Thursday, April 08, 2010

Putting On Christ - And Wearing Him Always

As Christians, we are always to wear the face of Christ wherever we go. It sounds good on Sunday mornings and whenever we gather as the Church. I know myself that it is very easy to be the example of Christ when I am wearing a clerical collar and suit.

But from Sunday at noon until the following Sunday at 8 AM - are we still wearing Christ? In this day and age, we are more and more transparent than ever. Our political stances and our Facebook comments are certainly public for all to see. While everyone is entitled to a political opinion and opinions in general, we have to very careful that our political stances and opinions don’t turn others off from the Gospel or our church.

When it comes to politics, I am at best a cynic. That doesn’t mean I can’t tolerate the opinions of others, though. At the end of the day, or at the end of any conversation, I think when there are disagreements among Christians, they have to end it with the words, “We will agree to disagree.” No moral judgments, no denigration. Just a difference of opinion.

Ronald Reagan once said, “Politics is the second oldest profession, but I have learned that it bears a striking resemblance to the first.” It is a humorous quote, but with an element of truth. If we sell out ourselves to political opinions first and the Gospel second, we have told the world where our treasure lies. And the world, especially those who are nominally Christian or new to the faith, is watching us like a child. Do we really want them to think we are a Republican or Democrat first, and a Christian second? That Kentucky basketball is more important than living the Christian faith? That we spend more time playing Farmville or Mafia Wars than we do reading scripture or articles about theology, discipleship, or mission (the Web is full of these things, by the way)? Or that we place more stock in Glenn Beck or Keith Olbermann than we do Jesus Christ?

Don’t get me wrong: politics are important. And no one loves basketball more than I do. I have a Facebook page too. But none of those things are ever important enough to take the place of who Christ is… or to turn others away from Him.

Let’s be careful.


"CAPTAIN DAVE" said...

But WHICH Jesus, Sky? The one who sent his disciples only to the lost sheep of Israel? Or the one who sent them out into all the world? Or the one who told the Canaanite woman, "It is not right to take the children's bread and toss it to the dogs."? The one who said, "Those who are not for us are against us?" Or the one who said, "Those who are not against us are for us?" Or the one who said, "No one comes to the Father but through me"? How about the one who turned water into wine? Or the one who ate with tax collectors and sinners?

Isn't it true that our experiences (political and otherwise) inform how we understand scripture and/or Jesus, and decide which Jesus we will follow?

Can you really separate religion and politics?

Sky McCracken said...

Absolutely not - you can't separate TRUE religion from REAL politics. But the politics of Jesus will take us far beyond the political parties and ideologies. There is only one Jesus. Neither political party lay claim to him.

To quote Alexis de Tocqueville: "There are many men of principle in both parties in America, but there is no party of principle."