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Posts Tagged ‘the Kingdom of God’

I have an interest in politics—more than some folks I suppose, less than others for certain. 

For the life of me, I can’t think of one friend, teacher, brother or sister in the faith—that I agree with entirely when it comes to every jot and title of thought and belief.  And the same can be said for me when it comes to the hot button topic of politics.  Shoot, I don’t even see eye to eye with my own brother who I respect and admire as much as anyone.  I am not all right and I don’t believe anyone else has it all figured out either.  Some of those I agree most with in one regard I would have to say I disagree with vehemently on another issue or two.  This is nothing new. 

When it comes to the essentials concerning the person of Jesus and the authority of Scripture however—I would say I agree entirely with the man I want to introduce to those of you who may have never heard of him.  Greg Boyd is a geniuene man of God as far as I am concerned and for those who have labeled him a heretic, I have yet to see or hear anything that would bring me to the same far-fetched conclusion.  And if you feel the need to mention his views on open theism that’s fine—I don’t agree with him myself. 

Even though Greg is a no Calvinist, I don’t believe he teaches any sort of Pelagian doctrine.  I am reformed to a large extent in my doctrine—but to be crystal clear—I am not a messianic American Calvinist.  I appreciate my country, but I am not a nationalist and neither do I promote America as anything other than a free and blessed country in which I can worship God without worries of being imprisoned.  It’s also a land of incredible opportunity, thanks be to God.  And I am thankful for the soldiers—both men and women—who risk their very lives to protect the liberties I cherish. 

The bond I share with my fellow Jesus-followers has no similarities with any bonds I may have with my fellow Americans.  I need no more duel allegiances than I already have—my children and friends compete enough.  The point I am attempting to make may seem elementary to some I realize but it’s a realization few of us mention.  And it is this: If you are a Christian—being a Democrat, an Independent, a Libertarian, or a McCainiac isn’t necessarily of eternal significance or importance.  Whereas, whether you forgive others or feed the poor does have both lasting and meaningful consequences.  That’s not to say either gets you any closer to getting into heaven.  Nonetheless, our actions here on earth have eternal value and ramifications. 

What I want to ask my Republican friends is this: Do you have to be a Republican to love Jesus?  I’d sure hate to live in the jungle and hear about Jesus if so!  It’s nonsense really, but I sure get a strange feeling that’s the way some of you think.  And while I’m at it—the way some of us talk sure makes me wonder if we see Jesus as our Lord or if we consider that spot reserved for the USA with it’s baseball, apple pie, and Chevrolet?  It’s sort of a give and take—so long as Jesus can handle sharing the stage with country—Jesus is alright with us. 

As I wrote a couple of days ago elsewhere—It’s not Jesus of Ohio or Jesus of California that we serve—it’s Jesus of Nazareth to be sure.  And his Kingdom isn’t of this world, despite what Sean Hannity might suggest.  For instance, my Argentinian brothers are my brothers due to our bond in Christ, not due to some pact our countries may or may not have among a United Nations.  My salvation (or anyone else’sforthat matter) doesn’t rise with the success of or fall with the destruction of the country I was born in.  Jesus wasn’t kidding and it wasn’t a play on words when conversing with Pilate—Jesus answered, ‘My kingdom is not of this world. If my kingdom were of this world, my servants would have been fighting, that I might not be delivered over to the Jews. But my kingdom is not from the world.’  (John 18:36, ESV) 

Greg Boyd is certainly controversial.  To my friends who may hesitate to listen to what he has to say—I would only say—Is it because you are afraid to be challenged?  In no way am I posting his interview to suggest he is the final authority, but he sure has some interesting and thought-provoking takes (the interview is from August ’07).  With the political climate heating up and the election quickly approaching, I think it’s important we remember that our witness isn’t worth trading for a vote or two for the candidate we happen to be convinced is the right man for the job.  We may be even convicted, or possibly we will be merely casting our vote for the guy we’d be most delighted to share some curly fries with. 

No matter which man wins—God will still be God on November the 5th, 2008.  

For me, I don’t make it a habit to promote one party over the other on my blogs for personal reasons that might be obvious to some—I decided some time ago who I would be voting for (actually who I wanted to vote for is no longer in the race).  For me—it doesn’t come down to healthcare, the environment, off-shore drilling, abortion, the war in Iraq—or even the economy.  There is more to it as far as I am concerned.  I am pro-life through and through but would appreciate it if one unnamed political party that likes to use that platform as the sole reason I am supposed to vote their way would come up with better ideas and solutions for real problems before it’s conveniently an election year.  Off-shore drilling is token politics from the Republicans (and a side note—it makes less and less sense any longer to vote along those lines unless it’s just out of habit, your wife expects you to, you are a tycoon/oil baron, or you have a thing for boring navy suits with goofy looking ties).  I am supposed to vote for these guys while they continue to line the pockets of big business claiming it’s all good for me, the little guy—in the grand scheme of things?  I have voted for these knuckleheads for twenty years now and I can’t say the party has evolved for the better on any of the fronts it has needed to change.  It has sadly only become weaker and greedier it seems—and has played a shell game with us evangelicals for a good share of appeasement, a seat at the table, and a little popularity of our own. 

I want a government of and for the people, including Christians, not limited to Christians.  And I am sick and tired of politicians who wish to legislate how I, or anybody, should be brushing their teeth.  

And then for the party who is going to pass out steaks and caviar for a song and a dance to anyone willing to give them a vote—okay, they have some good things to say—those Democrats.  I can appreciate some rich guys in Washington DC trying to relate to us every day folks.  I mean these guys will tell you anything to get elected.  I find it hilarious when they poke fun at the Republicans for being wealthy, as if, unlike their Republican counterparts—they live in cardboard boxes and eat peanut butter and jelly sandwiches on day old bread.  Many of the years I was voting Republican (and a Democrat was in the White House smoking cigars)—I was making a modest $25k annually to support a family with a wife as a stay at home mom (and I was glad to do it).

It’s good to consider what our country can do to more effectively serve the poor and overlooked (hello local churches and mercy ministries!).  It sure makes superb talking points if nothing else.  So, as far as the other party goes—they may just be pretending when it comes to caring for all I know.  And for those of us who can no longer or never could afford it—they are sure to deliver health care that better resembles A Nightmare on Elm Street than it will anything else.  What’s worse—not going to the doctors when you need to, or going and being treated like the gum on the bottom of the doctors shoe that doesn’t know you from Adam and knows you have no choice in the matter when it comes to visiting him?  If I thought the service I used to get at the campus McDonald’s was terrible some twenty years ago in inner city Dallas where I attended college—I can’t wait to get in line for Obama-care.  Even what I used to get at the clinic a few short years ago when I could afford it ($550 a month my way for my family of five)—that was mediocre coverage to put it kindly.  And don’t forget these are the guys who are telling us it’s the same quality of coverage that a U.S. Senator gets.  Yeah right—and Brad Pitt is a geek!  

Listen, sharing a stage with Planned Parenthood is an abomination as far as I am concerned.  How many baby killings are they responsible for I wonder?  And as much as I have tried to stomach the politics of the Democrats , they still make me queasy. 

If I told you my choice would you disrespect me if it were different than yours—would you call me a right wing nut job or a liberal heathen if I were on the other side of the fence from you?  I have heard more from those on the so-called left calling those on the so-called right dirty names—and more on the so-called right calling those on the so-called left dirty names than I could ever recall.  It’s quite sickening really considering that  Jesus didn’t ask our political persuasions when he suffered brutality and hung on a bloody Cross for us—and for all we know, he doesn’t care near as much as we do about which political persuasion we favor. 

Without any more discussion on my part I’d like to share the link to Gregs’ site (Christus Victor Ministries)—I was unable to retrieve the piece from YouTube as it seems it was taken down for some reason unbeknownst to me.  The interview is with CNN’s Christiane Amanpour and Greg doesn’t start in until about 2 minutes into the feature.Greg Boyd on CNN’s “God’s Warriors”

I’d sure like to hear a comment or two—agree or disagree. 

Anything you’d add?

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