A message that I preached after I lost my grandfather…
Theology has proven itself to be systematic, linear, racist, one-sided and sexist in many categories. Any attempt to introduce an abstract presentation is abruptly meet with resistance from the Reformed World. In many cases to adopt a particular theological stance means that you must divorce yourself from another as minor contradiction will definitely become highlighted argumentative points. This type of dogmatism is a necessary evil in the minds of many as religious piety is substituted for spiritual discipline.
Theology carved from such a vein lends itself to branding more than providing the community with organizational change. Theology developed in a box with intellectual droppings only serves for good debate but has no practical application is useless. There must be a cultural connection that expands the humanity of all but embraces an ethic of truth. Theology that pursues justice but never denigrates those who sit upon the seat of injustice. A progressive theological approach that is ignited by a prophetic perspective to catalyze change.
I am the first to admit that I am far from being well informed in politics. But as I get older and wiser, I start to understand that there is this theo-political tension that engulfs the life of the believers. There is this resounding intent that God’s sovereignty aligns itself with “the least of these”-in certain cultural containers this collectively embodies different people groups.
The theo-political tension is the reflective of a theological perspective that can consistently agree with a political stance. A theo-political tension is a contemplative, prophetic wrestle to understand how God intersects in the establishing of public policy. This is highly problematic if not impossible in the life of a believer. One is forced to examine either their theology or the politic in order to gather a consensus for the vote. This is a left of center approach that takes seriously the plight of “the least of these.”
God is the consistent factor but the disturbed variable being the person who has to participate in the constant wrestling.The tension is a result of misappropriated expectations of faith. We disguise the tension in our mistrust of the political figure when in actuality we have a mistrust of God’s sovereignty. (Now this does not excuse one from practically engaging in the political process but it gives a defining example of who is really in charge.) “Where is God in the political scene” is not an exact science but a revolutionary act of trust. It is the theo (God) that gives credence to the political that allows us to deem it with any value. The tension invents itself when the political operates with a false premise that it can influence the direction of the theo.
The end result of the theo-political tension is one that ultimately leads you to divorce from the issue that public policy is the answer. Yes, we should be involved in the political process but due to the nature of our faith, we are not consumed by the outcome, if it runs opposite of our cultural narrative. Engagement in the process actually displays our level of faith as Pastor Wendell Jones shared, “We still have a duty to be divinely positioned to influence the world/policy for God.”
We do not find solace in the narrative but in the narrator. The narrator has the power to re-shape the narrative in accordance to his plan. The theo-political tension should lead us to a more vibrant pursuit and trust in God, as the process unpacks the intentions of the political machine.