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Monday, October 1, 2018

Jesus is the Way, the Truth and the Life…But Not Now?

Recently Jerry Falwell Jr. tweeted:

Conservatives & Christians need to stop electing “nice guys.” They might make great Christian leaders but the US needs street fighters like @realDonaldTrump at every level of government b/c the liberal fascist Dems are playing for keeps & many Repub leaders are a bunch of wimps. 9/28/18

Falwell’s tweet reflects a growing theology among some Christian leaders (particularly evangelical leaders). 

It goes something like this. The way of Jesus... the way of enemy love, non-violence and self-sacrifice is okay in church, but it just won’t cut it in the real world.  In the real world, Jesus just isn’t tough enough.  In the real world, you need street fighters.  Jesus is a fine Messiah if all you want to do is get to heaven, but if you want to make a difference in Washington, you’ll need another Messiah.  You’ll need a Messiah that puts his or her enemies on a cross, not one that dies on a cross for his enemies.

Jesus is the way, the truth and the life…but not now.

I don’t think we can overstate how destructive this brand of political activism has become in our world.  I’m sure it’s not their intention, but politicians and preachers, like Falwell, who have bought into it are proclaiming to the world that Jesus is going to be Lord someday but he’s not Lord now.  Right now, we have to fight fire with fire, hate with hate, violence with more violence, political ugliness with even more political ugliness.

But the apostle Paul, among others, clearly proclaims that Jesus is Lord (Philippians 2:11).  Jesus is Lord of the universe right now!  And a simple reading of history proves that the church has been truly influential only when we have chosen to do so through the power of the Lord Jesus Christ as we follow his teachings.  We bring value and honor to the politics of our land when, and only when, we are voices echoing the invitation of Jesus... “Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you that you may be children of your Father in heaven.” (Matthew 5:44-45)

I’m sure that Jerry Falwell, and other religious leaders, have the best intentions for their political activism.  I’m sure they choose a street fighting Messiah hoping that he or she will bring peace.  But I think our politicians and preachers need to be reminded that Jesus really is the way, the truth and the life…right now.

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