Sunday, April 24, 2016

Do We Need Jesus in the White House?

Recently, a friend posted on Facebook a picture of Jesus superimposed over a picture of the White House. A caption suggested that the country would be better off when Jesus moved in there.

But, aren't we better off with Jesus right where he is: at the right hand of the Father making intercession for us?

Given that the religious right has attempted to be a force in American politics for nearly four decades, one would think that along with such activism should come among evangelicals an understanding of church teaching, church authority, and how it relates to that of the state. Unfortunately, Americans tend to be doers, not thinkers, and the evangelical movement, not to mention individual Christians, has been harmed by the failure to think clearly about the same.

Christians -- and the world around us -- are much better off with Jesus at the right hand of the Father making intercession for us, for it is with the Father that true authority lies. Christians seem frustrated that it is not the power of the sword that spreads the Gospel -- it is the foolish power of Word and sacrament by which God's church is grown -- but that is the ordinary means that God has used over these last 2000 years.

In the news recently: the Tennessee legislature voted to make the Holy Bible the state book of Tennessee. The governor fortunately vetoed that legislation. In explaining her vote in favor of the bill, one state legislator said she hoped that the legislature would start a great national revival. 

The people of Tennessee are better served by legislators who understand their role of punishing evil and promoting civic righteousness. Revival, if such is to come, will be a work of God, performed through the ordinary ministry of the church. The power of the state is not required.

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