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Politics and Purpose - The Challenge and Obligation of Every Christian in Public Office
Saturday, March 7, 2020 5:40 PM

Politics and Purpose - The Challenge and Obligation of Every Christian in Public Office

Saturday, March 7, 2020 5:40 PM
Saturday, March 7, 2020 5:40 PM

In post-Christian America where the influence of Christianity in culture is waning, it is becoming increasingly difficult for public servants of faith to live out their faith in the public arena. This is nothing new. Such was the case in Jesus’ day.

It was not popular to be a Christ-follower, particularly if you were a high-ranking, rich, and influential political leader such as Joseph. Joseph was a member of the Sanhedrin or “Council” as termed in Mark 15:43.

The Sanhedrin was the Jews’ most powerful political and religious body. In today’s vernacular, it would have been similar to The Supreme Court and Congress combined.

As Democrats and Republicans today dominate American politics; in Jesus’ day, the Pharisees and Sadducees dominated not only Jewish politics but religious thought as well. Together they comprised the 71-member Sanhedrin.

The Pharisees and Sadducees differed sharply on the interpretation and application of Mosaic law. The one issue, however, on which they agreed that became the game changer in all of human history, was to keep the pressure on Pilate until he allowed the crucifixion of Jesus.

Unbeknownst to any of them was that Joseph had secretly become a follower of Jesus. As such, he did not consent to his colleagues’ actions ( Luke 23:51).

Joseph served in an environment much more hostile to the faith than in America today. And as many are today, he was intimidated and afraid to speak against the other leaders. He was a closeted, politically correct Christian. Yet God had a higher purpose for Joseph.

Joseph was not a Christ-follower serving on the Council by accident. Not at all. And if you are a born-again believer, serving in public office, you may have been elected or appointed by people but you, too, have been positioned by God for a higher purpose. You're there by God's power to serve God's purpose.

This is the challenge and obligation of every Christian serving in public office. But the purposes of God and the politics of people and party platforms are diametrically opposed. Most Christ-followers take the easy way out - finding it easier to capitulate and acquiesce rather than stand strong for what they believe. After all, that could mean the difference between job security and winning or losing at the ballot box. 

Joseph had no idea that the reason he mustered up enough courage to out himself as a Christ-follower by asking for the body of Jesus, had anything at all to do with the fulfillment of prophecy – God’s divine will.

As a Christ-follower, never believe you are where you are by ingenuity, chance, or because of a victorious campaign. You have been positioned by God to fulfill a divine purpose.

The role Joseph played in the crucifixion was purposed by God and prophesied through the Prophet Isaiah centuries before Joseph arrived on the scene. Jesus died a criminal and by law should have been buried like a criminal.

No way would a rich man (Matthew 27:57-58) but to fulfill the purposes of God, would have asked Pilate for the body of a criminal so he could bury him in a tomb hewn for himself!

But God had saved and positioned Joseph for this very purpose. Instead of being dressed and buried like a common criminal, Jesus’ body was dressed and treated as a rich man’s. Just as the Prophet Isaiah prophesied, “His grave was assigned with wicked men, Yet He was with a rich man in His death.” (Isaiah 53:9)  Joseph had been positioned by God for this very purpose.

As a Christ-follower, never believe you are where you are by ingenuity, chance, or because of a victorious campaign. You have been positioned by God to fulfill a divine purpose.

No matter how much more hostile the political environment becomes, nothing or no one can hinder what God has purposed to do in you and through you to accomplish His divine will.

Ask God what is His purpose for you in your current position. How might you make a difference and make things better if only you had the courage to speak up or act on what you know is God’s truth? Ask God for the courage to overcome cowardice and the desperate need to be liked and approved by people.

After all, at the end, when it's all said and done, only the approval and vote of One will matter. Every one of us whom He has positioned to fulfill His purposes (not campaign promises), will be held accountable.

This alone is enough for me to live and serve with a sense of purpose, not politics.

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