“Jesus would be a liberal!”
“Jesus would definitely be a conservative!”
“Jesus would be a card-carrying Democrat!”
“Jesus would support the Republican Party!”
“Jesus would be an atheist!” (I’ve actually heard this and it makes me wonder if we aren’t on the slippery slope to insanity.)
Raise your hand if you’ve heard these phrases. (I’m raising my hand) You know, the first time I heard someone say that Jesus would be a liberal, I shook my head and thought, “No, no, He would definitely be a conservative. This person doesn’t know what they are talking about!” Shame on me. Shame on all of us.
By saying this, I have reduced the Savior of the world to a mere ideological political party member in order to make myself feel good about my belief system. We have placed Jesus in the middle of us all and we are playing tug-of-war with Him like a bunch of elementary school kids.
“No, He’s mine!”
Both sides are wrong. On the one hand, I’m glad that people want Jesus on their side. Yet, we are missing His message and who He is completely when we participate in this silly notion that Jesus would theoretically register to vote as Democrat or a Republican if He were present in bodily form right now. Jesus did not come to Earth to pick a political party to stand behind. He came to be the Redeemer of the world and to show us how to love God and each other. Those, in fact, were His two greatest commandments: 1. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and soul and 2. Love your neighbor as yourself. Both political parties see themselves as the more compassionate, the more loving. When, in fact, we both fail miserably at the second commandment because we spend ample amount of time bickering and loathing the other side.
But even worse than that is that we are completely and utterly using God to push our agenda. This is most disturbing. If we are using God, then we aren’t loving Him. If we aren’t loving God, then it would be difficult to love His people. Be very wary of people using God. I’m not saying that it’s wrong to invoke God’s name, but it is wrong to co-opt God in order to push your political ideologies.
Now, I can’t speak for Jesus, but I’m pretty confident that if He were physically present to interview and someone asked Him what political party He would be apart of He would not commit to either. Why? Because Jesus is above our 19th-century political parties. We cannot fit Him into a neat little box and slap a label on Him. Jesus is called many things, but Democrat or Republican is not one of them. He is perfection and let me tell you friends, our political parties are far, FAR from perfect. They are flawed. They are often misguided. A lot of times they have good intentions, but both sides fall short of anything Jesus would subscribe to. To be clear, though, He would not subscribe to anything we create. The Almighty is not going to purchase a liberal bumper sticker or a conservative t-shirt and immerse Himself in our American political parties. In the grand scheme of things, they mean nothing. They are somewhat necessary here on Earth for us as a guide for who to vote for, but unfortunately, the parties have become our measuring stick. We consult our political parties before we consult Jesus. Whatever issue comes up, we toss aside wisdom and prudence and simply cow-tow to the party line. This doesn’t allow us to think about what is truly right and just.
My brother has grown a great deal in his spiritual life over the past several years. While I may be the know-it-all older sister most of the time, I do value his thoughts and opinions. Awhile back, we were having a conversation about politics and he said that he felt that both sides were wrong on several issues. He said that he wanted to make sure that he was thinking through things thoroughly before just going along with the political party he most identifies with. I took what he said and really started thinking it over. I realized that for most of my adult life when faced with how I feel about an issue, I rarely, if ever, consulted Jesus. My brother had mentioned that he was a Christian first, not a Republican or a Democrat. And this is the point I’m trying to make: To be a Christian means standing apart from political labels. Jesus stands apart from these things. He is not a capitalist, a socialist, a conservative, or liberal. He is all good, all loving, all powerful, and all knowing.
We need to stop trying to pit Jesus against the side with which we disagree. Jesus is for EVERYONE. He came to save all souls. Under what authority do we have to say what Jesus would be? Jesus made it very clear that His “kingdom was not of this world.” If we take Him at His word, then if would make sense that He would not select to belong to one party or the other. A very wise man once said, “Sir, my concern is not whether God is on our side; my greatest concern is to be on God’s side, for God is always right.” I think we would do well to follow President Lincoln’s advice.