Discipleship, works of the flesh and confusion about kingdoms


My friend Steve visits this blog and occasionally shares a comment or two regarding topics being addressed.
We share a concern about the increasing politicisation of “evangelicals” and how it compromises Christian witness.

Recently he has written about his experience of seeing someone, whose views he had respected, take  a detour down an increasingly extreme political path.

See Steve’s blog post here:

https://cross-purposes.blogspot.com/2018/06/why-delete-link.html

What Steve describes matches my own experience of seeing professing believers stray into partisan-political territory and before long into beliefs that have little relationship to reality and NOTHING in common with the truth of Jesus Christ.

 

Steve writes:

It’s a breaking-point, for me, when people choose to assert a “reality” contrary to the one God created and sustains, in which rational people believe and live.

I’ve lost count of how many friendships I’ve lost through those friends becoming increasingly politicised, and justifying that increasingly political partisanship with questionable use of biblical references. While they may have thought their interpretation of scripture supported the direction political ideology was taking them, they paid no attention to the very ungodly attitudes and behaviour they adopted as a result.

It became increasingly noticeable to me around the time of the election of Obama as president, and the blatant Obama-hatred that dates back to that time continues today. (Steve’s blog post gives an example that he has seen from one “evangelical”).

[His]claim that violent pro-Obama riots are rampant, and created to bring about a “leftist” dictatorship, doesn’t seem to match up with any reality this side of Breitbart or World Net Daily’s headlines.

I think there’s no coincidence in the fact that Obama was the first non-white president; that his name was unusual, even to the extent of having the middle name Hussein (Saddam references anyone?). I recall one of those lost friends insisted on highlighting the HUSSEIN every time he referred to Obama. And of course Obama’s dad was a foreigner, a black man, a one time Muslim. All guaranteed to add fuel to the fire.

I don’t recall any other president being subjected to so much abuse and hatred, especially from those claiming to be followers of Christ. All along I’ve suggested that with Donald Trump, God gave the American evangelical community the president who most closely reflects the attitudes* they’ve displayed in their antagonism to Obama. Effectively the Trump adoration prominent among “evangelicals” is just a natural progression of the problem that began with the hostility towards the previous president, a hostility some still retain (confirmed by the example given in Steve’s article). It’s a problem originating from confusion and ignorance leading to misguided priorities and allegiances; creating a hybrid of patriotism and religion that is mistaken for Christian commitment and a distorted understanding of the Kingdom of God.

 

* Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God

Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, My servants would fight, so that I should not be delivered to the Jews; but now My kingdom is not from here.”

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6 thoughts on “Discipleship, works of the flesh and confusion about kingdoms

  1. I think the hatred among Evangelicals, what really ramped them up, was Bill Clinton. I heard way more hatred for him than I ever did for Obama from evangelicals. President Clinton got them fired up and they’ve remained on that heated edge since. For me, it was going through the Clinton years being one of the heated ones, that drove me from politics and I made a break from it. I haven’t voted since President W.Bush first run. I found that if I voted it made me competitive and I had genuine hatred in my heart for those on the “other side,” especially if my guy lost. It truly eats at the soul and makes a person mind the things of this world and the deceitfulness of riches and it chokes out spiritual life.

  2. Hi Jeff, we’ve clearly had contact with different “types” of evangelicals, although the Clinton years were during a time that I had practically no contact with Christians at all. And I suppose Clinton was president prior to widespread internet usage and therefore reaction to him was not obvious to the “outside”.

    Maybe that internet aspect has created increased possibilities for professing Christians to get caught up in the hatred without recognising what’s happening.

  3. What happened in Nazi Germany is most Christians were told they shouldn’t be involved in politics and shouldn’t involve their thoughts in critical evaluation. Bonhoeffer saw differently. We can’t really opine that Reagan said government is the problem yet simultaneously reject government and abandon our ways of trying to make a difference in how we function.

  4. Involvement in politics requires neither unsubstantiated and fraudulent attacks nor unquestioning devotion directed towards political figures.
    Involvement in politics does not require the portraying of political figures as the devil incarnate, or as messianic saviours.

    A Christian’s view of politics needs to recognise the difference to between worldly kingdoms and the Kingdom we are allegedly representing, (the Kingdom of God) without confusing the two.

    Unfortunately “Christian” involvement in politics tends to fail all of the above.

  5. Look. Christians “tend” to think the K/kingdom is their moneymaking endeavors. That’s wrong too. But that’s no reason to quit work (outright, that is, but certainly yes if there is something untoward involved… and yes if there is something else one is called to do like be a full-time mom [which they don’t “tend” to really respect for all their talk] or a missionary [of a right sort, not the sort that makes “Evangelical Conservative” Republicans out of everybody]).

    Involvement in politics requires neither unsubstantiated and fraudulent attacks nor unquestioning devotion directed towards political figures.
    I
    Amen

    Involvement in politics does not require the portraying of political figures as the devil incarnate, or as messianic saviours.

    Amen

  6. I’ve noticed other people (not here) having that issue
    {as seen in my above post}
    of random words (like “I” or “and” or anything) popping up for no reason in their posts.

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