31
Aug
17

Politics and Spirituality


In February a follower of this blog wrote the following comment:

I used to appreciate your posts because I thought you have some great insight about spiritual growth and Biblical inspiration. Recently, your posts have been very political and you are not even American. So, I decided to stop following your blog. Please unsubscribe me thank you.

I have addressed political issues on this blog – probably more so since American, white evangelicals played such a pivotal role into handing Donald Trump the US presidency – because I’ve found that politics and spirituality can’t be separated from each other as if they are unrelated. I believe they are very closely related, however the important thing is to recognise their differences.

 

Firstly, politics cannot be used to address spiritual realities. For example, righteousness cannot be legislated or enforced, because the lawmakers and enforcers are no less fallible than those they seek to control – even IF those lawmakers and enforcers were religiously devout.

I believe history shows us that human attempts to bring about Christian theocratic governments have provided the WORST kind of witness for the gospel of Jesus Christ. Examples of “Christian” government throughout history have been no different to examples of Government in the name of any other religion (or non-religious philosophy).

True justice and righteousness will only ever come through Government on this earth after the return of Jesus, when he reigns over the nations during thousand years commonly known as “the millennium”.

 

Secondly political realities can and MUST be addressed according to the Spirit and not according to national self-interest. The follower of Jesus should be set apart from political rhetoric and partisan allegiances. As believers we need to stand as a CONTRAST to the world’s political expediencies, by representing what serves God and His Kingdom, not being swayed by patriotic fervour, or what we are told are the nation’s interests.
Our nation’s interests rarely (if ever) reflect God’s interests – and yet, contrarily, God’s interests ALWAYS reflect the best (eternal) interests of the people in ALL nations,  not only those where we live.

 

Thirdly, our own attitudes and actions should always be informed by truth,  an understanding of God’s character and with an eye on God’s overall purposes.

It is easy to be distracted by single issue agendas – even worthy issues can draw us away from the “bigger picture”. By focusing on the rightness of that one issue, we can find ourselves being blinded to the wrongness of the larger political agenda being presented. Beautiful gift wrapping can easily disguise a sealed box filled with stinking garbage.

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8 Responses to “Politics and Spirituality”


  1. September 1, 2017 at 9:27 pm

    Three VERY well-taken points. Will be re-blogging them, with a reminder that this is what it means that “politics is not REALLY about politics.”

    “It is easy to be distracted by single issue agendas – even worthy issues can draw us away from the “bigger picture”. By focusing on the rightness of that one issue, we can find ourselves being blinded to the wrongness of the larger political agenda being presented. Beautiful gift wrapping can easily disguise a sealed box filled with stinking garbage.”

    Exactly how “pro-life” activism was used to misdirect American Christians into the enemy’s “conservative” ranks, I believe.

  2. September 4, 2017 at 8:08 am

    Exactly how “pro-life” activism was used to misdirect American Christians into the enemy’s “conservative” ranks, I believe.

    Yes Steve. A single agenda like anti-abortion (that never eventuate into any concrete action) is used to attract the Christian to an alleged “conservative” political agenda that has at its heart the serving of riches and idolising “the market”.

  3. 3 Marleen
    September 5, 2017 at 7:03 am

    Firstly, politics cannot be used to address spiritual realities. For example, righteousness cannot be legislated or enforced, because the lawmakers and enforcers are no less fallible than those they seek to control – even IF those lawmakers and enforcers were religiously devout.

    I believe history shows us that human attempts …..

    Not only are lawmakers and enforcers fallible, law is or has been only a framework.

    Fallibility is not only in breaking the law but, where law is concerned, not foreseeing
    what additional laws will be “needed.” And there seems not to be an end to that.
    But there is (will be) an end to it, because that’s not the answer in the long
    run. Not that law is bad, but the true need is heart and spirit — Spirit.

    One of the last conversations I had with the political person
    I mentioned a few or so weeks back was concerning
    programming robots. I don’t remember how it
    came up, but his thought was that humans
    could create humans like God created
    humans — by entering data points.
    No, not real humans. Artificial
    intelligence. Labs, physics.
    Somehow, he could not
    see people as more than
    that. Except that he saw us
    as way more than that, about
    equal with God. Hence creation
    power. Computers, at some point,
    will be able to create more machines…
    All I can say is there must be something
    very much missing in this person… and it’s
    somewhat scary, because he states beliefs in
    some semblance of tune with Bible doctrine. I
    didn’t get deep into conversation at this point…
    as it seemed like a black hole of pointlessness.
    [Nevertheless, he called his outlook optimism.]

  4. September 5, 2017 at 8:10 am

    When people have no idea of God’s agenda, they can dream up all kinds of “optimistic” scenarios regarding human development and human achievement.
    God makes His agenda perfectly clear in scripture. He spells out where His creation is heading and what its ultimate destination will be; and yet throughout “Christian” history various theologies and philosophies have been brought into “Christian” thinking that are in complete disagreement with God’s revealed plan.

  5. 5 Marleen
    September 5, 2017 at 8:19 am

    Oh, and he has dual citizenship. He likes to claim his standing on American topics.

    I tried to give him an “out” one day, to back off of political topics in the thread. He seemed woefully ignorant (not wording I used), so I said he might not get all the information where he is. (What is more likely is that he’s self-selecting for the my life is good because I’m great “news” — and he did insist he’s not missing anything.) He is someone who made excuses for all the horrible things Trump has done in his life and did before the election. But after, and even half a year in, he’s got his head in the sand about continued idiocy. (More than made excuses, he accused people of gossiping with falsehoods. So his head was already in the sand. It’s kinda bizarre, for example, that when you see a certain preacher at his side and reporting that she spoke to him about his salvation [supposedly] and Dobson reports said same thing about the woman and Trump, you or the media are making it up. We even have video of these proclamations, and we know what the woman preacher preaches. Except, no we don’t. That’s only one example; additional examples involved bad behavior okayed in business. This is supposed to be a religious leader — who is rationalizing these things.)

  6. 6 Marleen
    September 14, 2017 at 2:32 pm

    Besides the possibility of people having “no idea” and “dream[ing] up … scenarios …” it bothers me that people can say many correct and plausible things and yet then come out with some oddball bizarre wrench in the gears. And something it made me consider or remember is that we don’t know who in the world is posting on the internet. Somebody can put up an avatar of pope or president (wording I’m choosing for the purpose to make a point in hyperbole) while that somebody can state many, many thoughts that display as consistent with the persona (yet the person behind it may be far from it — not only far from being “the” Pope, or President, but far from those seemingly worthwhile statements we saw — nothing wrong with the foregoing statements themselves but with the depth of the person making them).

    I do want, as well, to say that the observation (such as on my part) of the person saying things in tune with the Bible or in agreement with doctrine I find (or anyone finds) acceptable is not the same as agreeing on everything. I have, previously, disagreed with or been frustrated with the particular person to which I’ve referred. But that isn’t necessarily a tell-tale sign (except, the underlying weak thought processes or lack in proximity to the Spirit has subsequently been exposed as another aspect of what this person can present to the public). [The only place(s) I can think of everyone agreeing all the time are places where people aren’t really thinking or deciding what they themselves believe (rather than what they are to verbally regurgitate). So, I was patient with some slowness or callousness demonstrated… until I could no longer be so.]

  7. 7 Marleen
    September 25, 2017 at 2:31 am

    [I have, since, seen this person (in response to someone else bringing up a few past science fiction writer(s)) say he likes stories that are positive or optimistic about aliens from space, instead of fearful of them. For some reason, this made me think he might struggle with depression and, therefore, plainly have to — or need to in a sense — stick as much as possible to “happy thoughts” (to cope).

    I’m not sure why this thought crossed my mind. I don’t, for instance, insist (in contrast with his stated preference or desire) that science fiction stories/movies that I see, etc., have to be negative, fearful or ready to fight anything different or new or foreign. (As I see those types words, I have to clarify it seems his views on real people are different from those he wants to hold on beings from space or a lab.*)

    * That certainly isn’t something odd about him. Plenty of people enjoy freaky science fiction and then are quite prejudiced or slanted against others in the real world. If it had nothing to do with anything, maybe it all wouldn’t matter. But we have seen eugenics, as well as people who hope for eugenics, and we see people who gush about, for example, the Constitution, not grasping the meanings therein.]

  8. 8 Marleen
    September 25, 2017 at 3:05 pm

    Correction: “As I see those typed words…” [the words I typed out]…

    I’m very frustrated with “conservatives” — what I’ve ways been.
    I always thought the intentions were good and loving.

    I keep trying to figure out if I’m seeing it or any of them incorrectly now. I actually mourn that I was in that so long. I find it abusive. Yet I know that there are people where I was, thinking the intentions are good. It’s a little maybe like being in a church that you think is the right church. And then you figure out that it’s not (even that there is no right church). But you still believe in Jesus. I’m not sure which affects more people — church or Christian politics. And I don’t think either helps… any longer. Nevertheless, I think church that is somewhat incorrect is not as harmful as politics that are hurtful, or church that is largely about hurtful politics.

    I went to a funeral about a week and a half ago. One of my youngest cousins (who I had not kept in contact with) died. Actually, the minister did a fine job. Afterward, my mother and I went with the family to lunch. We sat there catching up and reminiscing. But my mother texts me a week later to say she had been looking at my nose at lunch time; she says I have a good nose. And I can’t figure out why that is what she was thinking about. But she knows she’s got her politics right. She got my dad to vote for Trump.

    And she was for abortion when it really counted… in someone’s real life (my closest cousin my own age, who needed encouragement to keep the child, not encouragement to end the challenge). But she’s on the right “side” (she thinks).This is how it works; something very superficial going on.

    It isn’t only her. Or only a few people or bad apples.


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