Here is where I ended the post yesterday:
My friends know Jesus would also speak powerfully, prophetically, and pastorally to the issues of our day. They know Jesus would speak theologically, spiritually, ethically, and morally to the issues of life.
What kind of things might Jesus say?
This post, like the two previous ones, is longer than a typical post, in order to do justice to the topic.
Jesus might quote from Micah 6:8 and say: “He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” I can hear Jesus saying that, and I think we need to hear Jesus say that.
Jesus might say: “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven” (Matthew 5:43-44).
One of our truly great in character, mighty in vision, full of love and generosity presidents (Abraham Lincoln) said, “Do I not destroy my enemies when I make them my friends?” Isn’t that exactly what God did with us? When we were his enemies, he died to make us his friends (Romans 5:10). Isn’t that the only way we can turn enemies into friends?
Jesus might say that all political arguments conducted in anger, hatred, and bitterness will only perpetuate more of the same. Jesus might say that you cannot hold anger in your heart and remain unscathed by that powerful spirit. Jesus might say that truth, when it is not spoken in love, will not accomplish much. Jesus might say these things, because his apostles, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit of Christ, said them (Ephesians 4:15, 25-27, 31-32; 1 Corinthians 13:1; James 1:19-21). Martin Luther King, Jr. understood this reality.
Jesus might say something like this: “Let the one who is without sin cast the first political stones at their opponents.” (Borrowed from the story of the woman caught in adultery, John 8:7).
Jesus might say: “Hate is wrong. Hate hurts the hated and the hater. Hatred does not accomplish my righteous purposes. Hatred is NOT my way. I am the Prince of Peace. My Kingdom is a Kingdom of Shalom. Ends and means to the ends must always have integrity. You don’t find peace through violence. I give you the ministry of reconciliation. Bring people together who hate each other. Bring them together through the forgiveness that I give to all who are enemies.”
Jesus might say: “My kingdom is not of this world … my kingdom is from another place … You are right in saying I am a king. In fact, for this reason, I was born, and for this reason I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone on the side of truth listens to me” (John 18:36-37). And you my people need to testify to my truth. Be my witnesses. Work for my ways. Be in allegiance to Me and not to a pretender king (no matter their political party).
Jesus might say: “Be strong. Do not be afraid. Be prayerful. Take action. Get involved. Turn the other cheek. Pursue those you don’t like. Go the extra mile. Count the cost. Pray for the welfare of the city and nation.” Once more from Martin Luther King, Jr.: “The time is always right to do what is right.” That captures the urgency and the responsibility of our times.
Jesus might say these things or Jesus does say these things?
Jesus does say them. This is the theology, spirituality, and morality of the Kingdom of God. We have to figure out how to put them into practice–most recently, about Charlottesville.
Jesus is against racism.
Jesus is against inequality.
Jesus is against poverty.
Jesus is against injustice.
Jesus is against hatred.
Jesus is against bigotry.
Jesus is against prejudice.
Jesus is against EVIL no matter where it is found or what form it takes.
And those things are against JESUS.
It doesn’t matter what political party you belong to and it doesn’t matter what your justification is, if you act in those ways, then Jesus is against what you are doing. As much as those things were present in Charlottesville, they were against the Kingdom of King Jesus and Jesus was against those actions.
Jesus is against those things and those who follow Jesus must be against them as well.
I know there are a dozen important questions you probably are asking right now. I am asking them as well. But I know this: We will not move one step forward in finding wisdom and power from God if we are not resolutely against what Jesus is against.
We simply will not have ears that can hear Christ.
We simply will not have hearts that will follow Christ.
We simply will not have faith that trusts Christ if we are not against what he is against and for what he is for.
I for one, am for King Jesus and His Way.
My prayer is that we would all be for Christ.
The images and quotes are found at the following websites. That does not mean that site was the originator, just that it was the immediate source of the images used in this post.