Archives For politics

Last night, Senator Wendy Davis prevented an abortion law from passing in Texas by filibustering until midnight. It is being hailed as a momentous act. A demonstration of democracy at work.

It also demonstrates the reality of politics in the U.S., and the dangerous game that religio-political groups are playing.

For a follower of Jesus, I struggle with this at two points:

How can we “Love Thy Neighbor” in this political system?

Politics in America has devolved into a stalemate between two parties. The argument is over how a third party, “the government”, should act. The very word polis refers to the way WE organize ourselves as a community, not how IT should act.

As an American, I would rather celebrate the times we use politics to work together to build our society. As followers of Jesus, our highest calling in society is to “love thy neighbor”. When we buy into the “Us vs. Them” mentality, we’ll never be able to do that.

Who are we to rule?

Political groups that brand themselves as Christian are acting on the assumption that Christians should use government to enforce their ideals on the world around them. Jesus chose to embrace suffering at the hands of the empire rather than to embrace those who wanted to crown him king. Christians need to remember this as they approach their interaction with government.

I’m not sure this fight is about what the two sides say it is. Let me be clear that I am no fan of abortion. Nor do I think politics can be totally avoided. But there has to be a better way.

Are your celebrating or mourning after last night? Or have you found a Third Way?

The Church’s struggle to be perceived as countercultural is directly related to it’s political approach. When the Church uses the tools of the State to enforce Christian their ideals on the broader world, it should be no surprise that the result of this approach is a perception of hypocrisy.


Hypocrisy is not a Christian problem; it’s a human problem. Continue Reading…

The church has the character of a polis (the Greek word from which we get the adjective political), namely, a structured social body. It has its ways of making decisions, defining membership, and carrying out common tasks. That makes the Christian community a political entity in the simplest meaning of the term

…stated very formally, the pattern we shall discover is that the will of God for human socialness as a whole is prefigured by the shape to which the Body of Christ is called. Church and world are not two compartments under separate legislation or two institutions with contradictory assignments, but two levels of the pertinence of the same Lordship. The people of God is called to be today what the world is called to be ultimately.

John Howard Yoder, Body Politics

The Church is “Political”?!

Stanley Hauerwas says that no matter what you do on election day, please don’t take yourself too serious.

What do you think? Agree? Disagree?

The Roman Circus from The Work Of The People on Vimeo.

Is there any reason to believe that Jesus would want you to vote?

This seems to be the critical question that American Christians have overlooked.  The conversation has primarily been based on the belief that Jesus would vote, and he would either vote democratic or republican.  But is this based in theology or patriotic tradition?

Jesus taught that his followers should subvert the military of their government by going above and beyond when the military enforced labor on them.  His primary sparring partners were Pharisees, Sadducees and the Sanhedrin whose offices were often both religious and political.  He referred to King Herod as a fox.  He questioned the authority of Pilate, and thereby, the Roman government.

For the next ten month the news, air waves, and social media feeds are going to be focused on the Presidential election.  Both sides will do everything they can to garner the affection of segments of the population, especially those with religious affiliation.  Conversations will take place at work, at bars, coffee shops and on-line.  People will expect you to pick a side.

The most important thing Christians can do this election year is decide what they trust in: is it the powers of government?  Business? Media? Military?  Themselves? Or is it in the kingdom of God?

And if the power is in the kingdom of God, how does that effect how we will live for the next 10 months?