The Kingdom of God is not…Politics

It’s wrong to hate someone, even when you don’t know them personally.

It’s wrong to hate. Period. We all know that’s it wrong to hate. Especially as Christians we are to be sensitive to this but we blind ourselves to this as we blind ourselves to other sins.

We don’t think of it as hating when it’s a public figure like a celebrity or a politician, but it is possible to hate them, too.

I’m not talking about disagreeing. Disagreement is not hate. When you’re so angry, however, you can’t think straight every time someone mentions them or you get so worked up talking about them that the vein pops out on your forehead, then you hate that person.

(I guess this is as good a time as any to point out that many on the right are vilifying the current President in ways that are just as shameful as the ways the left vilified the previous President. At that time they were responding with, “At least respect the office!” and “They’ll just believe anything no matter how ridiculous just because they hate him!” Oh, how the tide has turned.)

I grieve for many of my brothers and sisters in Christ who hate Barack Obama so badly that they will believe anything about him no matter how ridiculous. They can’t see straight when his name is brought up. They would vote for anyone even if that person were worse than Barack Obama and convince themselves that this person will be better.

There’s no other way to put it: They hate Barack Obama.

They claim that they don’t hate anyone but their Facebook wall is a shrine to anti-Obama sentiment. They post jokes and pictures that are not only offensive but racist. They say the same sorts of hateful things things about him that they hated to hear said about the previous President.

And it’s just as wrong.

And Christians ought to know better.

I love my country. I think it’s the best country in the world. Every story I hear from our missionaries overseas reminds me just how wonderful this country is.

But when Christ’s kingdom comes in its fulness, and every kingdom, including this one, must fall.

And when we pray, “You’re kingdom come…” we’re actively praying for every kingdom of this world to fall so that Christ’s may come.

By all means, be involved in the political process. Vote your conscience. Engage in discussions and agree and disagree.

But do it with love.

And don’t forget, that you are commanded to pray for your leaders (1 Tim. 2:2), including this one that you can’t stand. When Paul wrote this a pagan, God-hating emperor was on the throne but still Paul says to pray for him. And praying for him is not the same as praying for his downfall. We are to seek our enemy’s good (Rom. 12:20; cf. Prov. 25:21-22) and not rejoice in his downfall (Prov. 24:17-18). Jesus went even further when he told us to love our enemies (Matt. 5:44). (And no matter what you may say, you’re not loving me if you put racist things about me on your Facebook wall; even if you don’t know me.)

Look for and live for that Kingdom which will have no end. And until that time, live as if you are already in that kingdom (where peace and righteousness dwells) by loving with God’s own love. In so doing, you show your longing for it and you demonstrate that God has made you fit for that kingdom.

About Michael R. Jones

Pastor and PhD candidate writing on Paul's theology of suffering.
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4 Responses to The Kingdom of God is not…Politics

    • Thanks for reading and commenting, Derek! I’m so ready for this election to be over.

      • Seriously. I get being politically aware. I have my opinions on various subjects but the idolatry and demonization that goes on and intensifies every election cycle is growing increasingly disgusting to me. I don’t know if you’ve read it yet, but Ross Douthat’s “Bad Religion” has an excellent chapter on the heresy of nationalism that is must-read stuff.

      • I have heard of Douthat but have not read him. I’ll have to check it out. Thanks for the recommendation!

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