Last Sunday we celebrated the Feast of The Most Holy Trinity. We so often take this wonderful mystery for granted, especially the Holy Spirit. We remember it is a special way the coming of the Holy Spirit upon us as the dynamic presence of Jesus in our very person.
This Holy Spirit is to enlighten us to The Way of Jesus, to the values of Jesus, so that our lives will mirror the life of the compassionate, loving Jesus in our every moment of life.
To do this, we need to know the values of Jesus so that our values will be Jesus’ values. This also is true when it comes to politics. What is the chief political concern of the Bible? What did Jesus find in the First Testament that was then mirrored in the Second Testament?
In a recent article called “What is the Chief political Concern of the Bible?” The author, Tim Suttle, says that religion and politics are concerned with the organization of societies. However, most Christians start with politics and work backwards to find scriptural rationale for their political beliefs. So, most of us read the Bible “not to challenge our deeply held beliefs, but to affirm the decisions we’ve already made with their lives.”
Right now, Suttle says, we see where those who are to the right politically will say that Scripture has to do with smaller government, lower taxes, individual freedoms and gun rights. If you are on the left you will see Scripture promoting reproductive rights, religious pluralism, big government and labor unions. While doing this, we have left the chief political concerns of the Scripture “muted, distorted and curbed to fit the designs of those in power.”
What if we started with the Scriptures and then moved to politics? This means we will search the Scripture to find out “what the Bible tells us about how we are supposed to organize our common life together so that we can actually bear the image of God to all creation.” Suttle asked biblical scholars and theologians to respond to the question posed above. Here are a few of the responses:
• “I believe that the central political question is the management of public power in order that there should be an economically viable life for all members of the community. Thus justice is front and center and some texts, especially in Deuteronomy, are for the distribution of wealth in order that all may be vialbe. Obviously justice is marked by mercy, compassion and generosity. The purpose is to create a genuine neighborhood of all the neighbors.” (Walter Brueggemann, Old Testament Scholar)
• “God’s solidarity with the poor, oppressed, outcast and forgotten.” (Brian McLaren, Theologian)
• “The vision of the city of God is the goal. We work for it not by forcing it down from heaven to earth, but by treading in the footsteps of the crucified and resurrected Christ.” (Miroslav Volf, Theologian)
If we were to truly tread “in the footsteps of the crucified and resurrected Jesus,” I know that we would move forward toward a more just and peace-filled society where no one will have too much and no one will have too little.
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