It is easily noted that there are no limits to what people believe about God and none more extreme and false than the belief that “God” could be lumped together with “Guns and Country.” Often seen at political rallies, it is an attempt to put the imprimatur of God on their particular brand of political philosophy and strength through power.
The point of this blog is not to examine political systems but rather to simply look at what the Bible says consistently about God’s plans for our future and what God has been doing to secure that future. This will be looked at in four major points.
- God communicated God’s cosmic plans through the use of prophecies and promises. That God was about to do something huge is implied in Genesis 3:15, as God tells Eve that her offspring would crush the head of the serpent. This was a reference to the coming of Messiah centuries later. In Genesis 12:2, God tells Abraham that he would make of him a great nation and that through Abraham, “…all the families of the earth shall be blessed.” The Bible is a history of God’s cosmic work.
- The judgments of God against God’s people clarify the moral/spiritual code by which God wants us to live. Isaiah opened his prophecy with this from God – “I cannot endure [your] solemn assemblies…when you reach our your hands, I will hide my eyes from you; even though you make many prayers, I will not listen…Wash yourselves….seek justice, rescue the oppressed, defend the orphan, plead for the widow.” Isaiah 1:10-17. Similarly, Amos wrote this – “Take away from me the noise of your songs…let justice roll down like waters, and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream.” Amos 5:23-24.
- The “Empire” is an enemy of what God is doing. The book of Revelation is the best place to turn for this. Written to persecuted Christians during the Roman empire, the Revelation was meant to bring hope and comfort to those suffering under the boot of Rome. Called “Babylon” and “a great red dragon,” it is obvious that the Empire sought to kill Messiah. Revelation 12:1-6.
- God does not use “power” to accomplish God’s plans. The biggest of these four points is this one. God does not use power. The Beatitudes are great descriptors of what God values: poverty of spirit, meekness, mournfulness, mercifulness, and purity of heart. In other places in the New Testament Jesus blesses children and said that His kingdom of made of people like that. Other images that reflect the spirit of God’s kingdom are the last who become first, the least who becomes greatest, and one who lays down his life for his friend, John 15:12-13. The greatest example of this idea is found in Revelation where the hero of the story is a “slaughtered Lamb,” Revelation 5:6.
There are four conclusions that can be drawn from this and which should govern the way we look at the future and seek to secure the well-being of our neighbors. Briefly stated, here they are:
- God’s purposes are evident at the beginning of human time. The purposes cannot be aligned with the contrived strategies of a power-hungry politic.
- The heart of God is really NOT with the rich. Beware of putting their desires above the needs of the poor and weak.
- Human empires are not in the strategy of God. Human empires are really against the will of God as the book of Revelation shows.
- And most important of all. Insurrection and violence do not align in any way with the way that God works. The crucified God models for us the principle that the way of the Kingdom of God is a paradox in a power-hungry world.
These ideas apply to every human endeavor. Even our votes, as people shaped by Christ, should align with the purposes of God. Else, God will be saying to us,
“Quit your worship charades.Isaiah 1:13-17, The Message
I can’t stand your trivial religious games:
Monthly conferences, weekly Sabbaths, special meetings,
meetings, meetings, meetings—I can’t stand one more!
I’m sick of your religion, religion, religion,
while you go right on sinning.
When you put on your next prayer-performance,
[cameras flashing, making sure the press sees your fake piety,]
I’ll be looking the other way.
No matter how long or loud or often you pray,
I’ll not be listening.
And do you know why? Because you’ve been tearing
people to pieces, and your hands are bloody.
Go home and wash up.
Clean up your act.
Sweep your lives clean of your evildoings
so I don’t have to look at them any longer.
Say no to wrong.
Learn to do good.
Work for justice.
Help the down-and-out.
Stand up for the homeless.
Go to bat for the defenseless.