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By Rev. Carrie Benton
Pastor, Mountain Lakes Presbyterian Church 

Jesus is Lord

Passages

 

September 30, 2021



36 “Therefore, let all Israel know beyond question that God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ.” 37 When the crowd heard this, they were deeply troubled. They said to Peter and the other apostles, “Brothers, what should we do?” (Acts 2:36-37)

While the global pandemic of COVID-19 has revealed the brokenness of so much of our society, one very ugly bit has emerged in my world: blatant Christian nationalism. I saw it in stars-and-stripes banners claiming Jesus as Lord, held by angry violent people storming the Capital on Jan. 6. That the man of sorrows wo...



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Reader Comments(2)

CarrieB writes:

Thank you for your response dwrowell. I agree that followers of Jesus need to be involved in politics. Many of Jesus' first followers had hoped he would come blazing into Jerusalem and take over by force. But that was not Jesus' way. Jesus was a very political figure, to be sure. It was why he was crucified. The people in power - both religious and of empire - were made nervous by his critiques about how they oppressed the poor and built walls around what is Holy. Read the whole Gospel of Luke. There you will discover that God's way, Jesus' way, is not the top-down, authoritarian way of empirical power. Rather, the way of Jesus is from below, a way of peace, hope, love and justice meant to permeate the whole like yeast. Thank you also for directing me to the wallbuildiers website. This is one Christian nationalist organization with which I was not as familiar. The leader of that organization, David Barton, has cherry-picked quotes from history and verses from the Bible (taken out of context) in order to construct the false narrative that the founding fathers had nothing but pure motives. But this is simply not true. Do some research on this person and you will find his agenda is self-serving and partisan-power-motivated. This is not to say that many of the founding fathers weren’t whole-heartedly following what they believed. It is to say that they were human, and fallible and misled about some things. We cannot simply white-wash history because it makes us uncomfortable. Barton, his wallbuilders foundation, and others like them have sadly succumbed to the very temptation of Satan we are warned about in Matthew 4 and Luke 4. This is the same temptation Satan whispered into Jesus' ear--all this power can be yours if you worship me... Satan uses scripture in order to carefully construct a narrative that seems true, but is actually full of half-truths (i.e. lies). This way of misusing scripture is a well-worn tactic and it tears at the very fabric of Jesus, who embodied and lived Truth. This is what Christian nationalism does. Good and well-meaning people of faith have believed these lies because owning up to the truth, confessing the national sins of our past, and choosing to live a repentant life of humility and reconciliation seems too hard. But confess and repent is what we must do. Facing the truth is painful. But if we are going to heal as a nation, we have to do this necessary work.

dwrowell writes:

I agree that the Church has lost its way and that we need to break the systems of power that have coopted our narrative, and that the Church needs to reclaim what it is meant to be. I strongly disagree with why we have lost our way, who we have lost it to, and what we are meant to be. The problem is that educational institutions are teaching a false history and narrative that is being passed on to Americans at large. The fact is irrefutable that we were founded as a Christian nation. See https://wallbuilders.com/founding-fathers-jesus-christianity-bible/ for the overwhelming evidence of that. Furthermore, the Lord wants the Church to be involved in civil government. If you disagree, argue with Proverbs 29:2. Jesus Himself taught us to pray, Your Kingdom come. You will be done on earth as it is in Heaven. His Kingdom legislates His will, on earth. God is King, Legislator and Judge. In 1 Peter 2:9 and Revelation 1:6, the Church is called a royal priesthood and kings and priests. We are meant to share in His authority (Eph. 2:6). That sounds like government to me. If you disagree, argue with those scriptures, not me. According to these and countless scriptures, we are to be part of the increase of His government and peace (that) shall never end (Isaiah 9:7) until His glory fills the earth (Psalm 72:19). Thank God, our Constitutional Republic was designed so that leaders are chosen for government based on who we, the people think is most capable of godly authority. The Church collectively should be involved in making those selections, which is how our government was founded. If we stay out of politics as many churches have taught, quote, a wicked man rules and the people will groan, end quote (instead of rejoicing). (Again, Proverbs 29:2) Many of the men who fought in the revolutionary war were Christian pastors. Most of the first states wrote into their constitutions that people had to be Christian to be in government. With this irrefutable history in mind, if there is a congregation or denomination that teaches otherwise and removes the United States flag from their meeting places, I would go somewhere else. Indeed, the church needs to reclaim what it is meant to be.

 
 
 
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