Monthly Archives: April 2009

Empire

Jesus established His kingdom by coming to this earth.

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It was not going to be a political movement. Israel wanted this so bad. They wanted a government that would dictate a moral law that had to be followed, and on more than one occasion they try to snatch up Jesus and make Him king. They try to grab Him and make Him king. And Jesus will have nothing to do with it.

If you remember one of the traps the Pharisees set for Him, they said, “Hey, Caesar says we’re supposed to pay taxes. What do you say?” And Jesus says, “I don’t know. Who’s got a dollar? Oh, who’s that? Oh, it’s George Washington. Alright, why don’t you give to George what’s George’s and give unto Me that which is Mine?”

Now I’m not trying to make any kind of political statement, but the gospel has historically transformed lives…..therefore transformed cultures…..and not had laws set for it so we would all live morally the same.

You cannot legislate transformed hearts.

And so here’s the thing that frustrates me about the Religious Right. Sometimes I just find this thing in me wanting so desperately for that block to shut up and instead live out the gospel in their neighborhoods, in their workplaces—to live lovingly, and live graciously to a post-Christian, fallen world in such a way that the gospel would take root in peoples lives, so that things would then be transformed, instead of spending an unbelievable amount of money, time and energy trying to get it legislated.

Now I’m not saying that we should not be active politically. We have a responsibility as citizens of this nation to do what is our civic duty. And there’s nothing wrong with electing God-fearing, Spirit-filled, Bible-believing men, but you’re not going to legislate Christianity. You’re not. Jesus wasn’t going to do it. Jesus did not go, “Here’s the answer to a fallen world: I’ll overthrow Rome, set into being a Christian nation, and there we’ll overcome the world. That’s going to happen about 100 years from now in Constantine, and then what happens just a little bit after that? Rome ceases to exist.”

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Politics is downstream from culture. You cannot legislate morality. You live as Jesus lived, you allow God to change hearts and transform lives, and you watch His kingdom be established in the hearts of man, not in the halls of empire.