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Good Question

February 5th, 2016 by Stephen Bauman

Since God figured so prominently in the Iowa caucuses, Jimmy Kimmel thought it might be interesting to put into the mouth of Jesus several things the candidates actually said. Check it out.

As hard as the candidates try, God will not be found a standard-bearer of any political party. That’s pretty clear. On the other hand, as the clip cleverly reveals, God’s purposes challenge the mind-numbing banality of much of our political discourse shrouded in pandering pieties reduced to the least-common-denominator. We are surely called to a higher-functioning politics that grapple with profound human dilemmas involving matters of justice, mercy and the common good.

Remember that Jesus was condemned to death for treason, as an enemy of the state—in other words, for political reasons. The Kingdom of God drew his first allegiance, and that ran afoul of the competing political camps of first century Palestine. Those following his lead today inevitably discover that his ways continue to challenge the status quo. And, true enough, thoughtful, faithful Christians can disagree about how to arrive at good ends that reflect the good news Jesus advanced. On the other hand, sometimes clarity about these good ends favors a course of action.

For instance, it was for these good ends that early Methodists were committed abolitionists, including John Wesley. That had clear political ramifications that we are still reeling from today. Slavery was part of the status quo in Wesley’s time. Though a majority of Christians then denied it, we now see clearly that one cannot stand with Jesus and simultaneously find slavery an acceptable institution.

Giving this a moment’s consideration inspires this question: What do we Christians find acceptable today that future generations will find as morally reprehensible as slavery? Thoughts?

The Reverend Dr. Stephen Bauman

Stephen Bauman

Rev. Dr. Stephen P. Bauman is the Senior Minister at Christ Church.