I really don’t get it!
This week, Jim Wallis of Sojourners, is discussing politics with an ex-leader of the ‘Religious Right’ Ralph Reed. Jim seems disappointed that Ralph seems to prioritise working against legal abortion and homosexual marriage. Ralph claims that the ‘Conservative Coalition’ et al don’t just focus on those two issues but work on many (which is the ground that Jim wants to claim).
What I don’t get is why they both want to impose their moral views on the USA. They both think that the US needs moral guidance from the top and that it needs to be legislated for. It’s as if they want to usher in a Holy Kingdom of America.
Whilst a great set of laws does seem to create a lovely society to live in, I can’t get my head round the idea that we, as Christians want to impose our morality on people who don’t want it. I mean, it’s not like it makes people better at the level of their relationship with God. It might seem, from a human point of view, that it is a good thing, but the only good thing is to have a relationship with God and to do his will – that is the only good in our world, everything else is a cheap imitation that doesn’t really bring life at all.
Jesus lived in a country that was occupied by foreign forces. Did he bother himself with that? No, he knew that freedom wasn’t in the laws of the land, but could only be found in a relationship with God. Did he try to control people by imposing laws? No, he came to make the law (and indeed laws) obsolete – to bring God into our hearts. He worked from the bottom up, not the top down. He aligned himself with the downtrodden. Even when he did get to talk to the most powerful men in Israel, he didn’t try to get them to alter their laws, he stood quietly, a testimony to the new Kingdom that he was ushering in, a Kingdom that stood in contrast to their kingdom.
Have a look in the ‘Government’ category of this blog for more on this topic.