Summary: Jesus is the outcast darting from tree to tree in the backs of our minds, questioning "Do love Me"? Keep my commandments."
Saints of God,
I have saved the last two studies in this series for last "what Jesus though of Politics and Religion" And if your one of those who read the last chapter of a mystery first to see the ending then I won’t disappoint you. Something you might want to share with your Congressional representatives or at least your current Pastor. In a nutshell its it is this, the Christian "right" needs to meet up with right "Christians" !
It seems that everyone has an opinion about where a Christian ought to stand on every issue. And yet I see few that stand in The footsteps of the Master. For in the grand scheme of things, not many comprehend that in the political area, Politics is merely adjusting society in the temporal order. As Richard Amour once said "Politics, it seems to me, for years, or all too long, has been concerned with right or left instead of right or wrong"!
Wrong View #1 - Government should compel religion.
Wrong View #2 - Religion should be excluded from government.
Jesus had a a two fold attitude toward Politics. One, was rather a blithe concern about things that we think about each day (What will happen tomorrow? Will we actually deal with the national debt- or will our "elected" leaders play up to the rich and devastate the average working man? Or will we "cut" the social programs such as medicare, Social security food for the poor etc... ) and severe about things of eternity. There are some "Christians" who claim that "god wants you to be rich- [Note: I use a small "g" here because the god they serve is not the God I serve]. On the matters of earthly provision, Jesus was matter of fact.
"Because of this I say to you, do not worry about your life--what you shall eat, or what you shall drink--nor about your body, what you shall put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap, nor do they gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth more than they? Which of you by worrying is able to add one cubit to his stature? So why do you worry about clothes? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they neither labor, nor spin; and yet I say to you, that not even Solomon in all his glory was arrayed like one of these. But if God thus clothes the grass of the field, which exists today, and tomorrow is cast into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? Therefore do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we put on?' "For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own affairs. Each day has enough trouble of its own. (Matthew 6:25-34)
But He was very exacting when it came to being prepared for heaven’s reign. Those who are not prepared for it are guests who lack wedding attire (Matthew 22;1-10 ), or those who neglect the invitation to a feast (Luke 14-24 ), or maidens who do not have oil for their lamps to greet the bridegroom ( Matthew 25: 3-13 ), or those who did not seek the narrow door (Luke 13:22-30) All such people were to be excluded from the Kingdom Of heaven.
2000 years have past Saint of God, and things haven’t changed much in this country (I am speaking to those of you here in the United states of America) and we are watching the Über rich take advantage of those with less that extreme wealth. In America more than 15% of families with children under 18 years of age live in poverty. 14.1 million workers are either unemployed or underemployed. And one political party (the Republicans ) blame the other political party (the Democrats). When in fact both can be blamed. Are you watching the debt controversy? The Dems don’t want to give away Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid for the poorest of our population which will effect grandma and little Susy and the Republicans aren’t willing to raise the taxes of the richest 1% or to do away with the Government subsidies to the bloated corporations who make scandalizing profits and send American Jobs overseas to make even more!
And so dear saints one might ask in the light of what we see around us what are the tests of entry into the Kingdom of Heaven or exclusion from it? They are very simple. One will not be ask whether one voted, whether one was a good citizen, or even whether one dealt justly. That is not enough! Do what is really ask and all else will follow.