This isn’t what you think. I’m not going to go off about religion in politics, maybe a bit of vise versa. I’m not going to go into the whole Republican V. Democrat thing. If you are just looking for a reason to be angry at me, be angry for the right reasons. This post is from my own opinion and of my own mind, it does not reflect the opinions of my family, my friends, my employers, or even anybody remotely associated with me. So I ask that if I what I’m about to say offends, please think about why that is and how to have a constructive conversation with me rather than attacking from a defensive stand. I have lost a few friends due to my social media posts and some of my writing. I do not wish that, but I ask for patience and understanding, because, after all, my voice matters just as much as yours.
I asked a question this week in my social media circles. I asked, “If the stories about Jesus were proven to be more narrative, than historical text, would you still follow him as Messiah?” Granted, my presentation of the question was a bit sloppy and resulted in triggering a few people into a defensive stance. I was rather surprised at the response. On Reddit, I got an overwhelming amount of hate filled responses calling my salvation into question while saying, “No, because if it didn’t happen that way he wasn’t Christ, so following him would be stupid.” On Facebook, I only received two of those responses. The vast majority on Facebook, however, were thoughtful and engaged. They said they would still follow Jesus even if none of the things happened like they did in the Gospels. I know this may be controversial, but that’s what I believe too. It was the message that mattered.
You may ask yourself what does the historical accuracy of the Gospels have to do with modern politics? Well, I’m glad you asked! Tons! See, if the important thing of the Gospels was the message, over the details of the story, then we should be paying more attention to the message. The message goes against a ton of modern policies, and flies in the face of both political parties in the United States. In fact, you can say that that the Constitution and Declaration of Independence were founded on Christian ideals, but you’d be wrong. The Truth is our founding fathers were Deists. They mostly believed that God made the world and then left. That we are all the children of a cosmic deadbeat dad. I do not believe this way. That is what Deists mainly believe, though. The country was generally founded on this idea that people can better themselves. That redemption was not beyond the reach of any man. This is an idea that is part of the message of Jesus.
The message of Jesus was rather simple, not easy mind you, but simple nonetheless. It was a message of hope for the hopeless, love for the unloveable, freedom for the enslaved, help for the helpless, and life for those already dead. We see over and over again how we are to treat other people the good Samaritan, the new commandment, taking up your cross daily, and the sheep and the goats. I’m amazed how how this message has gotten twisted. It’s been lazified (changed to be lazy) into this gospel of the American ideal. We’ve discussed that before, no need to rehash. But the message was about love for all. This without strings. People have brought up things like Immigrants, abortion, those who have stood up to tell their stories of abuse, those who question, those who worship in other ways, and so on. They turn them into the other, and forget that we were commanded to love. Love without condition. That is not easy, but it is simple.
Standing for love means standing against politics that are not loving and that will do harm to some people. To some Christian brothers, that means standing against things like homosexual marriage rights, but to them I want to ask how does that hurt you? Marriage is a legal right and is a sacrament within the church. If you do not wish to have it as a sacrament, great! Don’t do it in your church. Doesn’t mean that it can’t be in other churches. I will recognize someone’s right to love whoever they want to love. That means marriage equality. Some brothers think that Trans-rights are evil. Again, I ask how does this affect you? Trans people are people. You want to deny somebody the right to be comfortable in their own body? Why? Because it seems “unnatural” to you? You know what’s “Unnatural” oil drilling, pollution, fraking, hating something that has nothing to do with you, poaching, hunting endangered animals, and so on yet most don’t seem to have a problem with those things. Why is this particular thing an issue for you? Why is something other people do more important than those other things? I seem to remember Jesus saying something about planks in your own eye. My job is not to judge. My job as a Christian is to love.
Standing for love also means standing against injustice. When someone tells you they are being abused, you should believe them until all evidence says they are wrong because 9 times out of 10 they are telling the truth. When a football player kneels and says “Black lives matter!” you should believe him. Take a look you’ll see that there are injustices happening. Not too long ago another black man was shot, without resisting. When women stand up and say “Me too!” you should believe them. 1 in 4, that’s crazy to think about, one in four women have been raped. Almost every woman has been sexually harassed. Yet, we don’t believe them because we want what exactly? When the poor say that a tax plan hurts them you should believe them. They know more about their own situation. They would know if some injustice is being done to them. So why turn a blind eye, and call them liar? What does that gain you?
Standing for love is resisting. It is resisting the natural state of human nature. I do not believe that we are all bad, no. I believe that we are, by default, selfish. We want what is best for ourselves, which is not bad in and of itself. But when it over shadows your desire for what is best for others, it becomes evil. This is something Jesus spoke about again and again. Mostly it was with the pharisees and lawyers. He talked about their selfishness in power, money, and prestige. We saw this when the rich young ruler came to him wanting to follow him. It’s resisting that selfishness. That isn’t easy. It’s simple in theory, but complex in practice. Love is complex in practice. We resist the easy selfish desire to only want what is good for our own, and love all. Join the Christian Resistance. We stand for love. We resist hate. We resist selfishness. We resist, because it is what Jesus did, and taught.
So why should a Christian care about politics? Christians should care because it was the commandment we were left with from Jesus. To love one another, as He had loved us. Why should we care? Because other people are being hurt, and if you are to love someone you should stand up for what is best for them. We should care because we were commanded to. We were commanded to stand up for love. We were commanded to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, heal the sick, love the unloveable, give hope to the hopeless, give freedom to the enslaved, give life to those who are already dead, and allow others to make their own choices. Wasn’t it Jesus who said, they will know my people by their love. This has nothing to do with making someone moral. It has nothing to do with making someone “right”. It means LOVE. Allowing people to make their own way does not mean enslaving them to your path. It means showing the love that allows freedom. Love is freeing. Love is not hurting someone. Love is complicated, but ultimately simple. Love is wanting what is best and doing what you can to ensure that the other has the opportunity to use what is best. So join me in standing up for love. Join me because you voice matters. You matter. You are not alone. You matter!