Saturday, November 8, 2008

All I have to say about Politics

Pastor Sean said on Sunday that when a Christian votes he does not represent a political party or an issue, but God himself. He exhorted us to vote according to our conscience that has been matured by the Word and the Spirit of God. 

I did. So did one of my best friends. And we voted very differently.

Some people reading this are thrilled that Obama is our new President. Some are devastated.

To both groups, let me offer this: There will never be a Savior in the White House.

At the time Jesus walked the Earth, many Jewish people believed the Messiah was coming to free them from Roman rule. They wanted a political savior, a strong leader who would break their chains of oppression and rule from a throne the way they wanted him to. 

When some of the religious leaders came to the conclusion that Jesus was a threat to them, that He claimed to be God and He had a large following, but that He did not follow the Law the way they did, they set out to trap him so that they could get rid of Him. One such trap is found in Matthew chapter 22:

Then the Pharisees went out and laid plans to trap him in his words. 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. Tell us then, what is your opinion? Is it right to pay taxes to Caesar or not?"

But Jesus, knowing their evil intent, said, "You hypocrites, why are you trying to trap me? Show me the coin used for paying the tax." 

They brought him a denarius, and he asked them, "Whose portrait is this? And whose inscription?"

"Caesar's," they replied.

Then he said to them, "Give to Caesar what is Caesar's, and to God what is God's."

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

Jesus was not confused about the government. He was completely certain that "everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God" (Romans 13:1).  

The elections are over, what is done is done. I voted because I believe it to be my privilege, my right--one I take seriously and am thankful for. It will be interesting to see what it will mean for us with a new president to "give to Caesar what is Caesar's," as it would be with any new leadership. But what is God's has always been His--that has not changed. 

These are a few of things that are God's that we need to give to Him

--"The most important (commandment)," answered Jesus, "is this: 'Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.' The second is this: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' There is no commandment greater than these."

"Well said, teacher," the man replied. "You are right in saying that God is one and there is no other but him. To love him with all your heart, with all your understanding and with all your strength, and to love your neighbor as yourself is more important than all burnt offerings and sacrifices" (Mark 12:30-33).

--Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will (Romans 12:1&2).

--Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise—the fruit of lips that confess his name.  And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased.  Obey your leaders and submit to their authority. They keep watch over you as men who must give an account. Obey them so that their work will be a joy, not a burden, for that would be of no advantage to you (Hebrews 13:15-17).

The first passage, from Mark, is also recorded in Matthew 22, the same chapter where Jesus instructs us to submit to our authority.

There will never be a Savior in the White House because the only Savior has already come and made salvation available to all people.  America is a great nation, and I am thankful I was born here; however, I do not worship America, I worship my King. 

I don't know what America will look like in 4, 8, or 15 years. I don't know if Mr. Obama will be a great leader of our country or if we have dark days ahead of us. I do know my role in this country: to represent God by being a good, honest and faithful citizen, to love my neighbor whether I agree with him or not, to submit myself to my leaders and make their work a joy--whether I voted for them or not. That's my plan. What's your's?


Cassandra Rollins said...

thanks a bunch for the reminder...I am going to copy it and send it to my the end of the day you are right we should not worship America, BUT we are to WORSHIP GOD ALONE!

Anonymous said...

So I'm still curious who you voted for. =)--Amy Smith

Laura Lu said...

great post, Carlee!