OK, I’m sure the header for today’s post has folks confused already. Doesn’t God have a whole Host of angels with wings? Or am I saying God is against fried chicken wings? No, no. I just have something very important to impart to you. Something profound. Pay attention now.
Angels have two wings.
(Crickets chirp in the background. Many heads are scratched. A tumbleweed rolls by.)
Well, I could have confused you more by asking “What is the sound of one hand clapping.” Instead, I have stated the obvious. Angels don’t have one wing; they have a pair.
It’s my way of pointing out that God doesn’t do politics. With every passing year, it seems that people talk more and more about the left wing vs. the right wing. The liberals vs. the conservatives. Pro-choice vs. pro-life. And often they try to bring God or Jesus into the mix to support the validity of their views. But neither God nor His angels nor Jesus are left-wing or right-wing. They are both.
Or, far more likely, they are neither.
Liberal Christians who find various parts of the Bible a bit icky (like policies against homosexuality, the notion that men are at the top of the spiritual hierarchy, etc.) like to point out that Jesus was love and like to suggest that Christ just went and overturned all that God had ever said and made it all about love. This isn’t Woodstock in the ’60s, folks. Jesus was a very dutiful Jew. He affirmed what his Father had established. But he helped to show us that God was love, even in the midst of all the rules and the sometimes retributive nature of the Almighty.
Conservative Christians like to focus on the wrath and damnation a lot and point out that we are all a bunch of lousy sinners and that we need our human laws to reflect God’s laws. Which would be fine, I suppose, if everyone was Christian. Which they aren’t. Let’s remember that Jesus told us to render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s and unto God what is God’s. In other words, the Bible has always recognized that sometimes (in fact, most of the time) people are under human rule that doesn’t always reflect God’s ideals and doesn’t always call for the same things as God does. The population is pretty diverse religiously (not that you’d know if you just looked at the elected U.S. officials in national offices and a lot of them in state offices…they’re pretty white and Judeo-Christian overall), and that means that making the nation’s law be that of God’s law is both unlikely to occur and probably a bad idea.
God is not a conservative. He is God. He made the universe and He made the rules, all the way from the physics of how things exist and work to the rules of behavior we humans should follow. He is a parent, and the rules of good parents are not about politics but about protecting us and shaping us into the best that we can be.
Jesus is not a liberal. He is God’s faithful son. He included people that the traditional religious leaders rejected not because he was a left-wing hippie with miraculous powers but because God has always loved all of us. He just cannot save us from ourselves, because the essence of free will is that we choose to embrace God or to separate ourselves from Him. Jesus was a human with divine nature, and thus able to bridge the divide between God and man.
And lest we forget the third part of the organization, the Holy Spirit is not a moderate. (He also isn’t Casper the Friendly Ghost. Just because we say “Holy Ghost” doesn’t mean the Holy Spirit is running around saying “Boo!”) The Holy Spirit is the aspect of God that indwells within us and allows us to be reunited with His spirit as we become born again through Jesus the Christ. That may seem like some moderate-style politics, but since God ain’t part of any political party or ideological wing, and neither is Jesus, why would the Holy Spirit pick political sides?
I personally think politics would move a lot smoother if the left wing and right wing would both shut the hell up and start working on what’s important for the people instead of for their own agendas. And the Christian faith could do a lot better by simply making compassion the No. 1 priority and showing people the light that shines from people who truly live for God and have Jesus as their Lord and Savior. I cringe to see politics in the pulpit. I despise seeing religious leaders try to sway politicians to craft laws that will support religious policies. I know that a true separation of church and state isn’t possible. But I also know that a merging of them, while theoretically possible, is just plain wrong.
Jesus will return to establish a new kingdom and a new Heaven and Earth. When that happens, we won’t need government most likely. I sure hope not anyway.
But until that day, let’s keep some perspective as to when we need to be political and when we need to be spiritual, and let’s not pollute one with the other. And when we are political or when we take on activist roles, let’s remember that the Heavenly Host isn’t left wing or right wing. And frankly, we’d probably be better off if more of us didn’t try to be one or the other.
Anything with just one wing tends to fall out of the sky, you know. And that fall can be long and hard. Maybe it wouldn’t be so bad if the ideologues were the only ones getting hurt. But people who stray too far to one wing or the other have a tendency to survive a lot of their falls.
Sadly, it’s usually because their fall was cushioned by a whole lot of other people who were crushed beneath their ideological weight.
(Yes, I know I keep promising that follow-up to my “Tongues Tied” post about a week ago. How about tomorrow? I think. Maybe.)