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Editorial: The politics of Jesus Christ

Proclaiming Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior carries “profound political implications.”

Jeremie Beller, minister for the Wilshire Church of Christ.So stressed minister Jeremie Beller as he shared communion thoughts with the Wilshire Church of Christ in Oklahoma City before the Nov. 8 general election.

To which we say: Amen!

But let’s be clear: Beller wasn’t characterizing Jesus as a Republican or a Democratic. His kingdom is so much bigger than that, as the ministers and church leaders quoted in our Page 3 news story this month (“A holy cure for ‘post-election stress disorder’”) rightly emphasize.

Beller’s profound reflections while presiding at the Lord’s table resonate with us:

Herod understood the political implications; that’s why Jesus’ birth announcement was met by death squad — killing innocent children in Bethlehem.
Jewish political leaders understood the political implications. Seeing Jesus as a threat to the establishment, they did everything they could to get rid of him.

Pontius Pilate understood it. Wanting to protect his own position, he caved to Jewish pressure and ordered the death of Jesus.

Even the cross itself carried political implications. Roman crucifixion was reserved for anyone who threatened Roman power and rule. The Romans could care less that Jesus claimed to be the Jewish messiah, but if he claimed to be king, then something had to be done.

To confess that Jesus is Lord is to confess that no one else is: not Herod, not Pilate, not Caesar and not whoever wins (the U.S. election). It is a confession that our citizenship is in heaven. And his kingdom is unlike any kingdom before or after it.

It is a Kingdom defined by tearing down walls, not building them.

A Kingdom where access to power is not bought and sold but freely given.
A Kingdom that doesn’t exploit women, children and minorities for votes — but welcomes them and is even defined by childlike qualities.

It is a Kingdom ruled not “by the aggressive use of force” but by the amazing gift of grace.

To which we say, once again: Amen!

May we all strive to embrace the politics of Jesus.

Filed under: Editorial

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