I recently read a wonderful blog post by the Executive Pastor at Xcel Church, County Durham. The post, entitled Zoned Out, wonderfully brought out the importance of keeping your eyes on Jesus in the moment. As I contemplated on the ideas presented in the post, the story of Peter walking on water immediately sprang to mind. It was one of those moments, when I could just feel the Holy Spirit tickling my brain. It occurred to me then, that’s exactly what Peter did as he slowly and carefully walked towards to Jesus. We find that story in Matthew 14:22-32.
Jesus has just fed the multitudes. He is off in a meeting with His Father. The disciples are on a small fishing boat. When something similar to this happens:
While admittedly this isn’t what someone would call a bad storm; I certainly wouldn’t venture out in this to go swimming, let alone attempt to defy the natural laws and walk on its surface. Yet this is exactly what Peter did. He “zoned in” on Jesus and did the impossible. Then, he “zoned out.” I imagine he thought, I am doing this. As this occurred to him, he looked up. Man, those clouds look black and menacing. He followed this by looking at waves at his feet. They slammed against his thighs. Faintly audible over the wind, Peter heard the cries of the other disciples, “Come back to the boat!” He began to sink.
So what does all this have to do with politics? Simply stated, in my opinion, too many Christians have “zoned out on Jesus” and “zoned in” on political battles. Christians are using too much energy on things like prayer in school and more recently the legalization of gay marriages. Issues such as abortions, or evolution have helped the enemy distract the church, preventing them from achieving its true calling – discipleship.
No where in the New Testament is any command, directive, or example given stating or implying that Christians should enter the political arena. In fact, the opposite is true. Let me briefly survey those scriptures which I believe should deter Christians from entering political battles. They are as follows:
- Jesus paid taxes (Matthew 22:20-22). Here Jesus is upholding governmental laws.
- Jesus answered, “You would have no power over me if it were not given to you from above…” (John 19:11). This may seem to be taken out of context. Yet, I submit, that Jesus is setting the example of God’s authority dictates governmental authority.
- The entire book of Acts. Here is the example of how the church should look. Not once in the entire book is their found any examples of political action.
- First of all, then, I urge that entreaties and prayers, petitions and thanksgivings, be made on behalf of all men, for kings and all who are in authority, so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity.… (1 Timothy 2:1-2). Here, Paul makes clear our political action should be through prayer.
At this point, I feel clarification is required. I would never to dare to imply that those Christians who are in political positions are in any way wrong. In fact, I do believe that through following the mandate of the Great Commission that political change can be achieved. It is the pyramid scheme that works. When we as Christians create disciples and followers of Jesus by acts of love, then those converts begin to create disciples. Eventually, disciples will be made of those who have political power. When those in political power are sincerely following God wise governmental decisions and actions will naturally follow. In this way change on a political level can be achieved. The problem comes in when The Church begins to “zone in” on political agendas rather than Biblical ones. Satan would love nothing better to do then to distract The Church from doing what it is called to do. Politics is just one more tool the enemy has to achieve this purpose.
I would like to thank the Executive Pastor at Xcel Church, County Durham, for his excellent post. Also a big thank you to Joe McClary for his video of the Sea of Galilee.