I so wanted to do my own post on this subject, but I don’t think I’ll say anything remotely as interesting or compelling as what Tim Keller says in this sermon. I’ll just provide the link and give you the chance to listen to a fantastic sermon by an excellent preacher.

Arguing about Politics

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This entry was posted on Wednesday, July 28th, 2010 at 1:44 pm and is filed under Politics, preaching. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.
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28 Comments(+Add)

1   Christian P    http://www.churchvoices.com
July 28th, 2010 at 2:07 pm

He sounds way too much like Jeff Goldblum.

2   Jerry    http://www.dongoldfish.wordpress.com
July 28th, 2010 at 2:15 pm

uhhh….rea…lly?

3   Christian P    http://www.churchvoices.com
July 28th, 2010 at 2:22 pm

Well researched sermon with spot on conclusions.

4   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
July 28th, 2010 at 3:54 pm

Politics must have an elevated place in the spiritual life of all believers. It moves mountains and shines a Jesus light into the darkness.

5   Jerry    http://www.dongoldfish.wordpress.com
July 28th, 2010 at 11:13 pm

Well Rick, the way Keller talks about it, and presents it in his sermon, yes, they do.

6   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
July 29th, 2010 at 4:43 am

And Keller’s word is law. The English language, and the Bible, can say anything you desire it to. It is a shame Jesus did not practice what He preached and the disciples never got “involved” with politics as well. But it does scratch a carnal itch.

7   Joe    http://christianresearchnetwork.com/index.php?s=john+chisham
July 29th, 2010 at 8:48 am

Rick,
Does it matter that Jesus really didn’t have a political system like we do? I mean, Rome wasn’t exactly a participatory government. There is lots of things we do that Jesus didn’t do because he didn’t have access.

8   Pastorboy    http://crninfo.wordpress.com
July 29th, 2010 at 10:14 am

Fascinating how Judas the Galilean was so focused on bringing in the kingdom of God through social justice and revolt towards the government using politics…revolution…..

History never changes, Rob Bell.

9   Pastorboy    http://crninfo.wordpress.com
July 29th, 2010 at 10:27 am

Beautiful comment on voting for Ralph Nader…LOL But he lost me at NT Wright

10   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
July 29th, 2010 at 11:06 am

PB, your hatred for Rob Bell never ceases to amaze. How you can actually compare a man advocating a violent revolt against the government to Rob Bell, well, it boggles my mind. Bell has never said anything that even comes close to advocating violence as way of bringing the Kingdom of God.

Bell and Wright have also made it abundantly clear that we cannot bring the Kingdom through our own efforts. The work we do as Christians isn’t bringing the Kingdom – it’s simply the evidence of the Kingdom expanding. Unfortunately, it seems that you have chosen to turn a blind eye to the advance of the Kingdom.

11   Neil    
July 29th, 2010 at 12:05 pm

pastorboy,

re #8, if your comments were less knee-jerk-reactionary and more thought out… you would embarrass yourself less often.

12   Neil    
July 29th, 2010 at 12:06 pm

phil,

whether it is bell or wright or whoever… what they actually say does not matter to pastorboy.

13   Neil    
July 29th, 2010 at 12:26 pm

“…But he lost me at NT Wright” – pastorboy

why? b/c he quotes wright, or b/c of the content of the quote?

14   Neil    
July 29th, 2010 at 12:28 pm

wow rick, are you really dismissing the whole sermon as just carnal indulgence?

15   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
July 29th, 2010 at 2:56 pm

It was measured but came to the wrong conslusion. If anything those words of Jesus lean toward political abstinence and acquiescing to totalitarian opression. How anyone can see political participation from that teaching is beyond me.

As Joe observed there was no political participation so in that context Jesus was not prophetically teaching future political activism. I believe the carnaklity exists within the teaching and brainwashing we all have endured since birth and even in the church.

The government is the enemy of the church even when it appears church friendly.

PB _ You are on Rob Bell quaranteen.

16   Jerry    http://www.dongoldfish.wordpress.com
July 29th, 2010 at 4:01 pm

Rick,

And yet, ironically, you admire people like Shane Claiborne–who CLEARLY has no political agenda.

Strange, indeed.

jerry

17   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
July 29th, 2010 at 5:00 pm

I believe from your statement he does? The element of Claiborne’s lifstyle I admire has nothing to do with politics.

I guess the Amish would be closer to what I believe we as believers should be but with much more life within the culture. Humility, modesty, unity, and a measured lifestyle that reveals a rejection of hedonism and an observable difference within that same culture.

Politics breeds disunity, complaining, self serving energy, and many times human idolatry. Most politics have at their core a desire to improve or defend one’s own situation. That is not Christ.

18   chris    
July 29th, 2010 at 7:25 pm

#17 :)

19   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
July 29th, 2010 at 7:32 pm

If anything those words of Jesus lean toward political abstinence and acquiescing to totalitarian opression.

I suppose if that’s what you want them to say, and you don’t care anything about the context in which they were spoken…

20   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
July 29th, 2010 at 10:14 pm

I’m just trying to figure why the authorities around when Jesus was alive would crucify a man who had no political opinions or wasn’t seen as divisive.

The cross was the execution device reserved for insurrectionists and people who didn’t want to bow to Roman rule. Now Jesus didn’t lead a revolt, of course, but He certainly said many things that led people to believe He was thinking about it.

Saying Jesus was political and taking political stands doesn’t mean we have to sell out to the power brokers of the day (and I’ll grant that unfortunately it seems many Christians on all sides of political debates end up doing this). It really means that we are proclaiming Jesus as Lord over and against all powers that set themselves up against that fact.

21   Jerry    http://www.dongoldfish.wordpress.com
July 29th, 2010 at 10:22 pm

#17, I disagree. But if that’s your opinion, fine. You did listen to Keller’s sermon right?

PS–everything about Claiborne is political. Even his book ‘Jesus for President’. Everything he does is a political no matter how one defines politics.

22   Joe    http://christianresearchnetwork.com/index.php?s=john+chisham
July 29th, 2010 at 10:30 pm

#20 and #21
Great points all.

23   Brendt Waters    http://csaproductions.com/blog/
July 30th, 2010 at 2:15 am

Neil (#11), you sure about that?

24   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
July 30th, 2010 at 4:37 am

#21 – I listened to the entire sermon. He speaks well. I just disagree with his conclusions. I did not realize Claiborne was political.

As I said, politics is usually an attempt to defend or enhance your own situation and usually concerning money. Abortion is the exception but politics is still not the answer.

25   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
July 30th, 2010 at 11:22 am

I did not realize Claiborne was political.

Subtextual parallel: I’m sorry, Jimmy. I wasn’t aware that you had terminal leprosy…

26   neil    
July 30th, 2010 at 1:12 pm

Neil (#11), you sure about that?

yes. if he thought before he posted i think he would embarras himself less. this is am sure about.

will he? this i am less sure about.

27   Jerry    http://www.dongoldfish.wordpress.com
July 30th, 2010 at 1:26 pm

Rick,

I do not disagree that politics is not the answer. But that is not the point. The point is that Jesus did, indeed, have something political to say. His message was interpreted as a threat to politicians and religious leaders alike.

Where this makes a difference is in how we understand what he said about politics and how what we understand plays itself out in our every day lives. I do not think it will be the same for every person and I do not believe for a minute this means we need some sort of mixture of politics and Jesus in order to be successful disciples.

But I don’t think that is what Keller is saying either. Just because a person says, and agrees, that Jesus said something about politics doesn’t mean that person ought necessarily run for office.

But you might remember that Jesus was crucified precisely because someone interpreted what he said as a threat to the political machinations of the day.

What Keller said is that Jesus is a revolutionary revolutionary. I agree.

jerry

28   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
July 31st, 2010 at 4:53 am

” His message was interpreted as a threat to politicians and religious leaders alike.”

Yes, but mistakenly so. He came to bring life, but the politically minded misinterpreted Him as a threat to their power while others just as politically minded saw Him as their door to political power. Both were equally as wrong.

I agree that Jesus was THE revolution, but that revolution was not of this world. It may surely have implications here and now, but its substance and message was eternal, that when believed, will have many profound residual effects directly related to the message and not the effects themselves.

I submit that when believers get entangled with the affairs of this world, especially those designed to clean the outside of the cup, those residual effects are often muted and often mirror the “effects” exhibited by those who do not believe.

Politics is a man made effort to manipulate his surroundings through the strength of pressure, numbers, deceptive presentations, and massive amounts of money and complaining. It almost always leads to unwholesome alliances and always leads to an elevated view of human power and the significance of political usefulness in the kingdom of God.

The message of Jesus was not designed to change men’s minds through the force of other men’s minds. It is the agent through which men’s hearts can be changed, and in fact the most hollow and indeed dangerous scenario materializes when we are successful in changing men’s minds while their hearts remain unchanged. If the message of Jesus means anything as it pertains to the political machinations of men, it calls us to freedom from the bondage that is cleverly disguised as freedom.