{Colossians 3:10-11; NLT}
Put on your new nature, and be renewed as you learn to know your Creator and become like him. In this new life, it doesn’t matter if you are a Jew or a Gentile, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbaric, uncivilized, slave, or free. Christ is all that matters, and he lives in all of us.

From the beginning people from diverse political backgrounds have followed Jesus. Among the twelve men who followed Jesus there was Matthew the tax collector and Simon the zealot. Matthew accepted the job of collecting taxes for the Roman Empire and Simon wanted nothing more than to kick Rome out of Israel. Two figures that represented opposites ends of the spectrum.

In Philippians 4:22 the apostle Paul writes; “And all the rest of God’s people send you greetings, too, especially those in Caesar’s household” (NLT). Caesar was opposed to everything that Paul stood for and eventually he would have Paul executed, yet within his household there were people who decided to follow Jesus, at the risk of their lives. Paul didn’t hold their family ties against them, but he celebrated their faith.

In both of these examples we discover a clash of political ideals. Matthew and Simon had very different ideas about how to respond to the Romans and the members of Caesar’s household risked their security for the belief that the peace of God’s kingdom was greater than the peace offered by the Roman Empire.

Even though Matthew and Simon were on different sides of the political spectrum, even through the early church was made up of slaves and those who were politically connected, one truth held them together. The truth that bound them was their faith in Jesus Christ.

It is crucial that we remember that the kingdoms of this world divide us.

We become very passionate about our ideas on the best way to lead the country and those ideas often put us at odds with other Christians, who are equally passionate about their political views. Rather than being united around the common cause for Christ we allow our politics to dictate who is in and who is out of our fellowship.

This is why we need a proper perspective about government, human and divine.

History shows us that empires rise and fall. It also reveals that ALL human governments, from oppressive dictatorships to constitutional democracies, are deeply flawed. There has never been a kingdom, a nation, or a government that has been worthy of your allegiance. It is great to know that a person can be a citizen of the kingdom of God despite the political realities under which he lives.

Elections seem to bring out divisions, anger, and condemnation in our country. In our Church families there are people who label themselves as Democrats, Republicans, Independents, Libertarians, and maybe even an Anarchist or two. Here is an important reality to remember: Many of those people support their ideology because they believe it is the best way to express their faith in the political realm. It is totally improper, if not sinful, to question their faith and their commitment to Christ because they do not agree with you politically.

Yes, we maybe divided politically, but we are united because of Jesus. Our hope comes from his death and resurrection and our purpose flows out of his commission (to make disciples) and his example (sacrificial love).

We have radically different visions on how our nation should be governed, but that should not divide us. Because of our common faith in Christ Jesus means we are all part of the body of Christ. That reality should transcend any political reality that might divide us. The cause of Christ is greater than the destiny of any nation.

(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)