Tuesday, May 05, 2015

AWOL Christian Soldiers

[Part 9 in the "Jesus Untangled" Series] 
  “No one engaged in warfare entangles himself with the affairs of this life, that he may please him who enlisted him as a soldier” (2 Timothy 2:4)

Every single person who is following Jesus has enlisted in the Army of God. This army exists to defend the Gospel of the Kingdom and to engage in spiritual warfare against principalities and powers of the Enemy. Our aim is to overthrow the powers of darkness and to transform people from within by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Our victory is assured. Our general is unbeatable. Our weapons are powerful beyond measure. Nothing can stop us.

But, according to the Apostle Paul, there is something that can slow us down. He calls it “entanglement with the affairs of this life.”
Much like any soldier, we have to be on our guard against distractions. We cannot become too immersed in the nation we are here to liberate. We cannot allow ourselves to lay down our weapons in the pursuit of “civilian affairs”, or we risk losing ground and we endanger our fellow soldiers.

Politics is part of the world system. Therefore, it is certainly one of the entanglements we must resolve to avoid.
Honestly, the political entanglement is one of the most dangerous we face in this battle. Why? Simply because those who become entangled in it do so out of a sincere desire to make a positive difference in the world.

Of course, every Christian hopes to make an impact on the world around them. This is part of why we are so eager to serve our Lord Jesus – because He has the very best possible plan for changing the world from within – and without bloodshed or oppression or violence.
No, there’s nothing wrong with wanting to make the world a better place. The problem is in seeking to do so without Jesus. Or, worse, to mix Christianity with Politics as if one had need of the other.

Politics is not about Jesus. Simply put, it’s about power and influence. Nowadays it is increasingly also about money, fame, manipulation, and compromise. The follower of Jesus has no business becoming entangled in such a worldly, corrupt system.
Even if the Christian sincerely believes that they can make a difference through politics, the fact remains that the amount of good that might be accomplished in this way is often at the expense of one or more of their own Christian values. Compromises must take place. Voters must often choose between the lesser of two evils, which still amounts to choosing some option – or some politician – who is evil.

What’s more, politics involves millions – sometimes billions – of dollars in campaign spending. Just imagine if that same amount of money had been invested in the sharing of the Gospel, or in actually solving some of the problems facing actual citizens in our nation. How much better off would our world be if we abandoned the political process and simply shared our funds and invested our time directly with the people around us who are in need?

“But no political party would ever spend their money on the Gospel, or in helping advance the Kingdom, or in caring for the poor,” you might say. To which I would reply, “Then why would any Christian entangle themselves with such a gigantic waste of money and empty use of time?”
Do you know what you get when you mix Christianity and Politics? You get Politics.

As with the issue of War, we can rest assured that nations will continue to fight them. But Christians need not participate in those wars. And, yes, nations will continue to seek political solutions to the problems of this world – as they have done for thousands of years – but Christians need not become entangled in that endless, fruitless process.
We have better things to do.

We are soldiers of the King. Our army is advancing daily. New recruits arrive ready for the battle even as we speak. Our Lord has spoken. We must engage the Enemy. Entanglements only serve the interests of our foes.

One day this battle will be over. Our Lord will descend with a shout. And on that day he will look over His troops. When he comes to you, will He see one who has lived as a stranger and an alien, untangled from civilian affairs, or will he see a soldier who tried to mix Christianity with Politics and ended up with Politics?


1 comment:

David Fredrickson said...

Great post, Keith. Thanks for being a voice to those who have forgotten what kingdom they were called to serve.