In the world, but not of it….
I have been, over the years, a bit of a political junkie. My political consciousness was initially raised in the late 1970′s, but with the rather recent advent of political ‘blogging’, I found my interest in things ideological sent on a rather steep upward trajectory. I would voraciously read political blogs from both sides of the divide; I lived on a steady diet of, for example, the DailyKos and the Huffington Post as well as Little Green Footballs and Powerlineblog. I enjoyed spirited debates with those on the opposite side of the ideological aisle, be it in person or on internet forums; I invested quite a bit of time and energy on political rhetoric.
However, I began to develop a bit of unease with my focus. I began to question if my energies were being directed appropriately. I asked myself if my conversations on deeper, more important things, things of eternal import, were compromised by the political baggage that I had left on the table. Was I primarily identifying myself, even if not intentionally, with a political label, or was I seeking to declare my identity as a disciple of my Savior?
While politics are not necessarily unimportant and political activism is not inherently wrong and to always be avoided, I have come to understand more clearly that I must remember where my citizenship lies. I must remind myself constantly that I am merely a sojourner upon the earth whose only call is serve my Savior in whatever capacity He may chose for me. We in Christ are in the world, but not of the world. I will not wrap the Cross in a flag or use it as an anchor for a political ideology. To allow anything to compromise the lordship of Christ Jesus in our lives, be it our politics, our work, our possessions, our families, or our hobbies is a disservice to our Messiah and to those whom we are to carry the Gospel in order to make disciples.
I Timothy 2:1-2
I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercessions and thanksgiving be made for everyone – for kings and all those in authority that we may live peaceful and quiet lives…
Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world.
1 John 2:15-17 Do not love the world or the things in the world. If any one loves the world, love for the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the pride of life, is not of the Father but is of the world. And the world passes away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides for ever.
And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.