Aaron Niequist posted a picture on Instagram of a small frame church with the following words: “If the church is not political, it’s irrelevant to the world that God so loves. But if the church is partisan, it becomes a tool of the empire.”
“If the church is not political, it’s irrelevant to the world that God so loves. But if the church is partisan, it becomes a tool of the empire.”
He then had the following statement which gets at what I tried to say in a sermon a while back:
Many have been pushing to keep politics completely separate from faith right now. I understand the discomfort and huge dangers, but here’s why I respectfully disagree:
Being political means we are engaged in how our society is organized. If we want to love our neighbor, we will naturally get involved in building the systems that lead to flourishing, and fighting to change the unjust systems that target the poor, weak, and marginalized. We can’t pretend to love our neighbor while we ignore the realities that hurt them.
But the moment we tip into wholesale support for one party against the other, we take our eyes off our neighbor and join the system as an apologist for only half the story. Neither party is fully aligned with God’s Kingdom, and we need to find a way to engage the full reality of society without selling out to one side.
Friends, this is incredibly difficult…and I’ll be the first to say that I don’t do it perfectly. The temptation to flight or fight is so strong. But let’s not give up! May God be gracious as we stumble forward—three steps forward and two steps back—into humble and meaningful engagement with the world that God so loves.
Amen. I know that it sometimes seems to some of us that one party or the other has gone so far off the deep end that we can safely pitch our tent with the other one, but that’s never really the case. Our absolute loyalty is to be reserved for God and God alone.