Jesus’ Body, are we a Bride, or a Hooker?

Two nights ago, I joined the celebration in my community for president-elect Obama. Last night I comforted friends who were grieved. They were grieved not by the election results, but by the venom flowing from the pen and lips of those who claim Jesus as their Lord.

I know, many will claim that NO Christian should have voted for Obama. Because Barack does not believe that abortion should be illegal, and that gays should have rights comparable to straights they believe a vote for him is a vote for the anti-christ. I won’t try to argue this point here, but suffice it to say there are so many OTHER ISSUES (on which the BIBLE is also very clear) and on these issues many sincere Christians chose to cast their ballot for Mr. Obama.

I wonder…. how many in the current evangelical church would have been uncomfortable as as one of the twelve disciples……? Jesus did not expect political UNIFORMITY from his followers. He intentionally chose a group with very diverse political (and theological) views. To zealots (like Peter) collaboration with ROME was a SIN. It was equal to idolatry, to accept a ruler over Israel other that YWH – the Lord God.

But Jesus also chose Matthew ( a tax collector – who reinforced Roman rule) and showed love to Zacheeus in an effort to declare “MY KINGDOM IS NOT OF THIS WORLD” He seemed to be saying – “Go-head believe what you will about Rome and politics… but I’m starting something new”

During the election process I was grieved at how my brothers and sisters in Christ were believing and passing along gossip and half-truths, I was grieved at how believers in Christ were believing more in fear and hate. I was grieved at how a people who had been called to unite and transcend – were tools in the hands of those (Hannity, Rush, “Christian Radio” and others) who were calling them into the gutter, rather than into the heavenlies.

As an election judge, I saw people who had lost HOPE and lost direction, find a restored glimmer of HOPE and confidence in America. I helped old and young vote for their first time ever.

As a follower of Jesus, I too find HOPE that we can begin a new era in American politics. Barack Obama is not the friend of terrorists, potential anti-christ, (at least no more than GWB)  or pathway to immorality. Neither is he the messiah or solution. God is still in control.

Followers of Jesus Christ need to rise up and FOLLOW our LORD. We need to become ones that take earthly HOPE and point people to ETERNAL HOPE. But…. PLEASE fight the carnal urge to become political putty in the hands of those who are NOT called to our same purposes.

I have comforted many grieving believers in the wake of the election – grieving because their sisters and brothers in Christ heap hate and shame upon them. Much damage has already been done to the church; by Christian attacking Christian. These attacks often reinforce the class, cultural, and racial divisions in America. Let us be the “alternative” voice for HOPE, not one sold to the highest bidder.

The apostle Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 12 that one aspect of a united body of Christ is that when one part rejoices, all rejoice – when one part grieves all grieve. I believe the present state of things demonstrate how sick the church is. One part cannot even FEEL the grief or joy the other part is experiencing. Let us come together in Jesus Christ – and not be divisive for the gain of politicians – and the pain of the body of Christ – and a shame to the LOVE of the gospel.

God help us be your bride (driven by LOVE) , and not a prostitute (let by LUST) to political parties.

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16 thoughts on “Jesus’ Body, are we a Bride, or a Hooker?”

  1. Hope in something “real” is wonderful…false hope is damaging. It is great to see people happy, but what are they happy about? Do they know why they are happy? What are the real reasons? Are they happy because of what Christ will be able to do in this?
    I don’t think so.
    After any election, past or present, there is a winner and a loser. This is no different. It just so happens that, in this case, the winner does not represent christian values. Was there a similar conservative christian response when Clinton was elected? Absolutley!! Did the world end?…no.
    Will the anger subside?…certainly. Will life be back to normal in a month?…no doubt. Will our country be better because of this?…probably not.
    I just hope this election was not decided because of what Senator Obama is going to do with our taxes, the war or our rights.

  2. Hey Tim, you may not think the Hope is real, but I’d ask you to go with me to one of the schools where we work to see and hear kids talk about themselves and their beliefs for their future – and how this election has fueled their hope
    – I think it is “real hope” – yes it needs to be fed and channeled.. but it is hope that can keep them working in class, focused for the future and “successful” in so many more ways –

  3. I agree that we must mourn with those who mourn and rejoice with those who rejoice, as a body of Christ – and do with my brothers & sisters on both “sides”.

    Both “parties” have great ideals that uphold Christian values – whether it’s valuing life (both abortion & death penalty), welcoming the alien (immigration), bringing peace (both through Jesus & other means), caring for the poor, orphaned, and widowed, strengthening “family” values , caring for creation & more.

    However, for many and most of the above issues, our government was not created to perform. The government’s function (especially the federal government, of which the president heads the executive branch) is to provide a common currency, tax for purposes of common defense & interstate structures, help regulate commerce with foreign nations & between the states, as well as enforcing those “rights” stated in the Bill of Rights.

    We love our brothers & sisters who voted for Barak, but hope they voted for him because of his leadership ability, ideas on taxes (that although he won’t make the laws will influence congress in making them), ability to be our primary diplomat to other countries, ideas about trading between countries & other issues that are the government’s to deal with.

    Although I’m sure the hope that many feel right now is real, I hope they won’t be disappointed when all that has been promise isn’t realized. I heard a woman on the radio say she was so excited that Obama won because “now I don’t have to worry about my home, feeding my kids, and my job.” Although the government has a slight influence on these issues, each person (no matter who you are) still has a personal responsibility to make wise decisions, work hard, and choose to how they live their lives.

    The church should be dealing with ALL of the “Christian values” mentioned above, but not through the government (republican or democrat). It saddens me how much money “Christian” organizations, no matter which party they’re promoting, spend. Think of all the REAL work that we could do as the hands & feet of Jesus, not only here, but around the world to the many who have no option to hear about the real HOPE, not just Obama, (whom they’ve all heard of by now) but of JESUS CHRIST! That’s my dream!

    For in the end, Jesus is the King of a greater Kingdom. In that Kingdom there will be no death (justly or unjustly), no pain, mourning, or crying, ultimate justice will have been served by the One who is worthy of administering it, beauty will surpass all of known creation, everyone will have what they need, and all tribes, tongues, and nations will be present.

    “His dominion is an eternal dominion; his kingdom endures from generation to generation. All the peoples of the earth are regarded as nothing. He does what He pleases with the powers of heaven and the peoples of the earth. No one can hold back his hand or say to him, “What have you done?” – Daniel 4:43b-35

  4. Thanks Lynn – a clear and true reminder! My “hope” in this is that the “Hope” inspired by Obama will challenge people to take greater personal responsibility as well as greater responsibility for our communities – and that through this, the real – eternal HOPE of Christ Jesus will be made “manifest” – (clearly seen)

  5. Until we as followers of Christ can see the world from another person’s viewpoint we will never be able to find the unity we need so much with other followers of Christ. This was one of the most joyous times in my life and I did not have any other believers to share it with. Hopefully in the future we can spread empathy with our love. For the first time in my life I feel like the American dream is real. I am proud to be an American.

  6. John – you comments ring true with what I hear from so many friends – I am so sorry that you have experienced such a lack of support and love from the body of Christ. Thanks for the courage to say this –

    May this inspire us all to be … quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to become angry (James 1:19)

  7. well this old folk thinks….
    I think from my perspective the difference is that when Clinton was elected the racial divisions were there – but the white evangelical church voted much more as a block – so it was “acceptable” I think this year the white evangelicals were much more split over the issues that guided their vote – so the result (at least for me) feels as if people are much more frustrated and angry

    MPR had an interesting conversation this morning about this shift –

  8. Marque I think your right on. I think what’s real problematic is that many are trying to make him the Messiah and then others are demonizing him. He just happen to be the best (by far) of the 2 candidates. I voted concervative in the past 2 elections and I was happy at the time of the results. I voted differently this time based on my convictions and detail process of knowing the issues on both sides of the party. For those of you who believe Obama is a Moslem. I tell from the mouth of a Moslem I talked with yesterday. “Obama is as far away as being a moslem as any American President in history. It is a insult to Islam and the Koran to say this man is a Moslem” . Tim, I can tell you that people are happy about this for many reason. My unsaved friends are happy because they believe a multitude of positive changes will happen in this country. For my Christian friends they believe that God is soverign and He picks those who are in authourity. For my African American friends believe this is a great step in American history. That kids will no longer be able to make excuses for not acheiving success in life. The world is looking at a country that is able to correct years of mistakes domestically.
    What’s incredible is I’m sharing excitement with white, black, red and yellow believers and non believers in this community I live in.

  9. Marque,

    thanks for your thoughts. I have not read all of the commments, but from what i have read here is what is on my mind.

    I find it so interesting that many Christians are not even talking about the fact that Obama would have been considered property by the first 16 presidents and 40 years ago most likely would not have had the right to vote, but today he is our president. Most of my brothers and sisters of color are talking about this and having parities while my white brothers and sisters have nothing to say or say insane thing like Obama is the anti-christ. I think it goes to show out of touch most white people are with our history and the pain that all of us have suffered because of that history.

    My family and most of my friends are celebrating the great moment that this is. And to be truthful i really don’t want to deal with all those who don’t get it, but i know when i go back to bethel on Monday most of my energy will be spend on dealing with all the hate, and evil things that Christians are saying and doing.

  10. Hi Marque

    Thanks for some very good thoughts about an obvious problem in the Church. I think you might be interested in hearing a message I gave at Mountain on November 2 called “Let me tell you how you should vote.” I’m not kidding, it’s what I called it. I appreciate the point you make about the difference between unity and uniformity and the obvious way Jesus assembled f0llowers who were drawn togehter around him, rather than political affiliation. We see this again at Pentecost — do a study on the folk who were there in Jerusalem, and you see quite a political smorgasbord, but they were all baptized into Christ. I suppose this was your point — and I th ink you gave some very solid counsel. I do hope you are able to accept your own wisdom, applied to your own situation. I think those whose calling is to preach and live Christ and him crucified are wisest and have the moste fruit in the long haul of ministry when they exercise caution in identifying too closely with national leaders or platforms. As Tennyson said, “Our little systems have their day; they have their day and cease to be.” You have to own the fact that your enthusiastic endorsement, aligned closely with your professoin of faith is precisely the kind of thing that has the potential to (unnecessarily) divide the body. Remember, God’s agenda include Justice — and as Efrem would say, it’s Just US. I believe the US is the body of Christ. Don’t want you to forget that.
    Thanks for being a faithful prophet and friend among us, Marque. I’m proud of you and love you.
    I’m grieving the loss of Phil, as I’m sure you are, too. I loved him so much. He doesn’t care who won the election about now.
    Peace my brother,

    Ben

  11. Thanks Ben – for the wise words – I agree – It is so hard to see “one of us” – one we worked, played and laughed with – go so quickly and leave so much behind – yet it so good to see one go so well – with so much purpose, such clear faith and with such a consistent reminder of calling and purpose the Father has for us.

    about early summer I decided to stop making direct endorsements. To stop short of saying who I am voting for – yet to discuss issues that may reveal my intent. I also chose not to back away or remove what I had written. I tried to be clear that my faith for the future was not in a candidate or human leader, however I was painfully aware believers often see almost all leaders in the evangelical church clearly supporting one side of the political spectrum.

    That being said, I felt part of my purpose was to clearly display that an alternative political choice does not equal an rejection of Christian faith. I wanted to provide a source of information and support to others who were uncomfortable with the sleeping arrangements between much of the church and the republican right – and at the same time challenge thinking of the so called “christian right”

    I do agree we need to use caution in endorsing candidates – I did not make comments of political support from with in the the church worship gatherings – I did not wear my political shirt when I went certain places where it could be a distraction – and I decided lawn signs and bumper stickers also crossed the line….

    I’m sure this rationale seems skewed – but it is how this fallen man tried to make my way, by faith, through a fallen world – and serve only one King.

    I wanted to just give you (and others) – a glimpse into my reasoning over the last few months

    Thanks again for your words, wisdom and work for the kingdom. I’ve always enjoyed healthy dialog with you. My friend Elwood (posting above) is your DC area neighbor –

  12. Hey Marque – just givin you a shout out from the probasco home. keep the faith. thanks for keeping going. you are an encouragement to many.

    glad i ran into your blog!

  13. MJ,

    We are blogging brothers from different mothers. I recently wrote about the angst that this particular election has caused Bobbi and me. We are conservatives. We voted for Obama.

    Many in our Denomination (not the Covenant, the other one) think that you and I are crazy. Maybe even heretics.

    There really is no winning in a 2 party system. You have to give up some of your core values no matter how you vote…

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