by Karla Perry
Conservativism nor Liberalism is the Gospel. Neither are they even a part of the Gospel. They are political philosophies. The former advocates going back to what was, to tradition. Some nations have nothing to go back to. Conservatives may align with some biblical truths, but it is in those specific junctures where it may line up. We can’t export conservativism. But we can export the Gospel. It is important that we do not confuse the two. When our politics become our Gospel, we get ugly.
Liberalism or Progressivism, also may at certain junctures align with some biblical truths, but it is not the Gospel. We cannot progress when we haven’t a goal to which we are drawing closer. The nations of the world are not aiming for the same goal. We cannot give them progressivism.
We often confuse political parties with God’s Kingdom. Jesus didn’t ask us to have our political party occupy until He comes. Having our political party of choice in office does not mean we have accomplished God’s work, and not having our preference in office does not mean we have failed at His work. Here I am using “our” to indicate the readers personal preference in political parties, and not as a general “our” for the Body of Christ. The Body of Christ is not a political party.
Jesus asked us, the whole Body of Christ, to occupy until He comes. Each believer has a responsibility to occupy whatever land or position God has given each of us. Our job is not filled by who fills the Oval Office. Our job is filled by each and everyone of us doing the work of the Kingdom. This time “our” is most certainly the Body of Christ. Here we have no contention. Here we have no political argument. Here, we have our relationship with Jesus, and living that out in the real world in a real way.
If members of this Body of Christ are called to politics, that real way will be lived out in some form of government. However, this is different than politicizing our faith. Sometimes we twist the two so much that we become religious fanatics about a particular political ideology.
Our occupation is not going to stop when Jesus comes. It will culminate in full maturity when He comes. If we think of “until” as something that ends when He comes, we will not have a practical reason to establish a Kingdom that is just going to vanish when Jesus returns. We are building a dwelling place for Him to inhabit, not a shelter for us to abandon. He will come to dwell among us as well as within us. God is building a Kingdom that cannot be shaken. It is all that is not the Kingdom that will be shaken. Thus, it is important that our building is not constructed with ideologies that are not the Gospel of the Kingdom.
Occupation isn’t holding the fort from the world, it’s building the fort for the world and in the world. We are not occupying when our light remains hidden in separate sub-culture environments where the world does not traverse. We often become too preoccupied with the world, to be occupiers in the world. The world is not keeping us out, we are doing that on our own. What we see as our persecution is their rejection of what they believe we are selling. We come with a message that requires their cooperation instead of love which causes their transformation. They will push back hard against the message we are selling, but they will welcome the love we are serving.
The goal is not to keep the world out, but to cause it to come running into Jesus. When we occupy as servants instead of as masters we create a fort or a nation the world wants to live in. Then we will see true reformation.
The question is: are we willing to exchange political theory for the Kingdom? The Kingdom is righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit. The Kingdom is that which we seek for first, which adds all other things to us. The Kingdom is not OF this world, it is not of conservativism, it is not of liberalism, but it is FOR this world. It is for good government. It is for good roads. It is for families, cities, and nations. It is a worthy exchange and its return on investment is all these things being added unto us on earth as it is in heaven.
Karla Perry, is a worldview revitalizer and the author of Back to the Future: Rebuilding America’s Stability. She is an avid writer with a penetrating and thought-provoking style. Karla helps people develop healthy world views through kingdom-based thinking. Her articles are published regularly in The MorningStar Journal and through The Oak Initiative. Karla lives with her husband, Joseph, in Virginia Beach, VA, where they lead Remnant Ministries, a member of the MorningStar Fellowship of Churches. You can find more of Karla’s work at www.karlaperry.com.