Christ in…Politics?!

America
One of the ideas in which I believe strongly, one of the basic premises, in fact, behind the writing of this blog, is that there can be no division between sacred and secular. There can be no segmenting out pieces of life, saying that this is for faith and that is not.
For by Him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through Him and for Him. And He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together. ~ Colossians 1.16-17
If all of life is under the authority of Christ, then the opposite supposition is also true, that there is nothing that is outside of Christ. The point seems inarguable, yet it seems easier to say that all is in Christ than it is to begin to name specific arenas that therefore matter to Him.
If singing hymns in church is in Christ, then scrubbing filthy toilets is also in Him.
If working in the food pantry is in Christ, then creating a PowerPoint presentation for work is also in Him.
If learning about Old Testament Prophets is in Christ, then politics is also in Him.
It seems unreasonable, yet the conclusion is inescapable. If in Christ all things hold together, then there can be nothing that falls outside of His realm of influence.
US Government
If politics, too, must fall within the confines of our faith, then we should spend time considering the best way that our land should be governed. Especially when we live in a land that gives us a voice. Especially when we live in a year that is an election year.
And so I have been pondering and wondering. None of my wonderings have produced anything that I could change, yet I still believe that the process of considering our country’s politics in light of the way God created life to work is valuable.
Politics
There is much in the Bible about teaching and training, about people being gifted to do specific tasks, about being and doing what you were created to be and do.
All of which makes me wonder if the idea of citizen governance is as good an idea as our founders believed. I understand, I think, that part of the reason behind term limits and bringing in ordinary citizens to do the job for a time is to prevent anyone from taking and keeping too much power.
It is easy to become drunk on the trappings of power.
Or so I’ve heard.
Yet would we want our children to learn under someone who just comes in and teaches for a few years and then is replaced by another community member? Would anyone trust a citizen surgeon?
Then why do we trust a job like governing our country to amateurs?
What if we treated politics like we treat other careers? What if we had a governing body that developed training and schooling requirements? What if people who have the talent for governance could attend a study program and go through an apprenticeship? What if that same governing body helped the governors of our land decide when it was time to retire, like the governing body that decides when it is time for us to give up our driver’s license?
I know that there are probably hundreds of issues that would make this improbable. I understand that none of this is likely to happen.
Yet isn’t it better to think through something as important as how our country is governed rather than just falling in line with how it has always been done?
Loving our country
If part of loving God means loving Him with all of your mind, then shouldn’t we use our mind to consider how all things would be best under His authority?
Even if it never comes to pass?
I believe so.

Photography credits: U.S. Capitol by purplepic; Flag on building by Robert Linder; Flag backlit by Robert Linder

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Comments

  1. Jon Gorham says:

    This is a dangerous path to walk. If human default was to act for the betterment of humanity, then the construct of ‘power’ would not have to be considered. The fatal flaw in utopian communities has always been to overlook the basic reality of the Fall. Human default is toward self-interest, inevitably resulting in consolidation of influence/ power. While I recognize that a Christ-centered reality could keep this from happening, His kingdom is not of this world, and anytime a nation tries to blend faith and nation-building, the results are oppressive.

    While I like the optimism expressed here in this blog, on this one, “No, thanks.”

    • I think I probably did not express myself very clearly. Why do I think this? Because I agree with your comment. :) I, too, do not believe that this nation should be a Christian nation in the sense that we impose our religion on everyone or that there should be any sort of political agenda that is faith-based in nature. I am not one that would advocate for prayer and preaching in public schools, at least not any done by anyone in authority (students themselves are a different matter). I do not think that Jesus’ mission had anything to do with earthly nation building, but with individual people saving. I would completely agree that trying to make our government into a Christian government is asking for trouble.

      What I was trying to say is that if Christ is in all things and in Him all things hold together, then there is a wise way and a foolish way to do everything. If God created the world, then He created it to work in a certain way, including the way we live and relate to each other. It seems, if you cannot point to any area of life and say “God should not be in this”, than it is a useful exercise to consider any area in light of what we know about God and how He created us to be, to try to discover how that area would work best, what the wisest way to proceed would be, assuming that all things good and beautiful and wise ultimately come from God.

      It is good to hear from you, friend. Thanks for helping me to clarify what I actually mean.

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