Though not at all my intent, I'm sure this post will anger more than a few. Truth has a way of doing that.
But I am more concerned about the weakening of our witness in the political arena than I am any name I could possibly be called or insults hurled my way. After all, I'm a big girl from Texas so I can take it.
The truth is 1) we can't legislate morality and 2) Jesus never saw the need to partner with Caesar.
No, I am not a "progressive Christian." Anything but. Actually, a redeemed and recovering right-wing, card-carrying NRA conservative Republican.
Only God could have torn me away from what had been a lifelong allegiance to a Republican Party I once knew but is no more; and, my love of all things political.
I am a graduate of one of the most conservative evangelical seminaries in the world, a former elected official, a career government person and a lifelong student of scripture and government.
It is the former, scripture, that finally won over my heart and its timeless principles are the foundation of my writing, speaking and training in both faith-based and secular environments.
The political system is a world system doing what world systems do. The problem, in my opinion, and the genesis of much of the conflict and division we are seeing in American culture today, is not that the political system is not doing its job; the church in Western culture isn't for the most part doing ours.
In fact, to break it down further, politics, not governing is antithetical to Christianity.
Jesus never saw the need to partner with Caesar. The Apostle Paul tells us in Romans 13 that God established government for good.
The Greek word for politics is politiki which means among other things enlightenment (not revelation by the Holy Spirit), intuition ( not faith), anxiety or timidity (God said he didn't give us this spirit).
Fear and anxiety are the two major drivers of politicians - the fear of and needing to please people which is a snare; and, anxiety in the tension brought about by the fear of losing favor and support of those they feel they need to retain office (i.e., donors and voters) - no matter that the same may not be in agreement.
It's the deal they strike to stay in office. The Holy Spirit speaks, but donors and dollars in many cases speak louder.
The Romans established the first representative form of government (i.e. a republic) that many countries throughout history, including America, would later copy.
It was the Roman form of representative government that the forefathers used to establish the representative government we now have in the United States. We are not a democracy but a Democratic Republic - the Roman model.
It's why majority does not rule in electing our president. The Electoral College is the system by which all are equally represented in our representative form of government.
Why say all of this? Because so many of us Christians have become so immersed in politiki (including once me) that we have forsaken God and the teachings of scripture.
We are to be disciples, not Democrats. Christ's representatives, not Republicans. Democrats and Republicans are world systems in a democratic republic. Disciples of Christ are representatives in governing. We can't change what we've adopted as our way to roll.
This is why there is such a clash and division. It's a clash of systems and Kingdoms. The Kingdom of God or light and the Kingdom of darkness.
How can two walk together unless they agree? We can't. We are going about this thing wrong and it's not Dorothy Burton saying it, it's written in the Book (Bible).
Jesus never saw the need to partner with Caesar.
It's not as if the men of God with outsized platforms don't know. They do. It's just that the lure of power, dominance, and control is too great. The world's way. What they have forgotten is apart from God, it all one day with the changing of the guard (political party sway) will change. It always has and always will.
Why? Because only the things of God will last. It's just a shame so many of us have forgotten this. "Render unto Caesar what belongs to Caesar. Render unto God what belongs to God." Jesus said this, I didn't.
I'm not saying we shouldn't be in the arena. We as Christians need and should absolutely be in politics. It's just that politiki should not be in us.
We can't fight with the same weapons and in the same suit of armor, partner with Caesar and claim Caesar's victories as our own. They are temporal. That's why it seems we take two steps forward but ten backward.
As Christians in politics, if we are going to be successful in impacting culture for Christ, we must grasp fully the words of the Apostle Paul in Ephesians 6:12 and begin governing this way - "For our struggle is not against flesh and blood (i.e., Democrats or Republicans) but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly (or high) places."
Render unto Caesar what belongs to Caesar. Render unto God what belongs to God. - Jesus.
We fight against one another based upon our party affiliation and their platforms in world politiki systems, which are rooted in everything of flesh and blood (i.e., race, ethnicity, gender, etc.) and wonder why we are not changing anything.
In fact, things are worsening and are becoming more divisive by the day.
It's not that world-systems aren't doing what they are supposed to do, we aren't. They will be successful in theirs and if we follow God's word, we will be successful in theirs and ours because it all belongs to God.
Where are his hands and feet? We have joined forces with the world, applauding party and walking away from, not toward God.
We walk away when we look the other way on wrong; worse, join in with it. If we are to be light in the darkness, we must light the entire room not just a corner of it.
We must shine the light as brightly on the sin of adultery as we do on the sin of abortion.
We must shine the light as brightly on the sin of racism as we do the celebration of freedom and liberty (not for all).
We must call sin what God calls sin and not be political and biblical cherry-pickers. The sins we disagree with but say nothing of those God abhors.
If we are to see a change in culture, Christians and Christian leaders are going to have to turn back to God and not just with our lips.
The world is weary of Christians that talk a good game and are confused when we say whose team we're on, but they see us suit out for the opposing team.
The question is asked in Amos 3:3 - "Can two walk together, except they be agreed?
The answer? No, we can't. And this is the problem in culture God will not help us solve, no matter how much we call on Him with our lips when He sees daily the actions of our heart.