POLARIZATION OF FAITH
In the political realm every issue, every person and every value has been polarized to artificially fit a political spectrum that reflects the positions of the Left & the Right. We must resist such a temptation to so easily categorize everything in such language.
It meets the needs of the political parties as they each take ownership of certain issues and movements. In doing so they attempt to also own some form of moral authority associated with the issue and therefore claim that only people like them have moral concerns.
Just today, January 24, 2019 I read an article on NPR's Morning Edition online that read, Provoked By Trump, The Religious Left is Finding Its Voice. It is a sad day in the Kingdom of God when the church allows itself to be divided by secular political groups who's only real goal is to manipulate the masses.
As a pastor of a church I am outraged when the church is manipulated by these schemes both on the Right and the Left. Granted, I have no delusion of speaking on behalf of all pastors or even the majority of them, but as a pastor I grow very concerned when the people of the church are polarized by social agendas rather than being equipped and informed by the authority of scripture.
For all Christians, our highest authority that defines morality, action and perspective is rooted in the authority of scripture.
You see if the authority of scripture, Sola Scripture, were to be your highest form of authority on values and action then every single one of us, regardless of political party would be outraged with the behaviors and conduct of our politicians.
Regardless of your political party, as Christians we would be moved to prayer and utmost concern with New York State's latest legislation to extend the right to an abortion up to the ninth month of a pregnancy while equally outraged with the politics and narrative around the immigration policies of this country. You can't be a serious scholar of scripture and not know that in the Theistic relationship Israel had with God during its days of the Old Testament it was adamantly clear that a nation is judged by the way it treats its foreigners and refugees.
These are not issues of the Right or Left but these are issues clearly outlined in scripture that teach us that God values life - when it is conceived, while it is in gestation and after it is born. God honors life from all nations and all people.
We learn in scripture, mostly from the mistakes of those before us, that God will hold us accountable to the way we judge one another, the way we demonstrate compassion and also the way we honorably govern ourselves in the best interest of the people.
A quick reference to this is the story of David and Bathsheba. When Nathan the prophet came to judge David it was clearly because David had a leadership failure as well as personal spiritual failure. Metaphorically according to Nathan, David stole the "one sheep" from a loyal subject while he had a house full of "sheep." His violation was a violation of multiple levels - he sinned against God by abusing his power, by coveting the wife of someone, by being disloyal and dishonoring to his subject, by disrespecting relationships, loyalty, the sanctity of marriage, and by murdering Uriah to cover his sin.
When we begin to separate issues and values based on political alliances and party lines what we are doing is attempting to justify our moral grounds by owning certain issues while yet hoping that these issues will grant us moral superiority while at the same time covering our sins. Both parties are involved in this fraudulent behavior.
We as Christians, both of the Left & Right, must stop justifying our parties because they support certain policies while ignoring the blatant sin they cover up. Both sides are engaging in political shenanigans whereby they are both concerned with garnering power while spinning a moral justification. Yet truth be told, both parties are failing our people. Both parties are responsible for moral failures against its subjects. Both parties have been disloyal to their subjects. Both parties are using the lives of people to pawn their influence.
We as a church have to be more like Nathan, David's prophet or John the Baptist in the New Testament. It is time we speak against the immorality of our own parties. Imagine a world where the people of Christ who identify with the Democrats would rise up to speak about the extremes and injustices of the Democratic party. In the same manner, imagine a day when the people of Christ who identify with the Republican party would rise up to convict the extreme, inhumane and unjust policies of the Right. Then the church would be doing its work in proclaiming the word of God.
As long as we allow the media and political parties to garner our voice and conviction to speak only against the other party we have lost our voice, our conviction and our loyalty to the word of God. While Democrats demonize the Republicans and the Republicans demonize the Democrats innocent lives are being lost, injustice will reign, immorality will rise and all hope will be lost thus driving each camp to their own extreme and posturing us to a future of civil discourse and eventually civil war.
The insanity must stop and the church has to fire the first round across the bow.