He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation; for in him all things in heaven and on earth were created, things visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or powers—all things have been created through him and for him. He himself is before all things, and in him all things hold together. (Colossians 1:15-18)
When I was in High School in the late 1970s, I remember some church members complaining about the minister at our church, and ministers around the country, trying to water down the message with a self-help gospel. They complained that the minister’s attempt at relevance wasn’t appreciated. Yet, in the time when the Baby Boomers were coming of age, it was relevant.
Now, there are those in the church complaining that the church is too political, and not biblical enough. This is a sad commentary on the biblical intelligence of the Christian Church. Both the Old and New Testaments are fundamentally political. For example, Jesus’ arguments with the Pharisees and Sadducees were political arguments. Jesus believed the Sadducees were too closely aligned with the Roman Empire. Jesus was very aggressive and loud in his attacks on the Roman Empire and their representatives. Just ask Pontus Pilate if Jesus was political or not.
Politics today is not a marketing ploy to remain relevant with the Millennials, the way self-help was for the religious Baby-Boomers. Religious political engagement is not optional, but is part of the fiber of the Christian experience. It is part of Christ’s DNA. It is how we do separate Christian Mission from mere charity. It is how we live out a true Christian ethic. It is how we bring God’s truth, wisdom, and compassion to the overall structures of this world.
Today, pray for our world’s political structures. Ask God to guide us in the way of righteousness. There is no greater way to make change in this world, than through a nation’s political structures. When we shut the door in God’s face, by saying, “Keep the church out of political life,” we lose the ability to make lasting, positive change. This week, read your Bible and reflect on the ways each passage might have a political impact on the ancient world and on our world today.