FIRST a citizen of heaven…and only secondarily a citizen of the land where I live. And that shift in perspective has changed my every view of the world around me. Because all of a sudden it doesn’t matter if other people agree with me–it matters only that I seek daily to make sure I am in agreement with Him.
Ultimately, the Church has only one Ally. And He is the greatest Ally anyone could ever want. Because He doesn’t stand on our side before men: He stands at our side before God and pleads our case. He has won for us the ultimate battle–not in a voting both, but on the cross. We can’t vote for Jesus. But we can live for Him, day by day, word by word, step by step.
Let’s stop arguing about politics, friends. And let’s start loving our neighbors, no matter their party, as He would.