Wednesday, October 12, 2016

NEVER TRUMP. NOT HER. WHO THEN?



Many Christians today are confused, heartbroken, polarized, angry and conflicted over the current election cycle.

Who should we vote for? Which candidate is "God's Candidate"? If I vote for this one will God be angry? If I vote for the other one will God allow our nation to collapse in moral decay?

Who will rule over us? Who should we pledge allegiance to?

Here's a thought: If we have pledged allegiance to Jesus as our King and now serve as ambassadors to His Kingdom, how can we participate in the political processes of another kingdom?

Didn't Jesus say that we can't serve two masters? [See Matt. 6:24]

Didn't Paul warn us not to become entangled with the affairs of this world? [See 2 Tim. 2:4]

What qualifies as an affair of this world more than politics? [Other than war?]

For many Christians in America, their identity is found primarily as being citizens of the United States of America.

But for many others, they have discovered a new identity as members of a new community which is composed of those who have renounced everything for Christ. They "look for another country that is from above, whose architect and builder is God." [See Hebrews 11:10]

These Christians have a new loyalty to a new "Lord" [Leader, King, President, Ruler, etc.] who has His own Kingdom and His own way.

Our King does indeed have an agenda, a campaign platform if you will, for spreading His Kingdom and transforming the culture. 

He told us that this plan was for us, His followers, to put His words into practice and to teach others to do the same. [See Matt. 28:19-20]

Our leader was offered the opportunity to change the world through politics and He refused, twice: Once when Satan tempted Him in the wilderness, and again when the people wanted to "make him King by force" [See John 6:15]

Yet, sadly, many Christians today are still seeking for a ruler like all the other nations of the earth have. They, like the Israelites before them, have rejected God’s rule and reign in favor of a political ideology that is not of Christ, nor is it seeking to advance His Kingdom or to promote His Gospel.

 Nor should it. Living out the Gospel of Jesus is the job of those who have been transformed into the image of Christ, not those who claim to be Christians in order to sway a voting block and yet live far outside the rule and reign of Jesus in their daily lives.

Many Christians in America refuse to fellowship with other believers if they happen to disagree on political issues, or candidates. Even though Paul would not allow the Christians in Corinth to divide over differences in opinion over other Apostles! Why, then, do we think it's ok to divide with one another over political candidates?

Answer: It’s not.

For those who follow Jesus, we know we are not of this world, even as He is not of this world. [John 17:16]

Jesus had nothing to do with politics. He called us to follow Him and His example. [Matt. 4:19]

We are citizens of another nation. Our King is alive today. He has a Kingdom. He has established His throne over the earth. He has published his campaign platform. Now, He is looking for those who are willing to align themselves with His agenda.

Have you pledged your allegiance to Him, and to Him alone?

Remember, we cannot serve two masters. Your birth nation does not deserve your allegiance.

Here’s what your Bible says about the nations of the earth:

“All nations before Him are as nothing; and they are counted to Him less than nothing, and vanity.” [Isaiah 40:17]

This means that God does not count any nation as being greater than another. To God, all of them are “less than nothing” and are full of pride.

“The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever!” [Rev. 11:15]

This means that the Kingdom of God is on a collision course with the nations of this world. One by one, they will all collapse. Every one of them will soon become swallowed up by the Kingdom of God. How? By the relentless advance of the Gospel of Christ! Not by political means which cannot ever change the hearts or the minds of anyone.

“If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.” [2 Chronicles 7:14]

This means that God looks to His people to change the culture, not to the King, or the Government, or the Laws of the Land. None of those things matter. None of those things can hold back the Kingdom of God.

Our calling as citizens of the Kingdom of God is simple: To live under the authority of Christ right now and to proclaim His Kingdom as ambassadors who have a new identity, and a new home.

“For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ.28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” [Gal. 3:27-28]

We are not Americans any longer. We are not identified any longer by our nationality, or by our race, or by our gender, or anything else.

I challenge you to crucify your politics, put to death your nationalism and patriotic pride.

Pledge total and complete allegiance to Jesus your King, and to His Kingdom, alone.

Jesus is the only hope for America, or for any other nation.

Only Jesus.

-kg

**
My new book, "Jesus Untangled: Crucifying Our Politics To Pledge Allegiance To The Lamb" will explore many more ideas like this. I can't wait to share it with you!

Stay tuned for details about where, when and how you can grab your copy.




11 comments:

Milt Rodriguez said...

Right on brother! Thanks so much for sharing the Truth. Looking forward to reading the book.

Anonymous said...

Keith, I am somewhat new to your blog and am thoroughly enjoying it. I have a few questions. It seems you advocate non political involvement bc as followers of Christ we belong to a new kingdom. Even though we belong to the kingdom of God we are still ambassadors placed here in the old kingdom. Political policies impact the lives of everyone here in America and the world. So why would I not be involved in voting? Of course, I know the world systems at their core is evil. But isn't God big enough to use these evil systems for His own glory. Political officers do effect the livelihood of everyone in some way or another. Is belonging to the new kingdom and voting mutually exclusive? As a believer, I am aware of the limits of political involvement in making lasting change, but It seems you can have lasting impact on people's lives through politics because our Lord works in and through politics and everything else. Thanks, D Bunk.

Keith Giles said...

You are correct, Mr. Bunk, that we are Ambassadors of another country that is from above, whose architect and builder is God.

No ambassador participates in the political affairs of the nation they serve in. To do so would be considered an act of treason.

Mary Valentine said...

So, love of the country God gave us is wrong? All those men whose limbs were blown off, whose innards and blood were spilled all over places like the beaches of Normandy were fools? The countless gallons of American blood diluted in the salty water of the Pacific Ocean poured out of nothing more than a mass of prideful dupes? And, too, those brave American men who ripped open the doors of death camps across Europe, just a bunch of misguided, vainglorious fools? And the same for those who fell in Korea? In the jungles of SE Asia? On the pitiless, dry, gritty sands of the middle east? All fought and fight in a fool's errand?

I get your points, for I am no fool. But no one but the Lord Himself will ever make me not love, pray for, and hold my America dear and be grateful every single day I have to live here and call it home. America is not before God, but it came about by His good pleasure, and, we, who are among those fortunate enough to be born here, or who have come here and become citizens are some of the most blessed in all of human history.

Yes! I want a good leader in my America -- not "like other countries have" but one who will honor both God and the heart of what America is:

""Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth, upon this continent, a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that “all men are created equal.”

Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived, and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle field of that war. We come to dedicate a portion of it, as a final resting place for those who died here, that the nation might live. This we may, in all propriety do.

But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate – we can not consecrate – we can not hallow, this ground – The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have hallowed it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here; while it can never forget what they did here.

It is rather for us, the living, we here be dedicated to the great task remaining before us – that, from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they here, gave the last full measure of devotion – that we here highly resolve these dead shall not have died in vain; that the nation, shall have a new birth of freedom, and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth."

Keith Giles said...

Mary: Thanks for your comment. Lots of points to respond to here and so I doubt I will really get to most of them.

I understand that to many the idea of being a good Christian is equal to being a good American patriot, but that's not what the New Testament suggests, and it's not what 300 years of Church History tells us either.

I've written a series here called "Jesus Untangled" that you might read for more clarity on this issue, at least from my perspective.

I will say that I was once just exactly like you and so your response if very familiar to me.

Now, however, the spell has been broken for me. I realize that I am a citizen of another Kingdom with a better King.

Jesus, my only ruler, has a better campaign platform and a fool-proof plan to change the world from the inside out.

As an ambassador of His Kingdom, I dare not participate in the political affairs of the nation where I am assigned. To do so would be considered treason.

Instead, I maintain allegiance to my King and refuse to become "entangled in civilian affairs" or the "ways of this world" and instead I work "to please my commanding officer."

America, as every empire before, will fall one day. It was made by men and it will certainly collapse as every other nation has since time began.

The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, expecting a different result.

We have thousands of years of evidence behind us that no political leader can ever hope to save us.

But Jesus can.

I'm with Him.

The blog series is here: http://subversive1.blogspot.com/p/jesus-untangled-blog-series.html

My new book, of the same name, will publish very soon. I hope you'll take a look at it.

Thanks,
kg

Mary Valentine said...

Just to clarify: I never said that, "... being a good Christian is equal to being a good American patriot..." For it is not. Not any more than being a good Christian is equal to being a good wife or good husband. Furthermore, there is no other name on heaven or earth or anywhere except the name of Jesus that a human being may be saved, and in service to Him, a Christian may do many, many things to bring glory to His name.

What I do mean is this: Loving my country is not "ungodly." Idolatry is ungodly, but sincere love for my country or for my husband or my children or my friends, etc. need not be idolatry. I know the priorities of my loyalties: God, Family, Friends, Country. I can serve and honor God in my love for each. I can work to enact change and improvement. It matters little, in the grand scheme of things, whether it pays off the way I would have it: That prayer and love of my country would seem not to be of any use in this life. What matters is that I am able to identify what is righteous in my land and my fellow countrymen and countrywomen before God and strive to preserve it, and to admonish wherever I am inspired to do so to also achieve that end. And finally, I am fully aware that "my" America ultimately belongs to Christ, for we are, indeed, "... one nation under God..."

"Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things." Philippians 4:8 KJV

Also, just for information's sake, here is the final version Gettysburg Address... the one Lincoln affixed his signature to:

" Fourscore and seven years ago our fathers brought forth, upon this continent, a new nation, conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that "all men are created equal."

Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battlefield of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of it, as a final resting place for those who died here, that the nation might live. This we may, in all propriety do. But in a larger sense, we cannot dedicate, we cannot consecrate, we cannot hallow, this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have hallowed it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here; while it can never forget what they did here.

It is rather for us the living, we here be dedicated to the great task remaining before us—that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they here gave the last full measure of devotion—that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain, that this nation shall have a new birth of freedom, and that government of the people, by the people, for the people shall not perish from the earth."

Mary Valentine said...

Oh, and one final thought: No, the fact that there have been and continue to be "wars and rumors of wars" does not mean that fighting is always wrong. Not every campaign nor every conflict is honorable. That said, I do not believe that the defense of America, or Americans, or her allies is something not worth engaging in, and engaging in it does not necessarily indicate a lack of devotion to God.

Keith Giles said...

Where do you see Jesus commanding us to love our nation?

Yes, Paul does tell us to submit to the governing authorities [Romans 13], but even this passage is meant to contrast the State and the Church as two separate groups with two different functions.

Christians are not expected to love their nation or defend their country, etc.

Michael Lilly said...

Hi Keith! (I tried to submit this once before but my phone kept acting up, so apologies if it actually shows up twice) It is my understanding of Paul's teaching in Romans (and Ephesians ftm) we are to submit to the governing authority set over us as to the Lord, or for the sake of the Lord, that being good citizens/subjects honors our God amd shows that we are not lawless; and, that following 1Peter 2:13,17 we are to submit as to the Lord, and show ourselves unafraid of government . As we live in a representative constitutional republic and not a monarchy/empire , part of our fulfillment of the admonition to "honor the king (1Pet 2:17) is to vote for our elected representatives. Voting is not saying that I love the nation I happen to reside in, but that I am a good and responsible citizen/subject.

Keith Giles said...

Submitting to authorities isn't about voting for them. It's about following the rule of law and responding peacefully to government, even if/when they are violent towards us.

I've written an entire blog article here about Why Christians Shouldn't Vote that might answer in more detail the question of whether or not voting is acceptable for ambassadors of Christ's Kingdom.

Jim Edmunds said...

Thank you for these words. I have to admit a few years ago I was there, among the "Christian Right". As I understood discipleship and our roll in Gods calling to us and began to read some of your postings in conjunction with Gods word I under went a radical paradigm shift. Keep up the good work.