In my opinion our country is more divided now than any time in our history. Jesus said, “Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation and every city or house divided against itself will not stand.” (Matt. 12:2). The Apostle Paul wrote, “Now I plead with you brethren…that there be no divisions among you but that you be perfectly joined together in the same mind and the same judgment. For it has been declared to me…that there are contentions among you… Is Christ divided?”( ICor. 1:10-13) And in Gal. 5:13-15, “…through love serve one another. For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ But if you bite and devour one another, beware lest you be consumed by one another!”
The ancient Sages of Israel taught: “R. Johanan b. Torta said, Why was the first Temple destroyed? Because of idolatry, unchastity, and murder. But in the days of the second Temple, they were earnest about the Torah, and careful about tithes. Why then did the destruction come? Because they loved money, and hated one another. So learn that the hate of man for his fellow man is a sore sin before God, and weighs as heavily as idolatry, and unchastitiy and murder.” (T. Men. Xiii,22 / TJ Yoma1).
Jesus did not affiliate with a political party but rather said, “My kingdom is not of this world.” (John 18:36) He did not affiliate with a religious party. Although his teachings align more closely with the Pharisees, he was not a Pharisee, nor a Sadducee nor an Essene and especially not a Zealot. The closest of any group that Jesus could be identified with were the Hasidim, who were Sages who were very pious and known to be miracle workers, who stressed doing the will of God above all things, who were known to be teachers of the people, who were not attracted to wealth and who were independent and not an organized group and who sought the truth of God and the doing of His will.
All too often today I hear people say they can only vote democrat or republican or some third party. The world is as corrupt today as anytime in history. I really don’t see good options in the political arena. There is a lot of talk but not much action. There is a lot of hate speech but not much concern for the true wellbeing of the people. Politicians espouse the Scriptures or the Name of God to win our votes but all too seldom actually live out God’s will in their daily lives and policies. And all too many who declare that they are Christians join in the hateful rhetoric all the while never realizing that the right wing and the left wing belong to the same bird.
Our country and our world are filled with so much hate and division. This abomination will bring about our desolation. I am troubled that so many Christians tenaciously hold to one party or another regardless of their platforms and whether they agree with the teachings of Jesus. I truly don’t see the answer to our world’s problems in the political arena. It is possible that all that we are seeing is the working out of the end of days. As scripture says, “…in the last days perilous times will come. For men will be lovers of themselves, loves of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away.” (II Tim. 3:1-5) “ Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart for the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons.” (ITim. 4:1) I think we should ask ourselves are we on the LORD’s side or a political party’s side. Are we on the side of Love or Hate? If we are ‘born again” we are no longer Male nor Female, Jew nor Gentile, Black nor White, Yellow nor Red but we are all one in Christ.(Gal.3:28) All I see in the political arena is hate, division and discord and I see the people of God being drawn into this division and hatred because they don’t adequately know the word of God.
The LORD will return one day, “and the LORD shall be King over all the earth. In that day it shall be – The LORD is one and His name one.” (Zech.14:9) On that day, “Not everyone who says to Me, Lord, Lord, shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name? And then I will declare to them, I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness.”(Matt. 7:21-23) To know in Hebrew means to be intimate with. Are we intimate with Jesus? Are we doing His Fathers will? Or are we “giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons?” All the while thinking we are doing his will.
I want to be on the side of the LORD. I don’t care to be a democrat nor a republican, a Baptist nor a Methodist nor any other sect or party that we can name. I want to be a real Christian. I want to be on His side. Whose side are you on?
By: Clifton H. Payne, Jr