Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Newsflash: Jesus Not into Politics - Prefers People

What would Jesus say about the Health Care Reform issue? I think He would stoop down and write in the dirt. There are higher priorities in the Kingdom of God. If you have a home and food to eat, be content. Focus on sharing the love of Jesus to a hurting world. Go on a missions trip and get some fresh perspective. Let's not get caught up on majoring in the minors.
I agree we as Christians need to be vigilant of things going on wherever we live. There are issues where our voice needs to be heard. I'm not suggesting we should stick our head in the sand about decisions our government is making that will affect us in some way. But I am suggesting that sometimes we get so caught up in getting involved with political things, that we inadvertently stick our head in the sand to the world we're supposed to be reaching. People aren't going to be drawn to the Lord by our rants and raves and bumper stickers on issues. They'll know we are Christians by our love (sing it with me).

Trust me, I've been guilty of this common fallacy in Christianity myself. But when I finally turned off Rush, Hannity, O'Reilly, or even my favorite preacher, and turned my eyes upon Jesus, the things of this world became strangely dim. That's how it's supposed to be.
The homeless person doesn't have health care either way. He's more interested in finding a hot meal, or a place to sleep (please don't assume that all of them just want drugs or alcohol). They would be more appreciative of you taking time to look them in the eyes and hold their dirty hands and treat them with respect and dignity, than they would about your position on the latest legislation. Or for that matter, your well-off boss whose family is falling apart would appreciate your prayers more than your well-thought-out debate methods.
I'm afraid that we want American Christianity to be seen as a political juggernaut. We should be seen as a tree full of the fruit of the spirit. You know: love, joy, patience, etc. (see Galatians 5:22). Let's throw the government a curve ball: let's say, "who cares" and move on with life - our really good, spoiled-rotten life in America. Let's show love to people who are sometimes called our enemy. That'll make their heads spin.
The Jews wanted the Messiah to be a political giant who would come in great power and "stick it" to their oppressors and enemies. He didn't come that way, he came as a baby, born in a barn, son of a carpenter. I don't think we learned the lesson yet. If we're still waiting for that perfect, "Christian" president, congress, judiciary: forget it. It ain't gonna happen. We don't need to look for a Christian hero. WE'VE ALREADY GOT ONE - his name is Jesus.

When you get to the point where you can say, "I don't care who is president, which party is in power, or what my local public school allows: I'm going to spend my time worshipping the Lord, and bringing glory to Him by sharing His love", then you will be an effective Christian. Until then, you are just going to be an angry Christian, mad at everybody and everything. And people will see that, and they won't even want to talk to you or listen to you.

"When he [Jesus] saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, 'The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field'." Matthew 9:36

Neil Coates
Nashville, TN

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