We Are Pre-Political.

by | Nov 2, 2020 | Culture, Current Events | 0 comments

With the way things have been for most of 2020, you could be forgiven for thinking that politics have totally taken over the world. But followers of Jesus should push back on this sentiment.

Is everything in life political?

People will be voting tomorrow. That, of course, is political.

Lord willing, Christians will be meeting on Sunday. Don’t let anyone fool you: That is not political.

The way we meet, what we do when we meet—these things are not political.

Do they have political implications? Of course. The mere existence of a people who see themselves as subjects of a King who’s coming soon to rule the world impacts the reality, even the political reality, of the places where it exists. The presence of the family of God challenges every status quo, from recent cultural fads to ancient traditions.

But today, we in America are suffering from the idea that everything in all of life is political in the narrow, American sense—that anything that happens, that everything people do, is a statement about who those people want to win the 2020 election. But this is false, because many things in life are not political.

To illustrate the point, imagine a situation in which the government, or big tech, or the news media were to declare that it is medically unsafe for me to hug my wife in my own home. If I choose to defy their orders, my decision is not political. And this is because my marriage is not a political statement. The fact is, marriage pre-dates government. It is a more fundamental relationship than my relationship to the state. Government has nothing to do with that covenant, and it has no jurisdiction over it. You know this, because anyone who understands marriage would disobey the government if it told them to break their marriage vows. And so, to act in accordance with my marriage vows is not political, no matter who claims otherwise.

This is true for every human relationship—every blood tie, and even every neighbor relationship. It is God who said, “Love your neighbor as yourself,” not human government. The bonds of friendship, brotherhood and community are pre-political. At best, politics and government rest on them and are supported by those bonds. At worst, politics and government oppose those bonds and seek to break them down and control them. Either way, those bonds are not political—not in the American sense of Democrats and Republicans and Congress and the Supreme Court and Trump and Biden. Not at all.

Do Christians forget this sometimes? Possibly. Do Christians get narrowly political? Sure, sometimes. But we should never fall into the temptation of believing the lie that to obey Christ can ever be something as small as an indorsement of a candidate for office. The bonds of Christians in church, of the family of God in a local gathering, are pre-political and government-transcending—they stand outside of politics’ reach, and are not judged by political pronouncements.

Christ is Lord. His Kingdom will still be young when America is an unread footnote in the books of heaven. To obey him is to obey the One who will not be voted in or out. The life of a believer and the shared life of believers together in community are not statements about the desire for any man or woman to occupy the Whitehouse.

They are, however, a statement about our desire for the King to come and occupy his throne.