We often define the word politics too narrowly.
In our daily usage, we often make politics stand in for
- Machiavellian manipulation
- political parties
- particular legislation
- particular candidates for office
We can mean any of these things or all of them at the same time. The poor person we’re talking to has to decode our intentions!
We also live in a country without an established religion and a federal constitution which enshrines and protects a separation between the state and the church. We often infer from this that religious matters and “political” matters should not be intertwined.
And further, we live in a political climate in which the very words “religious” and “Christian” are deployed to divide us.
Despite all of this background, it is that much more important we understand that being a Christian is political. It is an act of disobedience. It is to say that my allegiance to GOD is more important than my allegiance to any country or any flag. It is to say that I stand for ethics of life and supporting those neighbors who are struggling to live.
To imitate Jesus is to take on a political character.
To be Christian is to be political.
To be the church is to gather with other political people in a common walk. And the church provides not only the space, but the community, the teaching, and the mission to make the common walk a walk of communion.
I don’t think politics is a dirty word. I think we just tend to use it carelessly.
Bread for the World.
As a supporter of Bread for the World, I believe we have a greater mission to the people of Christ than personal transcendence or caring only for our literal neighbors. I believe we are connected. I believe we are all connected.
When I pray in the way our Savior taught us that we all may have our daily bread, I am not only praying for GOD to take care of that “all” or that someone else will naturally take care of that part of the all over there somewhere or that we can ever achieve an all by only supporting my local community, but the truest possible sense of all. All people with enough.
Making a commitment to all requires me to embody that all.
We need some of us to have a passionate support for the people in our community. To build up personal practices which bring food to the hungry, which help give the hungry access to food. This is certainly Scriptural: that farmers leave food to be gleaned by the hungry.
We also need for some of us to labor on behalf of our people in the city and state and federal governments, to ensure that our neighbors are protected and our neighbors’ neighbors are protected. That we bring an end, not only to the poverty in the blocks around our church, but in every country in the world.
We don’t all have to do the same thing. We don’t all have to be the same. We don’t all have to share the same strategy. But we all have the same conviction. And we have all made the same promise.
In GOD’s Different World, nobody goes hungry. All people have enough.
That’s a political statement our church should gladly rally behind.
Grace and Peace,