The New Religions: Politics
Politics is currently the most popular religion in America. Whether they admit it or not, millions of professing Christians bow down to this altar daily. They may reserve Sundays for the church buildings, but they obsess over the latest talking point and political scandal every other day of the week. They study political apologetics so that they can "convert" others to their side of the aisle. In their mind, if you don't believe like them, you are defective and need to be reconditioned.
Identity: For the Political worshiper, their identity is found in their political party and the platform that they espouse. But the Democratic Donkey and the Republican Elephant are just two sects of the same religion. (Like the Pharisees and the Sadducees.) They have devoted themselves to human solutions for spiritual problems. Their platforms are different, but their fanaticism is equally disturbing and divisive.
Scriptures: The holy scriptures of the Republicans are read daily at Fox News & their prophets speak 24 hours a day on talk radio. The Democrats devote themselves to daily messages from MSNBC, CNN & a constant flow of twitter rants. Each side having an agenda. Every pundit paid to divide. Eternal truth can not be found here.
Priests: Barack Obama, Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, Mitt Romney, Bernie Sanders, Ted Cruz, Nancy Pelosi, Rand Paul, the list goes on…
Prophets: Rush Limbaugh, Shawn Hannity, Tucker Carlson, Rachel Maddow, Don Lemmon...
Politically minded people hang on their every word and willfully ignore the evidence on both sides that discredits their prophet's statements. This is the definition of fanaticism. We want to be right, we want to have power and influence, and we think our party can take us there.
Proselytizing: Those devoted to the Political religion are probably the most active (though not the most effective) missionaries. They talk non-stop about politics, and they seek out political debates with the objective of conversion, but this seldom happens. People are so devoted to their political perspective that shifting ideologies is anathema to them.
Motto: We can fix the world's problems if you would just do it my way.
What do the scriptures say? Politics is not a new religion. It has been around since the beginning of civilization. In fact, Jesus directly encountered this ideology, and we have this encounter recorded in the Bible.
The Jewish leaders tried to trick Jesus by asking if people should pay taxes to Rome. Jesus saw through their trap. He asked them to hold up the coin, asked who's picture/name was on the coin. When they answered Caesar, Jesus told them to give to Caesar what belongs to caesar. But then he wisely redirected their thoughts to the eternal kingdom when he said give to God what belongs to God. That coin that these men held up to Jesus is long gone as is the Roman Empire, but His kingdom still stands, and it always will.
Ultimately, though politics are necessary, it is not worthy of our devotion. If politics were capable of solving the world's problems, Politicians would have done it by now. Politics can be a tool for freedom and social advancement. But historically, it seems that it causes as many problems as it solves.
I want to encourage you to take an honest look at your political beliefs. Are you giving to Caesar what belongs to caesar? Or are you putting your hope in a political party or ideology? I've gone down this path myself. Rather than giving me peace, freedom, and hope, it led to frustration, discouragement, and division. How about you?
Check back next week for another installment in the New Religions Series:
The New Religions: America
The New Religions: Gender
The New Religions: Race
The New Religions: Sexuality
But No One Compares to Jesus!
Also check out my book "Letters to an Apprentice" on Amazon