The Kingdom vs. Politics
The Kingdom vs. Politics
by Lonnie Lane
Our heads are filled with politics these days, aren’t they? If we thought the elections of last year were absorbing, how much more what is going on today? Sometimes, though, you want to just tune out the whole thing. At least I do. I wish it would all go away and things would just be nice. But wishing won’t do it. It’s here. At least for now. I wonder though… if the economy takes a real dip so folks aren’t buying all the things that commercials tell us we should/must/have-to-have, would they continue advertising? If the advertisers aren’t paying for commercials, because the people aren’t buying like they were, would a lot of the TV that’s available today disappear? I predict that in a year from now, we may have less of what is available on TV than we do today, if the economy doesn’t rally. We’ll see what kind of a prophet I am next year.
Wouldn’t it be something if the only stations that were able to stay afloat were the Christian networks or programs because the people of God were the ones who are prospering because we trust in God and not the system, and because we give when the world is hoarding because we understand sowing and reaping. And besides we have hearts of generosity, not fear with regard to money. Or we should, if we trust the Master Giver. Wouldn’t it be something if the only thing the world had to watch is Jesus television because that’s the only thing of any quality to watch?
What if Christian “tele-vision” was all about telling of visions of heaven or prophesies that could be relied on as truth rather than what we’ve been hearing on the news. Yeshua gives us the “Good News” while the media rehearses over and over what is almost always the bad news. And it’s not just the media. How much mail have you gotten that’s fear driven while asking for money? I had an interesting thing happen this week. We got a piece of mail that came from “the other party.” I’m accustomed to getting mail from the political party to which I happen to belong telling me of the threats of the “other party” and their agendas, and asking me to send money, which I never do. But this mail came from the other party with the similar kinds of fears (that the other team’s policies would succeed) and pleas for money. It made both sides seem equally helpless to solve the problems. Exercises in futility, perhaps.
I recently wrote a letter back to the Senator whose name was on a mailing saying something like: When your health benefits are the same as mine, then ask me for money. How can I expect that more money will enable you to know how to get us out of this mess when the money you already are being paid through my taxes didn’t enable you to keep us from getting into this mess in the first place?
Much of the food for thought for my articles comes from interactions with other folks. This week a friend and I were discussing politics. We have somewhat differing views politically but are committed to each other as sisters in the Lord. She, a doctor, is involved in a community medical practice so she gets to see a part of “the system” that I don’t. She was saying how she is liberal in some things and as a Believer, conservative in others. In other words, we agreed, political parties aren’t the answer. The issues are far too complex today.
“It’s the hearts of the people that have to change, not the political or even the social agendas.”
Furthermore, a good number of the issues that are continually wrangled about are not really political at their core and will not be politically solved. They’re kingdom issues. They’re spiritual issues. They’re moral issues. Yeshua clearly said, “For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, slanders. These are the things which defile the man” (Matthew 15:19, 20). (Gosh, that reads like the list of nightly TV show contents, or the marquees of some of today’s movie theatres. I know. I tried going to a movie this past week and abandoned the attempt upon reading the marquee.) It’s the hearts of the people that have to change, not the political or even the social agendas. Those will change when the hearts of people change.
Well, we Believers all know that on some level. But even some who would tell you that they know it’s hearts that must change, are still out to win a battle on specific issues. Win the battle, loose the war! The war is a war between God and satan ultimately. It’s a war not of flesh and blood, but we often keep trying to deal with it as if it was, fighting with carnal weapons, not spiritual ones. And, too many are looking for a man to solve the problems. A savior, if you will. Isn’t that why the Anti-Christ will gain favor? But there’s only one Savior and His name is God Saves = Yeshua!
Did you ever think about how you are being fed crises after crises? Has that become your world-view, or at least your nation-view? Or are your conscious thoughts that God is doing awesome and amazing things in the world, and even in your neighborhood, even in your family? Are you thinking Kingdom thoughts with Kingdom trust and Kingdom expectations in God’s goodness, power and protection? God is not participating in the recession. He’s not the author of bad news. God is good and good always. Does the media ever tell you what God is doing? Just about never. Do the stories we entertain ourselves with, if we do, inspire gallantry, integrity and honor? The teenagers are presently fascinated with vampires. “They’re good vampires” I was told by one of them recently. What happened to wholesome? Praise the Lord for Christian programs that give you God’s perspective and give you a picture of what He is doing and Who He is. Right in the midst of all this other stuff going on He just keeps on being God!
What if all the medical show audiences found shows of healing testimonies more exciting than the high-flalootin’ high-stress hospital series? Now they would be getting the real stories from real people who were miraculously healed and were now praying for people in the audiences and they were being healed. What if people came to shows and not doctors to be healed? What if the reality shows were replaced by the reality of the Gospel and changed lives and miracles were happening on the air as cameras caught shots of withered arms growing out and the expressions on people’s faces as their blind eyes were seeing for the first time? It would be like being in the crowd and seeing Yeshua heal people right in front of your eyes, only now He’s doing it through His people. How glorious would that be?
“Do you think Righteousness could invade the nation the way unwholesomeness and immodesty have?”
Do you think that might have a profound social affect of making wholesome politically correct, and modesty the socially preferred fashionable mode of dress when people are confronted with the power and holiness of God? Not just the miracles but His holiness, and a fear of the Lord that causes us to start cleaning up our lives which results in our nation becoming clean again. “The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever; The judgments of the Lord are true; they are righteous altogether” (Psalm 19:9). Do you think Righteousness could invade the nation the way unwholesomeness and immodesty have? What if all of our decisions and our trust was Word-bound rather than world-bound? If Nineveh, the center of worship of the goddess Ishtar, could repent and be completely turned from God’s judgment and destruction (see the book of Jonah), certainly there is hope that we can again become a God-fearing “clean” nation. It’s really not a political issue, nor can it be legislated. It takes place at the grass roots with each of our hearts wanting to please God by living our lives by His standards and to love Him. Please read the next paragraph with its criteria and promises thoughtfully.
“How blessed (favored, gifted, fortunate and benefitted) is the man (or woman) who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked (or ungodly – those who do not consult God for their counsel); Nor stand in the path of sinners (those unknowing of God’s grace for themselves or for others), Nor sit in the seat of scoffers (criticizers, mockers, deriders or ridiculers). But his (or her) delight (pleasure, joy, happiness and gratification) is in the law (Word) of the Lord, and in His law (Word) he (or she) meditates (reflects, contemplates, gives thought to, ponders, focuses on and weighs) day and night. He (or she) will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in its season and its leaf does not wither; and in whatever he (or she) does, he (or she) prospers” (Psalm 1:1-3 with my additions).
Sounds like a plan to me. If we really lived that out, as King David wrote, would we then see the truth and power of the Kingdom and of the King being played out just like when Yeshua walked the earth, only now it’s being done by His people? When David was king, he obviously lived this out. Israel lived at peace with their enemies for forty years under David’s rule. Could this be why? Is that also why the Holy Spirit arranged to have this be the first Psalm, because of its priority of purpose in our thinking? David also declared that God “heals all your diseases” (Psalm 103:3). Is that because righteousness, healing and health go together? How many diseases are stress induced?
Most Believers have never seen or experienced a healing miracle (yet). But it is happening in increasing measure. That’s a good bit of what Sid is trying to do with It’s Supernatural! and with the Messianic Vision radio show, which is to present what our amazing supernatural all powerful and good God is doing in the world today. The shows are a presentation of what counter-acts all the ungodly and worldly stuff we hear all the time. Such shows that present the power and love of God so dramatically have proven to give people a valid understanding that what they are always hearing from the world is not the whole picture. And even though they (you) may not experience the power of God like some of our guests (yet), you know the power is available to all of us and God is bringing His people to a place of walking in power and righteousness and freedom that will make us suitable for the King when He returns. Amen?
In the mean time, we live here and we need to know how to process what is going on in our times. It behooves us to not only “discern the sign of the times” (Matthew 16:3), but to know how to conduct the affairs of our lives. Change always begins with what we believe. Not everyone is really in touch with what they believe. We’re good at believing what we’ve been taught, but, I dare say, less sure about what the Bible really says. Question: Are you trusting more in what God has revealed to you personally or what you’ve been taught that He’s saying? Sometimes, they are not the same.
Here’s another question to consider: Are your expectations and your thoughts of what life could possibly hold for you in the (near) future more dictated by politics and secular media (and your mail) than by God and His Kingdom ways? Of which domain are you truly a participating citizen? We can live in one place, even as an ambassador as we’ve been told often that Believers are in the world, but be citizens of an entirely different culture and nation. As believers, “our citizenship is in heaven” (Phil. 3:20), but have we been “acculturated” into the world so that our thinking is from below and not from above, even though we have been “raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Messiah Yeshua” (Ephesians 2:6,7). Where do we live in our heads? In our thoughts? “For as (a person) thinks within himself, so he is” (Prov. 23:7).
Now I’m not at all saying we abdicate responsibility and ignore what’s going on. Look at what Martin Luther King, Jr. accomplished. There is a time and a way of making changes, even national changes. But they better be God’s ways for God’s changes or they are, to say it again, exercises in futility. I’m just saying we need not become enmeshed in it. We need to keep our Kingdom-of-God perspective on it all. We need to see it from above and through the Word of God. We need to remember where the truth is. And in whom the truth is! We must pray for our nation and our leaders: “Seek the welfare of the city (or nation) where I have sent you… and pray to the Lord on its behalf; for in its welfare you will have welfare” (Jeremiah 20:7). We who are born again know that spiritual issues determine the natural. We know that “Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a disgrace to any people” (Proverbs 14:34).
And we need to speak out of the goodness of God and the provision of God and the faithfulness of God when others are not seeing it. We need to be the light because we are the light. We’re the only light the world has! It’s our job as believers, to believe God is higher and mightier than whatever is going on or whomever the world is looking to for solutions, whether it be a political agenda, a political party or a man. We need to pray because only God can fix what needs fixing, because only He can change hearts.
I’d like to really encourage you to get before the Lord and let Him plummet your heart as you “test yourselves to see if you are in the faith; examine yourselves!” (2 Corinthians 13:5a). What or who are you looking to for help and stability in the day in which we find ourselves? Israel wanted a man to solve their dilemma with the Romans. That’s why they wanted to make Yeshua king. But He knew, of course, that what they needed were changed hearts that would be free in God through salvation. Their freedom would come by the Spirit so that they no longer feared the Romans, or even death. Now that’s power! That’s freedom! “Dilemma” wasn’t a good word to use. It trivializes what they had to deal with under the Romans. Times were hard and they were dominated by a foreign culture in their land who brought their paganism (and plethora of ungodly gods) and violence (think crucifixion) with them. Sometimes I look at our “land” today and wonder if we haven’t been invaded by some alien force that brought its paganism and violence into our land.
Where am I trying to go with this? To wholesome. When I was a kid I used to imagine that Benjamin Franklin came back to America and somehow I got to be the person to take him around to show him all the things that had been invented since he lived, including what ideas came from him originally and what wonderful things we’ve done since. What would he think if he were to return of our culture today? What would George Washington think of what goes on in the city named in his honor? Would he be ashamed to have his name connected with it, I wonder?
What wisdom might Ben and President Washington offer us? Good chance, I’m thinking, they’d say, “Go back to the original document and trust in it!” They would mean the Declaration of Independence, of course, which has stood this country of the United States in good stead all these years. Let’s not violate it. Let’s not disregard it. Let’s not try and improve on it. At the same time, I want to say, let’s go back to the Original Document, the Bible, and trust in it! Let’s not violate it. Let’s not disregard it. Let’s not try and improve on it. Live it, speak it. Let’s start by reading it for what it says and find the Yeshua that showed us that neither a political party nor a political king is the answer. Only God is. As He changes hearts, one at a time, He will change a nation. Even the world. But even if that doesn’t happen, how will you live your life before Him?
Reprint of this article is permitted as long as you use the following; Use by permission by Messianic Vision, www.sidroth.org, 2009.
Scripture quotations are from the New American Standard Bible Copyright ©1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation, La Habra, Calif. All rights reserved. Used by permission.