Faith and Politics: Part One of Many

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Full disclosure: I’m Christian and the crazy kind that makes religious and non-religious people very uncomfortable or completely at-ease depending.

With that in mind, I have got to have this conversation with my extended family about the way you are responding to these issues with the current presidency, political and social climate, and just in general.

I hear you: Jesus is Lord. You know what? You’re right. You’re very right.

…and people are still going to jail in disproportionate amounts.

…and people are still being deported.

…and people are still coming to your pews, putting money in the offering plate, and then going home and wondering when the other shoe will drop. If you have their back. If you ever cared at all.

Gotta say, on the whole, we’re doing a terrible job and responding to this stuff. We seem to be more about trying to get our shout on than trying to care for this family we got. Than trying to bring about this kingdom we play organ music about. A bit too focused on what we are going to say at these altar calls.

If I could have a wish, it’s that we could burn things like this into our hearts:

1 “Shout it aloud, do not hold back. Raise your voice like a trumpet. Declare to my people their rebellion and to the descendants of Jacob their sins.
2 For day after day they seek me out; they seem eager to know my ways, as if they were a nation that does what is right and has not forsaken the commands of its God. They ask me for just decisions and seem eager for God to come near them.
3 ‘Why have we fasted,’ they say, ‘and you have not seen it? Why have we humbled ourselves, and you have not noticed?’ “Yet on the day of your fasting, you do as you please and exploit all your workers.
4 Your fasting ends in quarreling and strife, and in striking each other with wicked fists. You cannot fast as you do today and expect your voice to be heard on high.
5 Is this the kind of fast I have chosen, only a day for people to humble themselves? Is it only for bowing one’s head like a reed and for lying in sackcloth and ashes? Is that what you call a fast, a day acceptable to the LORD?
6 “Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen: to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke?
7 Is it not to share your food with the hungry and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter— when you see the naked, to clothe them, and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?
8 Then your light will break forth like the dawn, and your healing will quickly appear; then your righteousness will go before you, and the glory of the LORD will be your rear guard.
9 Then you will call, and the LORD will answer; you will cry for help, and he will say: Here am I. “If you do away with the yoke of oppression, with the pointing finger and malicious talk,
10 and if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed, then your light will rise in the darkness, and your night will become like the noonday.
11 The LORD will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail.
12 Your people will rebuild the ancient ruins and will raise up the age-old foundations; you will be called Repairer of Broken Walls, Restorer of Streets with Dwellings.
13 “If you keep your feet from breaking the Sabbath and from doing as you please on my holy day, if you call the Sabbath a delight and the LORD’s holy day honorable, and if you honor it by not going your own way and not doing as you please or speaking idle words,
14 then you will find your joy in the LORD, and I will cause you to ride in triumph on the heights of the land and to feast on the inheritance of your father Jacob.” The mouth of the LORD has spoken.
That’s Isaiah 58. The entire chapter without emphasis or embellishment.
Imagine for a moment how it feels to walk into a building and know that God has a clear stance on the oppression of any person, so much so that He feels the need to say, “that’s it? You thought coming to church on Sunday was enough to get by while people are oppressed in the land where you lay your head? Come again” and in the same building of people that worship the same God you do, all you hear muttered or said aloud is that they wish people would shut up about politics and focus on Jesus.
I want you to imagine the heartbreak of hoping that your family – that you are called into – will be enough to get you through this storm only for them to tell you they don’t even see the storm.
Then I would like you to deeply consider that if this is the kind of thing that God says, but you feel free to ignore the grieving and groans of your brothers and sisters around you if you really believed in the first place.
And if you have the courage and conviction left, pray that you are filled to the point of breaking with courage to speak out against the injustices of this and any other day.
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