Christ and Christianity has been politicized, yet again, and Christians must be careful not to fall into that trap (again). The news channels, internet news, and bloggers around the world are full of examples of invoking the name of Christ and His Bride, the Church, to further positions on every, so-called, side. Christians must be discerning and be led by the Spirit of God, through the Word of God, to bring glory to God in these politically-charged environments.
The politicization of Christ and Christianity, however, is nothing new. One need not go any further than the Gospels themselves to find genuinely sincere religious people using the political flavor-of-the-day to further their own agenda.
“Pontius Pilate said, ‘Behold you King!’ [The Jews] cried out, ‘Away with him, away with him, crucify him!’ Pilate said to them, ‘Shall I crucify your King?’ The chief priests answered, ‘We have no king but Caesar.’” (John 19:14-16)
The ruling political and religious powers used Jesus to further their own agendas. But make no mistake, it was YHWH’s eternal purposes that were being advanced in Jerusalem that day.
Today is no different.
God was not “taken back” in 2016 when Donald J. Trump was elected President of the United States of America. Neither was He surprised or in despair when Joseph R. Biden Jr. was elected in 2020. The King of Glory, Jesus Christ, did not sweat while the votes were being counted (righteously or unrighteously). Nor did the Creator of Heaven and Earth despair when the Capitol building was under siege.
And neither should you, Christian.
We would do well, and it would be a superb witness to the world that seems to have lost its mind, to remember and remind the world that Christians are citizens of Heaven before we even think for one second about our citizenry on this planet; especially as it is “thus to be dissolved” (2 Peter 3:11).
Peter reminded the First Century Church in his first epistle that “Once you were not a people…” Keep in mind that all those who were “not a people” were citizens of their various countries. He continues, “…but now you are God’s people…” Can you imagine Peter singing “And I’m proud to be an American, where at least I know I’m free…”? Of course not. Neither would he or Paul or any inspired biblical author place their identity in a pagan government or nation; they considered all that they used to be “rubbish” for the sake of knowing Christ and being known by Him.
Read where Peter’s allegiance was place: “Beloved, I urge you as sojourners and exiles to abstain from the passions of the flesh, which wage war against your soul. Keep you conduct among the Gentiles honorable…” (1 Peter 3:10-12; emphasis added). Peter rejected his citizenship among “God’s Chosen People” that he might be found in Christ and not as a Jew. Christ was all that mattered.
He still is all that matters.
Don’t get me wrong: I love living in the United States. What a blessing from the Lord that He would, benevolently and providentially, cause me to be born “in the land of the free.” I’m grateful and I pray for our leaders and pray for continued freedom. But I live as a sojourner and an exile in this land. I am a Christian, a citizen of the Kingdom of God. I identify with Christ because, by God’s grace, I am in Christ; safe and secure from all alarm!
That means, I do not belong here. This state of Illinois, this United States of America, even this world is not my home. I am a citizen of the Kingdom of God. Jesus is my King. My allegiance is pledged to Him and I represent Him in word and in deed. And until King Jesus returns, destroys the Enemy, and finally consummates the Kingdom that He inaugurated in His first advent, this world will not be my home and my identity will never be found here.
Your identity isn’t either.
Christian – I urge you as sojourners and exiles, concern yourself and expend your life in the spread of the Gospel of Jesus Christ among the nations, making disciples of Jesus Christ, longing for the Kingdom of righteousness that will never end, and represent your King.
You’ll effect more change with the Gospel in your sphere of influence than you ever will with the party platform of the Republicans, Democrats, or Independents.
Soli Deo Gloria