“Mixing” Your Christian Faith with Politics Can Be Greatly Rewarding
by Andrew Lidden Pate, Jr.
Looking to the heart instead of to the edges of the Christian faith separates the authentic followers of the Teacher of Nazareth from those misled. Getting to and holding on to the essential teachings of Jesus makes all the difference.
If a “noted” pastor says something is true, the misinformed may easily be led astray. A prime example: The so-called “prosperity gospel,” a theme of several of today’s most popular preachers, was not taught by Jesus. In fact, he stressed the opposite, that wealth can be the greatest obstacle to leading the good life.
To Jesus, faith was a simple way to a life of devotion, with a two-fold commitment, to love God and your neighbor with everything you have.
True, translating these basics into daily living can be difficult, especially in an age where “self” and “worldly success” tend to dominate everything. But keeping to the “heart” of Jesus’ teachings still makes living an authentic faith possible and real, in the real world.
Such application begins and ends by rejecting the worship of any individual or “ism” or particular position. People are fragile, as are movements. Making one Supreme is doomed to failure, as history teaches us well.
History also teaches us that authentic faith attested to by Christ-centered men and women can save individuals, families, nations and the world from disaster, as happened in the 1930s through the 1950s, when leading theologians and pastors spoke out against the atrocities of National Socialism and the dehumanizing evils of a totally secular Communism.
Meaningful and well applied voices of true Christians have continued to speak out into the present day, frequently, as necessary, against the idolatry existing in their own culture. Leaders of the civil rights and women’s rights and world peace movements have echoed the teachings of Jesus time and again, even in the secular media, where their “Christ forms” are often hidden from the public eye.
And so it is, I firmly believe, the command of Jesus to his disciples remains as valid today as it ever has: “Friends. . .as I have loved you, love one another” (John 13:34).
Note: Andrew Lidden Pate, Jr, ThD, is a Christian theologian-pastor. He currently resides with his wife Carol, in College Station, Texas.