In America, I feel we are at an impasse. Christ and his words are at odds with the politics that many try to force on Him. His words and examples are being cast aside for the worship of freedom and self-reliance. It’s an amazing phenomenon to me that what we hear everyday as the politics for Christ have very little, nearly nothing to do with Christ himself or His teachings.
I have talked with many of the Christian Right. When I ask why they don’t support the government programs that help feed the hungry and heal the sick. I usually get the answer that they do want to support and help those people but no where in the Bible does it endorse being forced to do right. They should be able to have the option of taking care of the poor and needy. The stress that I find comes when the Christian Right wants this country to be a Christian nation. My family members want to run the country with Christian values, but not fiscally, only sexually. The Christian Right seems hell-bent on upholding the Christian value of one man and one woman marriage, of the restriction of birth control and lack of talk of sex in schools, but not on helping the poor or in the case of war. Every time my in-laws bring up the subject I ask them why they think we should be preoccupied with the words of Paul and completely neglect the words of Christ. The answer is always dispensational theology. Did you know that Christ wasn’t even talking to Christians?! According to dispensational theology, Paul was the messenger to the gentiles, and Christ was the minister to the Jews. It focuses on who each covenant was made as opposed to the gospel as a whole message to the followers of Christ/God.
It turns out that I was raised to believe this my whole life but it never stuck. I was raised to believe that the nation of Israel is the one God had promised in the Old Testament and that baptism is not necessary for salvation, but is a symbolic showing of the “baptism of the Holy Spirit.” I was raised to believe that Paul was the minister to us specifically. But in the end, I didn’t believe it. I didn’t know until recently that it’s dispensationalism that I don’t buy. I thought that I simply believed that Israel should be held accountable for their actions, that since Christ concerned the majority of His time on earth with the poor, sick and hungry I should too, and that well, the baptism thing still stuck.
It seems to me that the Christian Right is cutting out Christ. In fact, I think Christ would not only tell us to quit whining about being made to do what’s right, but to do it willingly and doubly what has been asked of you. Give above and beyond what you have been made to do. But then again, if Christ isn’t who we should be listening to, then oh well Paulians, let’s bury our money in the sand until our master comes back.