Politicians Are Not Jesus

By Justin Poythress - Posted at Time and Chance:

Published February 29, 2024

Rumblings about a second American Civil War have grown louder. People confine themselves to dark allusions, for fear of naming it into existence. Yet one can hardly fail to notice the widening political chasm. Crossing the aisle today looks like a tightrope across Niagra. People mourn the loss of brotherhood and civility, but then paint their political opponents as swamp goblins. In such a world, how should Christians approach this election season?

I am saddened by the number of pastors and church leaders I hear summoning their followers to greater political zeal. I don’t know a single person who needs to be convinced about the importance of politics, or the perks of power. People need Jesus. We need to see the root of the issue. We need to see that our world is torn by sin—anger, greed, pride, lust, and envy. And then we need to see those sins in ourselves. In your heart and mine. No politician is going to fix that.

Jesus didn’t come to change the world from the top down. When he is facing his sham trial and execution, Jesus says, “My kingdom is not of this world” (Jn 18:36). Christians believe that God changes people (and the world) from the inside out, through giving people a new Spirit. Good systems, leaders, and laws do matter. The Bible tells us to pray for these things, so that we can live peaceably (I Tim 2:2). No one is itching to live under Nazi Germany or the communist Khmer Rouge. But Christians can sail with a ballast that the rest of the world lacks.


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