For those who have read my book, The Memorial of Jesus, you know that I make a distinction between the Kingdom of God and the Kingdom of Earth. We live in both at the same time. Remember when Jesus taught his follower’s to pray? He mentioned these two and suggests we pray that the Kingdom of God come to the Earth.
That brings me to politics. I do, now and then, talk about politics in this blog, but I have always tried to do so without getting into personalities, but rather principles. Today, I would like to touch on politics in terms of kingdom.
When I was a kid, we took a class in civics. I don’t know if it is being taught today, but observing how people talk about politics today, I doubt it. Civics taught me how government works. What I am recalling today is the definition of politics: “the work of the people”. Interesting that the word “work” is used implying that politics is not an easy thing. Like any job you take on, the more people involved in getting it done, the messier it gets. Lots of opinions. Lots of different abilities. The bigger the project, the worse it gets.
If everyone reads the same instructions and if roles are well defined, that should make things go more smoothly. A constitution helps when we are talking about running a country. Our United States Constitution has lots of instructions and definition of roles and duties. I can’t say things are going very smoothly right now. I even wonder how many of those in leadership have even read the Constitution.
Managing a group of people…a LARGE group like the population of a nation…can be messy indeed. But I maintain that this is all about the earthly kingdom that Jesus was talking about. Remember he said, “Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s and to God the things that are God’s”. By golly, pay them taxes but don’t get the two kingdom’s mixed up. Open your eyes…know the difference.
I love the phrase that was popular a few years ago: “What would Jesus do?” I would suggest that Jesus would do exactly what he implied in his Caesar statement. He would go along with the government as long as it didn’t come into conflict with the Kingdom of God. In fact, I think he understood that living the Kingdom of God within the earthly kingdom is how the Lord’s Prayer finds its fulfillment. But again, don’t get the two mixed up. Know the difference.
Jesus, and the Christian community that followed later, were pacifists. For them, all are children of the same heavenly Father and pacifism is a character of the Kingdom of God. Sometimes, when a person follows this pacifist path, it has led to death imposed by the other kingdom.
For those of us who follow Jesus, we have to ask ourselves which kingdom we are living in at any given moment. Are we bringing the Kingdom of God into the matters of the Kingdom of Earth? We need to pay attention to legislators who speak for us…which kingdom are they serving? We needn’t judge them as persons, but we can open our eyes and measure the work according the values of the Heavenly Kingdom.