Campaigns, Politics, and Power

I was not expecting extensive discussions about social, cultural, and political issues from the book Ain’t Too Proud to Beg. During this political season, I was intrigued by the author’s ideas about patriotism, politics, and christian identity.

Although the country is split ideologically between liberals and conservatives, he says, “both of these cultures are essentially patriotic,” and, “both sides see political activism as the measure of social and individual identity – including religious identity.”

Partisan politics’ ability to drive a sword right through the Church shows the power it has overs us. The campaigns are telling us that politics is what matters in America and America is what matters in politics.

For the election to matter, we have to believe our lives, finances, civil liberties, and national pride are insecure and ultimately depend on this candidate.

Voting out of our own fears or our own dreams does what Jesus refused to do. It puts our own agenda ahead of the Father’s. We must resist the reflex in politics to become our own saviors.

Politicians try to use the word “hope,” but they can’t bring hope in the Christian sense at all.

However, the author is not encouraging withdrawal or inactivity, but rather reminding us to not lose our focus.

Christian power is not cultural power, cultural powerlessness, nor countercultural power. It is eschcatological power.

Eschatological power comes from above the world of principalities and powers. It is not defined in terms of anything but the God whose purpose is accomplished through it. It is neither worldly nor otherworldly, but eternal.

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4 thoughts on “Campaigns, Politics, and Power

  1. “the author is not encouraging withdrawal or inactivity, but rather reminding us to not lose our focus”

    Great thought. I think the real balance is for Christians to be involved in the political process, but the church needs to be involved in “Thy Kingdom come”. This is personally getting to be easier for me as American politics are quickly degenerating into pettiness, symbolism, and minipulation. I am not talking about just Washington, but about all of the special interest groups who seek to influence what’s going on in Washington … including the “Christian right”. Quite frankly, it’s getting nauseating.

    If there is a bright spot, perhaps it lies in the realization that our political machines offer no real hope to communities of hopelessness, and that the church is going through a ‘missional reformation’ that offers real hope. Wouldn’t it be something if the self-centered “American Dream” were replaced with a God-centered “Community Dream”?

    What would that look like I wonder?

  2. I am getting a more focused picture recently on this whole thing … and it will never work to pass off to the institution what only the organism can do!

    The Body of Christ needs to get on with Kingdom Living in their own homes and neighborhoods rather than look to the government to solve those problems with yet another form of “evil” scapegoating!

  3. Religion has long lost its relevance. The world has already set up managed without the Church. Its mission is to perform ceremonies. Same church followers infringe upon the right of every generation. Over the life of one man seems that there has been little change. But if you look at the hundred years ago, it can be seen as weakened position Church. People need not religion, but an idea. This is a broader concept. Religion can only be composed of ideas. Christianity will not be able to play the role of ideas. It is too old. His life cycle is ended. Those ideas that yesterday was considered liberal ideas today are conservative.

  4. Uncle Bob,

    I doubt that the “radicalism” of Jesus has yet to be fully lived out in in this country of ours….

    The liberalism of one generation has always been viewed as conservativism by succeeding generations. However, the radical life of Jesus and His call to follow and die to self remains a challenge to EVERY generation.

    Tom

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