Jesus, Lord or Lackey?

Galatians 3:23-25; 4:4-7

Now before faith came, we were imprisoned and guarded under the law until faith would be revealed. Therefore the law was our disciplinarian until Christ came, so that we might be justified by faith. But now that faith has come, we are no longer subject to a disciplinarian.

But when the fullness of time had come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, in order to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as children. And because you are children, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!” So you are no longer a slave but a child, and if a child then also an heir, through God.

—–Jesus, Lord or Lackey—–

Any Religion that needs to be affirmed or endorsed by a particular worldly empire or nation in order to thrive is likely a weak religion, with an impotent God, using the government as a crutch. The Kingdom of God is it’s own nationality with its own King, Jesus. It’s citizens need no government endorsement or mandate in order to thrive and be faithful. The need some Christians have to get the 10 Commandments placed on government property, to pledge allegiance to an earthly nation in a house of worship, or to mandate that prayer be led in public schools may actually stem from not believing that Jesus truly is Lord. Mandates like these render the incarnation as a fable and Jesus as a puppet ruler who needs a greater power to help Him achieve His goals. If Jesus truly is Lord then He needs no such permissions or endorsements from the world’s rulers to reign. He is either Lord or He isn’t. He is either Lord of all, right now, or He is not and never will be Lord. Mostly I think we tend to live like He isn’t because so often it seems we would rather force unbelievers to follow the rules than allow the living Jesus to transform human hearts and write new laws upon them. Those who don’t know how to love will mandate that it be given. Those who know how to love simply give it away and let it do its work. It’s like Paul is saying in the Galatians passage above, “welcome to the family” instead of “here’s a list of rules”. Those who don’t believe Jesus can change hearts will mandate that hearts be changed. Those who do believe in the lordship of Jesus will simply follow Him and let love do it’s work. Jesus is either lackey or Lord, but He is not both.

“Hark the Herald Angels Sing, glory to the newborn King.” –Charles Wesley

An Invitation, Not A Kidnapping

In an election season, each side seems to shout their agenda at the other, and no one shouts louder than the religious right.  Most of the time I feel like they are the religious wrong, yet they assume that since I’m a Christian that I’m on their side.  I don’t mean just me, they assume all who profess Christianity are on board with their fear tactics and their rallying cry to “take America Back”, whatever that means.  Perhaps they want to take it back to England. If they really wanted the way of Jesus, they might want to “take America back to the Native Americans.  It’s too bad the Native Americans didn’t have a border patrol and tough immigration laws to keep them “safe” from illegal aliens.  I wonder how often they have longed to take America back as they live in the squalor that we forced them into. Make no mistake about it, we didn’t start as a Christian nation.  We started as a group of illegal aliens who came in and committed mass genocide on the people who were here before us.  

Trying to force Christianity on non-believers is kind of like forcing a feast on a person who isn’t hungry. When Christians insist that non-believers must eat their feast, shouting at them them all the reasons that their feast is the best thing for them, and that they need to get rid of the food at their own table, it doesn’t make the non-believer any more hungry for the things of Christ. If Christians were to throw a burlap sack over the non-believers head, bind his hands and feet, and then force him to sit at the feast table, it should be no surprise that the non-believer will have no appetite for the food being forced upon him.
I’m convinced that the, “take America back for Jesus” attitude is not only dangerous, it’s Un-Christian. The United States are not the Kingdom of God, they never have been and never will be. I agree with Pastor Brian Zahnd that Christianity may need to die out in this country so that it can be born again and grow up in a healthy manner. Christians do believe in resurrection after all and sometimes things need to die so that they can be reborn.

We receive an invitation from Christ to a generous feast. We don’t take it by force or force it upon anyone. Grace and mercy are free gifts offered to all. To be “called” by God is to be invited. (Look it up in the Greek, that’s how it translates in the New Testament).  The call (invitation) from God is a call to become “saints” in His Kingdom. The kingdom of God stops being the kingdom of God when it is forced upon others. Force-feeding your guests is not in the spirit of a proper invitation.

“Saints” are not moral exemplars who climbed the highest mountain and swam the deepest seas. They are the ones who heard the call (the invitation) and showed up for the feast.  “Saints” are simply the ones who have accepted the invitation to the feast. Also, “saints” serve the feast to others at the pleasure of their King. It’s never the King’s pleasure to gag His guests.

So if you’re a Christian, simply live a life that makes people hungry and thirsty for the good things of God. Love each other. Love your enemies. Pray for those who persecute you. Forgive and forgive again. Keep setting the table even if it ends up being empty. Share the feast. If you’re a Democrat, reach out to and love Republicans. If you’re a Republican, reach out and love Democrats. Stop trying to force feed each other because that only makes a person gag. Invite, share, and partake together. Love without end.

And for heaven’s sake, let’s have some faith that Christ reigns…currently even…right now!!!  That won’t change, even if Hitler gets elected president. I caution you though, if you are a believer, you should probably stop embracing partisan politics and start embracing the politics of the Kingdom of God. If you don’t know what God’s politics are, you can find them in Matthew 5-7. I invite you to read it.