Thursday, September 4, 2008

Which kingdom are you fighting for?

So in this season of partisan pep rallies, apocalyptic emails, and character attacks in the guise of political speech, I have talked to my students a bit in the hopes of getting them to think through these issues on a deeper level. As a result, one of my students lent me a book that he thought I might enjoy. I was reading a bit this morning during my off period in a chapter discussing the contrasts between the kingdom of this world and the kingdom of God. Here's an excerpt that should serve as a good reminder for those of us who call heaven our home.
Conservative religious people involved in kingdom-of-the-world thinking often believe that their enemies are the liberals, the gay activists, the ACLU, the pro-choice advocates, the evolutionists, and so on. On the opposite side, liberal religious people often think that their enemies are the fundamentalists, the gay bashers, the Christian Coalition, the antiabortionists, and so on. Demonizing one's enemies is part of the tit-for-tat game of Babylon, for only by doing so can we justify our animosity, if not violence, toward them. What we have here are two different religious versions of the kingdom of the world going at each other. If we are thinking along the lines of the kingdom of God, however, we would realize that none of the people mentioned in the above lists are people whom kingdom-of-God citizens are called to fight against. They are, rather, people whom kingdom-of-God citizens are called to fight for.

Our battle is "not against flesh and blood," whether they are right wing or left wing, gay or straight, pro-choice or pro-life, liberal or conservative, democratic or communist, American or Iraqi. Our battle is against the "cosmic powers" that hold these people, and all people, in bondage.

-Gregory A. Boyd, The Myth of a Christian Nation

3 comments:

Tammy said...

Both David Brooke's column and this excerpt are good food for thought.

I am thankful that I can trust in a Sovereign God w/o worries about who is the next "ruler"/President.

I do believe that as a citizen of heaven, I need to pray for spiritual revival against the evils in the world, but as long as my physical body is a "citizen of the earth" I likewise need to take action on issues that confront our every day world, so I will not be sitting out, but instead will get involved in our political process regardless of the mess that it is-because if we don't; then we will set ourselves up to not have a voice and democracy calls for the people to speak.

Trey said...

Neither post has anything to do with being involved politically or not being involved. I don't think you read them closely enough if you think that I was advocating non-involvement. The very fact that I'm calling for people to read and think about what's going on assumes political involvement.

Brian C said...

Trey-

I love this quote. Thanks for putting it up. I have become more and more disgusted at our political process resorting to name-calling - the very thing we try and teach our children not to do (the fact that 40-80 somethings are doing this is so disturbing). I really wish we could just be adults, lay the issues on the table, and be mature enough to make our own decisions. I am an idealist at heart, and I often think that this should just magically happen. But, that is this world. When we don't like someone, we often just call them a name instead of just listening to them and learning from them. Living among people far different from myself has taught me that I often want to resort to not listening to people and I have learned that it never benefits oneself. I guess we can simply boil it all down to pride. The Enemy likes to use our pride to rule us, but Jesus promises that his Spirit will always give peace to rule our hearts. That is the Kingdom of God, Peace in Jesus. I don't believe we can find it anywhere else.