Jesus wasn’t a Democrat or a Republican. Jesus wasn’t a liberal or a conservative, which is good news for those of us who feel politically homeless.
Jesus was a radical who turned over the tables in the temple and insisted on change. Jesus was a traditionalist who insisted on holding people to a higher moral standard than the Ten Commandments. He embraced the outsider and talked about giving away all possessions. He supported paying taxes and prayer and fasting. He both shrugged his shoulder at rules around the Sabbath and worshiped at the temple on the Sabbath day.
Jesus Was a Progressive Conservative
As I wrestle through issues like how history should be taught in schools and how social policies should be changed to better support families and how/whether we should regulate abortion and marriage and sexuality and all the rest, I need to remember that Jesus, the embodiment of God’s love, is both conservative and progressive.
Political Engagement as a Jesus Follower
This means, as someone who follows Jesus, I can embrace both progressive and conservative ideas and ideals. This means I can be grateful for the good in both our political parties and critique the ways both parties can seek to serve themselves instead of the common good. This means a different type of political engagement than straight-up allegiance to a party line. This also means I get confused a lot and need people to help me discern the way of love when it is not obvious to me.
Love seeks to hold on to all the good that has come before. Love seeks to overturn all the bad. And love seeks to redeem all the brokenness.
So for all of us who seek to follow Jesus and feel politically homeless, perhaps that’s as it should be. We do, after all, follow the one who had no place to lay his head.
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