Recent events in our nation have developed over many years and not merely the last few days, weeks, or even months! What you and I are witnessing has been given power by our ways of thinking. I want to speak to this from a “person of faith" standpoint! As a follower of Christ, I believe all of life must be viewed through His lenses and passed through His words. Not what we think are His words but truly His words and the words of those His Spirit inspired!
The way many in The Body of Christ respond to the political power structures of the world should be considered and questioned. There are many opinions about how Christians should respond and become involved, but it would seem that the response of believers in scripture should at least be considered! As an example, Paul’s response is one of subverting power! Subverting means “to undermine the power and authority of something.” In other words, Paul relegated Rome to an insignificant player! He hardly ever even spoke of the power of the State. I’m sure Paul was reminded daily of Rome’s sovereignty as he passed money from purchases and noticed the statues that hailed the power of Caesar! He even watched as injustice was given out to various citizens. Yes, he was aware of Rome’s influence, but one always sees Paul relegating that influence as a “non-player” in the plan of an Almighty God! His most subversive act was to refuse to give it significance!
Paul did not direct people’s attention “to it” but rather “away from it” as he pointed people’s attention to Jesus and His Kingdom! As one person put it, “Rome was a sideshow to what Christ was doing by His Spirit and through The Church.” Over and again Paul speaks not of Caesar as the son of God, but he points to Jesus as The Son of God! Paul even tells the Church in Ephesus that Rome was a pawn in the hands of the powers of darkness! (see Ephesians 6:12-13) We even see Jesus responding this way when He was asked about the “influence of society.” During a “politically charged” confrontation Jesus was asked if He was “bowing to Rome” by paying taxes. Jesus responds by saying, “What image does this coin bear and what image do you bear?” He was subverting the authority of the State and relegating it to God! He was saying, “You bear the image of God; therefore, give yourself to Him!” Paul seems to be saying that Caesar isn’t as important as you think he is, and he and his reign is destined to pass away! The Kingdom of God is what you belong to and it is here to stay! Give yourself to The King of that Kingdom!
I read where someone said that maybe we are complicit in granting too much power to current governmental systems by our attention and energy! I believe that to be true. In scripture we see Paul and Jesus stripping away the power of Rome by “relegating it to a sideshow” of the day and pointing people to the “Kingdom of God and His Christ!” Does that mean that I should ignore government? Should I not be involved? Even engaged? Does that mean we shouldn’t vote or work toward the good and justice of society? Jesus said to pray for His Kingdom to come and pray for God’s will to be done “on the earth” as it is in heaven! Of course, we should be involved but how we are engaged is the issue. We engage by subverting the worldly influences of government and society to The Lord! We interact in a way that realizes the concept of government is a “servant of God” and not the other way around!
Let’s all pick up a coin, realize its inscription, relegate its power as being a means of currency exchange and accept as truth Jesus’ words that He has “all power in heaven and on earth!” We live “in” a nation, but we live “from” a Kingdom!
Jimmy has been a Christian longer that he has been an adult. He devotes most of his time to family, church, community, and prayer with a few coffee breaks in between.