I am very troubled by the Christians of different political parties today treat each other with contempt and dismissiveness. I see this division as a massive forgetting of our shared love for and loyalty to Jesus. Here are 30 Theses that share my view for how our allegiance to Jesus should shape our political zeal. I offer them up for discussion and debate.
1. Jesus Christ is the promised child to be born and son to be given (Isaiah 9:6). We owe him our allegiance.
2. Jesus’ kingdom is spiritual. It is not a physical place or nation or ethnicity. Our allegiance to him is loving him with all of our mind, soul, heart and strength and obedience to his commands.
3. The citizens of Jesus’ kingdom are scattered amidst the nations, tribes, peoples, languages and political parties of the world. We are united to one another by our faith in Jesus, love for Jesus, and allegiance to Him and His Kingdom.
4.Jesus’ kingdom is open and offered to all who will enter by faith in Him, live a life of repentance, and reorder all their loves beneath their first love for Him.
5. Jesus’ kingdom expands in his citizens as their love for Him grows (Isaiah 9:7), as their mind more fully grasp the joy of his gospel, as their will is more devoted to His commands, as their lifestyle moves more in line with His values, as their habits more rigorously reflect His Spirit’s guiding, and as their other allegiances become secondary to their allegiance to Christ the King.
6. Jesus’ kingdom also expands as people accept the verdict of His Word that they are sinners and the offer of grace and pardon through His cross. Baptism is the mark of their new identity as citizens of Christ’s kingdom and allegiance to Christ and his kingdom.
7. For the citizens of Christ’s kingdom, all of their other loyalties and allegiances – to family, race, tribe, nation, political party and political ideology – are trumped by our allegiance to Him and his kingdom.
8. For the citizens of Christ’s kingdom, our political zeal for a party and patriotism for a nation must never be more passionate or devoted than our zeal for Christ and his kingdom.
9. For the citizens of Christ’s kingdom, neither political zeal nor patriotism should ever move us to despise, hold in contempt or divide us from other citizens of Christ’s kingdom with whom we share the deepest unity in our love for Christ and loyalty to his kingdom. Our political differences and party allegiances are minor loves compared to our major Love and Loyalty to him.
10. When citizens in Christ’s kingdom despise each other, hold each other in contempt, or are divided from each other, it is because our love for Christ and allegiance to his kingdom is diminished by forgetting the Bible’s doctrine of Christ and his kingdom.
11. The Bible says that there are two kingdoms both ruled by personal beings: the Kingdom of God and the Kingdom of Satan. All sons and daughters of Adam and Eve bear the image of God their creator but are born into the Kingdom of Satan, the dominion of darkness.
12. God has made his invisible attributes, his eternal power and divine nature, known to the citizens of the Kingdom of Satan in creation and in their conscience, yet they suppress this truth and love and serve created things rather than the Creator.
13. We are not able to free ourselves from our love for created things over the Creator. Our own desires, loves, and will enslave us to things that lead to death. Apart from God’s rescue we are lost sinners, doomed to physical death and the spiritual judgment of separation from God’s holy presence.
14. God sent his Son to rescue us from the dominion of Satan and bring us into the kingdom of God. Through his incarnation, obedience life, sacrificial death, resurrection, ascension and gift of the Spirit, Christ has made a universal way open for all the citizens of the Kingdom of Satan to enter the Kingdom of God: acceptance of the verdict of God that we are sinners and faith in Jesus’ person and finished work for us as Savior.
15. Being a citizen of the Kingdom of Satan does not mean that one is a bad person. Nor does being a citizen of the Kingdom of God mean that one is a good person. Citizenship in those kingdoms is marked by allegiance, by what one loves.
16. The citizen of the Kingdom of God loves Jesus and swears allegiance to Jesus, seeing the ugliness of their soul and need of a Savior. The citizen of the Kingdom of Satan loves themselves or some other created thing rather than Christ, not seeing their ugliness of soul and need of a Savior.
17. What distinguishes the citizen of the Kingdom of God from the citizen of the Kingdom of darkness is the confession of their ugliness of heart: “The line separating good and evil passes not through states, nor between classes, nor between parties either – but right through every human heart – through all human hearts.” (Alexander Solzenitsyn)
18. Another distinction is that the citizen of the Kingdom of God sees the beauty of Christ and confesses that Christ alone is righteous. The citizen of the Kingdom of God has even learned to repent of their best deeds seeing them as filthy garments because they tempt their heart to rely on self and have pride in their record. They glory only in Jesus’ Christ and his righteousness. For if righteousness could come from our good works, Christ died in vain.
19. This faith in Christ, the Promised Savior and the Crucified King, crushes human pride which is the great enemy of peace on earth. All citizens of the Kingdom of God did nothing to deserve their status. They are saved by God’s grace, his action, his love, his work and not their own merits.
20. Citizens of the Kingdom of Christ are the only nation or society that is not based on geography, or ethnicity, or language but founded on and united by grace.
21. The reign of Christ in one’s heart does not erase personal, ethnic, cultural, and national differences. Christ exalts the good and heals and redeems the bad, but unites all his citizens through a shared love of and loyalty to Him.
22. The reign of Satan in one’s heart erases personal, ethnic, cultural and national differences into the collective, the mass and group think. Or it exalts those differences causing alienation and divides. Collectivism and Division are both the work of the Devil.
23. Only in submission to Christ the King is a person set free to be fully who they are made to be for God’s glory.
24. Our self-rule is in opposition to Christ the King and stands against the advance of the Kingdom of God.
25. Important as our ethnic, cultural, national and political differences are, there can be no peace until we share an ultimate love and allegiance. By faith in Christ, the Christian participates in peace on earth.
26. When Christians treat other Christians as the enemy for their different political ideology or political allegiances, when we hold each other in contempt for our views, when we act towards each other with dismissiveness, we demonstrate not the reign of Christ but the reign of Satan. Satan always divides.
27. Christians may differ in ethnic and national identity, political ideology, political allegiances, but they can never differ in their ultimate love for and allegiance to Jesus Christ, their loyalty to his kingdom, and their shared identity as citizens of the kingdom of God.
28. To exalt any other political leader or party over Christ is to leave the faith.
29. Christian’s love for Christ and allegiance to Christ, their biblical doctrine of the sinfulness of the human heart, and their hope in Christ’s coming Kingdom, allows them to differentiate themselves towards themselves and their political party and political zeal.
30. Christians are able to discern good in other political parties and bad in their own. Their zeal for their political party and ideology never outpaces their zeal for Christ and His kingdom.
This post was originally written on December 20, 2020. Reposted here on January 18, 2021, Martin Luther King Jr. Day.