Minus the Wings Please

Christians cannot be completely following the bible and be fully left wing or right wing. Read that again. Okay, so what I mean is that Christians can be left leaning or right leaning, but they most certainly cannot completely adopt all left wing or right wing views. To that you may ask, why not? And you may be asking that as a passionate conservative Christian or a die-hard liberal Christian, but let me answer your question together and then split off into explanations for both wings:

In short, both political worldviews are secular.

Secular meaning that they hold their ideas in the absence of God or with a desire for the absence of God. Yes, they may seem to represent biblical principles, but they cannot wholly represent them as they cherry-pick biblical principles and don’t take the God that comes with them.

Right wing politics is in love with the preservation of values.

This is seen as a positive thing by right-wing Christians as it does preserve somewhat “Godly” values, but its methodology is not Godly. We see a rather controlling and forceful attitude to Godly values rather than actually doing the work it takes to sustain these values. In this way, they are zealous but not loving. And if a Christian does tons of typically Christian stuff but has no love, they are nothing (1 Corinthians 13:1-3). For example, Christians taking a biblical stance are pro-life and we see some pro-lifers aggressively protesting outside of abortion clinics, but not actually going into abortion clinics, orphanages or hospitals offering to cover medical bills, expenses or any sort of support that would offer the woman an alternative to abortion. In the case of abortion to deal with the trauma of rape we should be taking this approach but be respectful of the decision the victim makes. In fact, we first must be willing to deal better with the sexual abuse scandals within the four walls of the church before we even talk about rape victims out there in the world, because they won’t want assistance from people who overlook their pain. There is this assumption within the church that we can’t address both our own problems and the problems of others, but it’s so essential that we do both to effectively solve both. We can’t just mind our own business and think about ourselves, but we also can’t be in everyone else’s business if we neglect our own faults. Jesus in Matthew 7:3-5 addresses introspective problem solving and it’s importance in extrospective issues:

“Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.

You can also see this with Christians that support conversion therapy; they are obsessed with enforcing heterosexuality to the point of resorting to ungodly means (e.g. forcing homosexuals to watch heterosexual porn and causing individuals psychological trauma) rather than understanding that God is more concerned first and foremost with having a person’s heart and them walking in spirit so that He can guide them into sexual purity (don’t forget that sexual purity is also required of heterosexual Christians). When we are in the realm of the flesh we cannot please God (Romans 8:8), so a person must first accept Jesus in their heart as their Lord and Saviour to even receive the Spirit that brings about the change that pleases God (and that change may not even look like becoming straight). In fact, let’s talk about how the implications of Romans 8:8 means that God only expects sexual purity and other forms of devotion to Him from Christians, meaning only those who have decided to follow Him are expected to do these things. Not only is it futile for unbelievers, but it is what makes us distinct as we are known by our fruits (actions). There is more of a concern in total right wing politics with controlling people to make them look like Godly people than there is a concern with helping them to see God clearly and become true people of God. And quite frankly, it’s all religiosity.

On top of approaching situations forcefully without providing concrete solutions, those who wholly adopt this worldview have desensitised themselves to the brokenness of our world, rather than allowing themselves to be moved into Godly service by it. In fact, they are sometimes driven by hatred or internalised fears of groups to act in the way that they do. Christians are called to be the light of the world, but those who follow biblical principles without graceful and Godly execution are more like a dirty flame. The nature of absolute right wing politics is that it doesn’t reflect God well, and the obsession with obstructing change is unhealthy and idol worship as it puts God’s values above God himself. If you read Thomas Hobbes’ Leviathan, you see how giving a human being (who does not have God’s goodness) Godly authority over others in the absence of God quickly becomes dictatorship, and I think that is because only God has the adequate character to take up such authority.

The hard truth is that the left wing loves change and loves “loving” people, but in reality, it’s still no better than the right.

One thing I can commend the left on is that it does well in social justice. There is a genuine care for people in left wing politics. However, it’s still a very anti-God social justice and the implications of that aren’t particularly good for the leftist Christian. Marx describes religion to be a “plague”, whilst leftist critical thinkers like Foucault hold to the narrative that truth is subjective and relative and that we have regimes of it, which definitely pushes the biblical narrative of social justice out of the picture. The two greatest commandments are to love God with our hearts, souls, minds and strength and to love others as we love ourselves (Matthew 22:36-40), but the absence of God from the picture leads to the exclusive pleasing of self and others, regardless of what God thinks.

So what are we left with? Self-righteousness. We do good, people praise us, we praise ourselves and the process continues. We turn away from God because we can construct a “good” world for ourselves, right? But when we take God out of the picture, we get people believing that they can be “good” all by themselves, and those people heap a lot of judgement and abuse upon those who fall below the “objectively good” leftist standards. Despite the challenge that Jesus sets us in Matthew 5:43-47 to love and pray for our enemies and those that we don’t consider to be our brothers (alike us), we put ourselves on a pedestal and make those who have not yet learned to be as “loving” and “open” as we are intellectually inferior. In short, the left is only capable of loving those that think like them. This leads to doxxing people, threatening to harm people with different opinions and other forms of violently purging non-leftist perspectives, even if they aren’t right wing perspectives. But the left is “loving”, right?

It’s already pretty bad as is, but if left unchecked, this could easily go from self-righteousness to self-worship. As a Christian, total left wing politics leads us to heap up recognition for ourselves, when we know deep down that all praise, all glory and all honour belongs to our God and nobody else. And even in glorifying God He lovingly does recognise our toil, singing over us and showing favour to us, but he extends this favour as He so pleases. A biblically-guided Christian does good deeds not to be recognised, but they do good deeds so that people can glorify their Father who is in Heaven (Matthew 5:16). Our deeds should show that we are trying to take up the nature that God already has, and point people to Him in awe and wonder of His character.

Overall, I as a bible-believing Christian refuse to devote myself to either political side.

I may dip into what is seen as “left” and “right” with my political beliefs, but they have no hold over me or any other completely bible-believing Christians. I am a representative of God above all things, so neither side represents me, and I owe my devotion to none other than God. Neither side allows me to point people to God, but to religiosity and self-righteousness, so I will be guided solely by the word of God and let people watch me from the wings. And I know that in being distinct in the way that I think and act, they will see my God all the more clearly.

-Pepper

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