Friday, November 03, 2006

Old or New?

The involvement of the church in American politics is just another indication of the church's Old Covenant mentality. Under that covenant, God moved primarily through a political state - Israel. Throughout the Old Testament, one sees God dealing with the state of Israel in its relation to God, and other nations in their relation to Israel.
However, under the New Covenant, the issue becomes the kingdom of God, which is not of this world, and the chief representative of that kingdom, the church, though being in the world, is not of the world. Nowhere in the New Testament do we see God dealing with political states, only the church. Thus the New Testament reveals a shift with God instituting a New Covenant whereby he writes his law on the hearts of men instead of legislating it through political means.
Jesus was pressured by people to get involved in the politics of the day, but he refused to yield to their demands. His mission was to initiate and establish a kingdom that transcends all the political kingdoms of this world. Yet today, his church has departed from him, becoming heavily involved in the politics of our day. We have reverted back to the Old Covenant, which is obsolete, thus making the political activity of the church obsolete as well. And we wonder why we're not successful.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

A Perspective to Consider

The predominant perspective in the church here in the U.S. is the American perspective. There is a lot of praying and preaching focused on getting America back to biblical standards, i.e. prayer in the public schools, abortion outlawed, and an overall acceptance and practice of the "Christian way of life." Coupled with this is the proclamation that God is going to continue to use America to bring forth righteousness and justice in the earth, blessing this country in increasing measure.
It appears that we have substituted America for the kingdom of God. Isn't the church to be about the advancement of the kingdom, not the advancement of a political nation of this world? Are we expending all this energy to restore America while God might have already given America over to its depravity (Romans 1:18-32)?
Taking into consideration that the church is the New Covenant equivalent to Israel under the Old Covenant, we might learn from Israel's experience. Israel was enslaved in the Egyptian culture, but God said he gave Egypt as a ransom for Israel (Isaiah 43:3). Could God now be about to give America as a ransom to set the church free from the American culture to which it has been enslaved?

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Who Do You Trust?

With the general election less than a week away here in the U.S., I'm really questioning just how much I can participate in the voting process. I have always maintained that everyone needs to get out and vote. I still believe that. Yet, this year there will be certain races that I feel uncomfortable voting for any candidate.
More and more I'm seeing a dichotomy between the kingdom of God and the candidates running for office, regardless of the party they represent. My vote has gone to those most closely aligned with the principles of the kingdom of God. However, I'm really not satisfied with that anymore, being that there seems to be just as much unkingdom baggage with a candidate as there is kingdom.
Though it's all hypothetical, I wonder if the Roman Empire would have been a democratic republic, and the emperor would be voted in by the people, would Jesus have voted. Would he have voted, given the opportunity, for lower positions such as the governor, which was Pilate's office? Would he have voted for the likes of a Pilate, or a Herod, or a Claudius? Would Jesus participate in the choosing of civil government officials? I wonder about this, especially in light of the fact that he did not comment on the present civil government policy even though it was corrupt and oppressive.
It seems that under the democratic process, we have a tendency to put our trust in men to solve our problems and lead us into a better life.

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