The Politics of Freedom

Read:  John 8:31-47

The political process is in high gear in the United States right now.  The race to elect the next President often feels like a circus, a professional wrestling match, and a valet service all wrapped up in one.  Some people thrive on this, some pay attention to it, some care, and others are oblivious to it.  But no matter where you find yourself there are things to be thankful for in the midst of it all.

Just this week Chris Horst of Christianity Today wrote an article about why we should celebrate this time in our country’s life.  He reminds us that in the midst of the negative things, the election season promotes healthy discussions and gives we the people the opportunity to have a voice in the leadership of our country.  

This is not the case for many people around the world.  Mr. Horst writes, “In places like Afghanistan, Syria, Iran, Russia, North Korea, Cuba, and Zimbabwe, voters have little to no voice in determining the future of their countries. In many instances, dissent is not only forbidden, but squelched.”  He writes more about this, but then ends that section by saying this about the U.S., “But despite its flaws, our system stands in contrast to countries where all the power is controlled by a handful of self-appointed tyrants.”

For Christians it is sometimes hard to separate faith and politics in our world.  Some say we should separate them while others say it is impossible to separate them.  Christian books have been written with the titles of “God’s Politics” and “The Politics of Jesus.”  These and others are reminders that believers should not totally ignore the culture or political landscape that changes and shifts around us.  It does matter, it’s just not the be all and end all.

In fact, that’s where John 8 and the words of Jesus come in.  Jesus says that as believers if he has set us free, we are free indeed.  That is a freedom that goes beyond the borders of countries and political structures and transforms the heart.  It is a reminder that even those in the most ruthless, dictator controlled countries can still find freedom from the things of this world in Jesus Christ.

Yes, we should celebrate the democracy of the U.S. and other countries.  Yes, we should work for political freedom and justice for the people in those countries where that freedom is held captive.  We should also pray for them at all times.  But, in the midst of it all we should proclaim the ultimate Good News that Jesus is Lord and he is the only one that can truly save us all.  No matter who becomes the next President of the United States, like them or not, Jesus is still the King of kings.
Make it personal:  As the political process plays out in the U.S. this year don’t allow it to consume your every thought, care, or concern.  Pray about it, be involved if you would like, cast your vote, and celebrate the freedom that you have to do so.  But more importantly celebrate the freedom you have as a believer in Jesus Christ.  If you believe in Jesus as your Lord and Savior you are free indeed!

Have a great week,  Glen Rhodes, Arthur Mennonite Church