If only politicians were what they claimed to be

IT would be great if the politicians who claim to trust in Jesus did just that.
It would be a change for the better if leaders quoted the logic of Jesus — “don’t lay up treasures on Earth” and “blessed are the peacemakers” and “turn the other cheek”. But don’t hold your breath.
Would the man from Nazareth have rushed into unjustified war? Or promoted tax breaks for the rich at the expense of the poor? Or abandoned the starving? Would he have been homophobic or bigoted?
Clearly not. Jesus was for the poor and afflicted. He spread the message of hope, tolerance and inclusion.
He encouraged his followers to pour their lives out for others; to engage this world and transform it.
In the end, he said, spiritual choices mean a life is either lost or given to the world.
Soren Kierkegaard once said that what Jesus wants is followers not admirers, and he’s right.
The historical Jesus was popular for a while. But he was killed because he did not meet the popular expectations at the time of what a Messiah should be.
Has anything really changed?

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43 thoughts on “If only politicians were what they claimed to be

  1. Well a Politician can’t gather up treasures – it’s not their money.

    Agreed, some politicians are too easy with war as they are not on the frontlines.

    A tax break for the rich is at the expense of the poor? Isn’t that that taking from the pie argument that keeps being bandied around. The pie doesn’t stay the same size.

    If a person was starving would we really wait on the Govt. to take care of them? What a heartless community that would be. Wouldn’t it be better to feed them ourselves.

    Is ruling against same sex marriage homophobic? This would be an instance where a politician would have influence in a homosexual persons life as apart from the general population. Would it be bigoted for a politician to expect people new to the country e.g. to learn the language ? It depends on what way a Politician would be considered to be bigoted.

    Politicians can only act on our behalf to the extent that we expect them to.

    Should I expect the Govt. to take care of my parents for me via other people’s taxes? Or should I sacrifice a small amount of time and money in the grand scheme of things when my rewards on a personal level will outweigh that of the impersonal govt. interference. I doubt very much my heart will be as full if it didn’t cost me in terms of time and effort. In return my family love and take care of me. The Govt. can’t do that for me.

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    • Rick Joyner says,

      “We should not be surprised by how those who do not know the Lord put their trust in government, who see the government as the answer to their problems. It is all they have to trust in. Even so, governments are failing and will continue to fail.

      Because no human government is capable of bearing the weight of such trust, neither should we be surprised by the rising lawlessness that arises when people learn that their government cannot be trusted.

      At our Hurricane Katrina relief base, we witnessed the helplessness of those who were accustomed to having the government provide for their needs. This helplessness gave way to gripping fear, and then the fear quickly turned into an insane rage, to the point that they even began to shoot at their rescuers.

      We became engaged in the Katrina relief because I received a word from the Lord that we needed to experience what was happening there in order to understand the times. We got an education very fast. In that situation you could look at any group and quickly detect which ones worked for a living and which ones depended on the government. The difference was striking.

      Those who worked for a living were usually amazingly resourceful and seemed to quickly get engaged in helping others even though they had their own losses. One of my greatest heroes of this tragedy was an elderly black man who came staggering into our base one night. Everyone thought he was drunk, but he had not been drinking. He had been caught offshore working on one of the oil rigs during the storm and had just gotten home to find that his family had been killed and everything he own washed away. He was drunk with grief. This had to be the worst thing that anyone could experience in life, but within a couple of days, he was helping in the kitchen, unloading trucks, and even trying to console others. He would stop at times to just cry for a few minutes and then carry on serving others. I still think of this humble elderly man when I think of true nobility.

      In striking contrast to this, those who came to our base who depended on the government were some of the most obnoxious, demanding people imaginable. They could become outraged if they did not get their demands met immediately, or if they were asked to do anything like help serve meals or unload a truck. That is when I began to understand how the entitlement mentality that has been fostered by governments around the world would ultimately result in unprecedented lawlessness. No earthly government will be able to meet the needs of all their people the way they are now trying to do. An ultimate disappointment and disillusionment with government is coming.

      Charity is a crucial aspect of the Christian life, but charity was always meant to be people helping people, whereas institutional charity dehumanizes people. How is it that so few seem to understand that our present welfare system puts the people we claim to be helping into a terrible bondage from which few are able to escape? It is right to help those who cannot help themselves, but it is wrong to give to those who can work and yet refuse to.”

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      • “If a person was starving would we really wait on the Govt. to take care of them? ”
        “We should not be surprised by how those who do not know the Lord put their trust in government, who see the government as the answer to their problems.”

        Like the man who refused to be rescued by the captain of an ocean liner, then by a yachtsman, then by a surf-boarder, for the reason that God was going to come for him. When the man drowned and subsequently complained that God hadn’t kept His word, God replied He had indeed come three times and been refused.

        God works through us, and the government is also us. We give through the government, according to our means, although the system is far from perfect. We should be working to make it better rather than throwing the gold out with the dross.

        The ‘undeserving’ who know nothing but reliance on hand-outs, do we stop to consider how they come to be in this state? Again, we should be working to give them, if physically and mentally well, the confidence and ability to earn and improve their lives. And what about those who are lacking in physical or mental prowess? Are they unworthy too?

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      • Christians, like everyone else, have a natural tendency to lean towards the left or the right.

        The miracle is that Jesus’s mission and message remain relevant and widely heard despite the attempts over centuries to tone them down or to describe Him in political terms. Jesus continues to challenge conventional ideas of what’s right and wrong, to cut through hypocrisy, to inspire protest against injustice, assure the oppressed that they are loved and valued, and to instil hope that another kind of community is possible,

        Conservatives claim Christ as one of their own. But he was the unemployed son of two asylum-seekers with all the personal traits of a modern revolutionary.

        Then again there will always be those who try to downplay Jesus as just a social reformer, or a long-haired peace activist.

        But a mere hippie or moral teacher could not have made this unique impression on mankind.

        So was Jesus a leftie or a rightie?

        Albert Schweitzer said the way we view Jesus says more about us than it does about Him.

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      • I agree, I don’t think Jesus takes sides or is fully represented by either side.

        We follow Him, He doesn’t follow us.

        There will always be debate on who is following him correctly whether it is left/right, protestant/catholic…

        Love can’t be pigeonholed.

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      • Funny how people see him:

        Unemployed? I thought He worked for His father who provided for his needs and multiplied the loaves when there was a shortage.

        Asylum Seekers, yes, yet there were borders for Moses who worked so hard for so many years.

        A hippie. This one made me laugh out loud. Jesus in a flowery shirt, wasting his precious hours on dope and having multiple sex partners. We do think he may have had long hair and he did preach love and peace though 🙂

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      • Yes, Jesus was the son of two asylum seekers… with a difference. They went back to their own country as soon as the crisis in their homeland ended.

        Secondly, most Biblical scholars have understood that the purpose of the gifts of the magi, was to help support themselves whilst living in Egypt. No “Centrelink” type dole bludging there.

        If the asylum seekers entering this country were like Jesus, I can guarantee you that the average joe would show more tolerance than is currently shown.

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      • bryan where do you get the conclusion that he was unemployed? Do you have so little respect for the profession of a church clergyman that you consider them unemployed? Have you ever shadowed or done the work of a clergyman? A deacon?

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      • “Conservatives claim Christ as one of their own. But he was the unemployed…”

        Some people could mistake that for an assertion in order to align Him with the left in the mind of the writer.

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      • Funny how he didn’t start the sentence with “leftists claim Him as one of their own”….

        or

        Both Conservatives and Leftists claim Him as one of their own….

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    • Christians, like everyone else, have a natural tendency to lean towards the left or the right.

      The miracle is that Jesus’s mission and message remain relevant and widely heard despite the attempts over centuries to tone them down or to describe Him in political terms. Jesus continues to challenge conventional ideas of what’s right and wrong, to cut through hypocrisy, to inspire protest against injustice, assure the oppressed that they are loved and valued, and to instil hope that another kind of community is possible,

      Conservatives claim Christ as one of their own. But he was the unemployed son of two asylum-seekers with all the personal traits of a modern revolutionary.

      Then again there will always be those who try to downplay Jesus as just a social reformer, or a long-haired peace activist.

      But a mere hippie or moral teacher could not have made this unique impression on mankind.

      So was Jesus a leftie or a rightie?

      Albert Schweitzer said the way we view Jesus says more about us than it does about Him.

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    • An influential man preaching income redistribution, peace, love and understanding? If today’s right wing media had been around in the time of Jesus, I don’t think they’d be welcoming him with open arms.

      Here are their headlines

      “Loose Woman Claims ‘Virgin Birth’ In Bethlehem”

      “Radical Cleric John The Baptist Promotes ‘Jesus’”

      “Far Left Radical Claims Poor Will Be Rewarded In Death”

      “Man Says He ‘Never Saw’ Jesus Handing Out Loaves, Wine”

      “Some Fear Overpopulation After Lepers Healed”

      “Left Wing Jesus Declares War On Job-Creating Money Lenders In Temple”

      “Fears Grow That Disciples Are Secret Jesus Army”

      “Jesus Releases Far Left Manifesto With ‘Sermon’ on Mount”

      “Judas Hailed As Hero After Capture Of Jesus”

      “Left Wing Terrorist ‘Jesus’ Captured, Executed”

      “Left Wing Radicals Claim ‘Jesus Is Risen’”

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    • An influential man preaching income redistribution, peace, love and understanding? If today’s right wing media had been around in the time of Jesus, I don’t think they’d be welcoming him with open arms.

      “Loose Woman Claims ‘Virgin Birth’ In Bethlehem”

      “Radical Cleric John The Baptist Promotes ‘Jesus’”

      “Far Left Radical Claims Poor Will Be Rewarded In Death”

      “Man Says He ‘Never Saw’ Jesus Handing Out Loaves, Wine”

      “Some Fear Overpopulation After Lepers Healed”

      “Left Wing Jesus Declares War On Job-Creating Money Lenders In Temple”

      “Fears Grow That Disciples Are Secret Jesus Army”

      “Jesus Releases Far Left Manifesto With ‘Sermon’ on Mount”

      “Judas Hailed As Hero After Capture Of Jesus”

      “Left Wing Terrorist ‘Jesus’ Captured, Executed”

      “Left Wing Radicals Claim ‘Jesus Is Risen’”

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  2. There are parents who think that Love is doing everything for their children and other parents who think it’s best to teach children to do everything for themselves.

    Both are right and both are wrong. It’s about extremes. To what extent. That’s the ongoing debate.

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  3. Bryan :-If only politicians were what they claimed to be .
    Atheist thinking :-If only”JOURNALISTS” were what they claimed to be.
    Unless the people are fully informed they will continue to put in power those you complain about .
    The media is full completely responsibly for what happens.
    Feed the masses sewage in tiny bits then repeat it three times as if they failed to understand the first time . Keep that up for more than fifty years until they are convinced the world revolves around SPORT and who is doing what to who of totally unimportant people.

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  4. The problem with the premise that one can be a politician and a Christian is that it is a contradiction in terms. You’ve all heard the Budget. You’ve all head that there is going to be some “horse trading”. Horse trading occurs in politics on any and every issue that comes before a politician.

    How would the Christian Politician deal with those like Fiona Scott (Aust. Sex Party) who totally disagree that to look upon a woman lustfully is tantamount to committing adultery? Would not the Christian Politician have to compromise his beliefs in the name of toleration? Or would the Christian politician have to oppose such diametrically opposite views?

    How would Christian politicians have to deal with religions that are diametrically opposite to Christianity? How long do you think they would last in the office?

    Does not the Bible say “Be ye not unequally yoked with unbelievers?” Is it not written that “Friendship with the world is enmity with God?”.

    Maybe some research into the history behind separation of church and state is appropriate. Whenever Christians have dabbled in politics, the church was dragged into the gutter. Examples? Crusades, Spanish Inquisitions, etc. When atheists accuse Christians of acting according to their beliefs with respect to the crusades, Christians nowadays always point out that it was not their beliefs that made them crusaders; it was their politics.

    So go figure! We’ve had centuries of persecution by Christians because they went into politics. We still haven’t learnt our lessons! We engage in “cerebral wanking” (if you’ll pardon my french) over the issue of what if Christian politicians trusted in Jesus! If they’d trusted in Jesus, they would not have entered politics, or even stayed there for long.

    There! No left no right view.

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    • No I don’t pardon your “French” Davinci/Hassan. I’m still waiting an apology for previous cowardly personal attacks

      In the meantime I offer this from John Canpon from London School of Theology

      Why should Christians be involved in politics?
      Some Christians argue that it is not our business to be involved in politics. First,
      because we have other matters on which to concentrate: getting people to heaven
      is more important than trying to straighten out a fallen world. Second, because
      politics is so corrupt that we must keep a distance, lest we become contaminated.
      A third argument is that God is sovereign, so he can be trusted to take care of
      politics. We have to be very careful that appealing to God’s almighty power is not a
      convenient excuse for avoiding our own responsibility. The Bible says a great deal
      about humans being God’s vice-regents in the world and one of God’s first
      commissions to humanity is for us to rule, subdue, and be fruitful in the earth. This
      is not only significant for how we live our own lives but for how we engage society
      as a whole. As those redeemed by Christ and brought into the family of God we need to
      exhibit a spirit of justice, care and mutual concern for our fellow men and women.

      http://www.lst.ac.uk/downloads/theological_themes/Why%20should%20Christians%20be%20involved%20in%20politics.pdf

      .

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      • I agree with you Bryan. And this.
        Much that is good about our government is due to the legacy of Christians.
        From the Catholics to the Reformers, Puritans, Methodist evangelists and Victorian evangelical social campaigners, many believers throughout the centuries have stood for justice and freedom, opposing tyranny and oppression. The basis of modern democracy comes from the biblical concept that we are all made in the image of God and all stand as individuals equal before him. Our Christian ancestors laboured for a democratic system and the rights that we have come to enjoy; we need to preserve the inheritance we have received from them.

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      • So how did the so called Christian legacies fit in with people that did not agree with Christianity? The American Indians? The Australian Aborigines? How did they fit in with the Anabaptists, Roger Williams?

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      • Davinci, although Christians don’t have a monopoly on compassionate thought, on morality and ethics, our governments came from a Christan culture and reflect these standards. There is no reason to suppose that the compassion, morality or ethics of others would neccessarily be opposed.

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    • As Christians we should be praying for our politicians, and dare I say, especially for our Christian pollies. Surely to be called into governmental leadership is one of the highest callings a Christian could have? I would have thought so.

      We Christians are ‘IN’ the world, but not of it; its values and sin, and therefore we should be a light to those who are in spiritual darkness. Our light is not meant to be hidden but used to effect positive change in our societies. Having said that, to be a committed Christian and a politician is to be positioned in dangerous territory; dangerous to one’s faith that is. They had better make sure that they are where they’re meant to be and that their faith in God is intact, because I think it would be so easy to become tainted in that environment. As Rick Joyner says, who is all for Christians entering politics, the armed services, and every area of American life, “For forty years, I’ve heard testimonies of those who were called to Hollywood to help bring change. To date, it seems that the Christians who thought they could bring change to Hollywood were the ones who changed, and Hollywood has become steadily more evil. Likewise, I have listened to many good Christians who felt called to go into politics, or government service, to help be the salt and light there. To date, it has only become worse, and the Christians were the ones who were changed.”

      Pray for them

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      • Well said Monica. I want Christians there, Christians who are willing to lose their jobs if it conflicts with their faith.

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    • I agree with you Bryan. And this
      Much that is good about our government is due to the legacy of Christians.
      From the Catholics to the Reformers, Puritans, Methodist evangelists and Victorian evangelical social campaigners, many believers throughout the centuries have stood for justice and freedom, opposing tyranny and oppression. The basis of modern democracy comes from the biblical concept that we are all made in the image of God and all stand as individuals equal before him. Our Christian ancestors laboured for a democratic system and the rights that we have come to enjoy; we need to preserve the inheritance we have received from them.

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  5. A crowd of political figures turned up at the Pearly Gates one day when there was a great deal of congestion, and for the time being only one or two could be admitted. Some didn’t even profess Christianity, but Peter said they showed the way of Jesus better than some who declared themselves Christian and did not live that life.

    Have some fun voting on who Peter might let in, from this list!

    Abraham Lincoln
    Adolf Hitler
    Ariel Sharon
    Aung San Sui Kyi
    Benazir Bhutto
    Bob Hawke
    Dalai Llama
    F.D. Roosevelt
    Fidel Castro
    George Washington
    Golda Meir
    Hugo Chavez
    Jawaharlal Nehru
    Jimmy Carter
    John Howaed
    John F. Kennedy
    Joseph Goebbels
    Joseph Stalin
    Kofi Annan
    Lech Walesa
    Mahatma Gandhi
    Margaret Thatcher
    Mikhail Gorbachev
    Paul Keating
    Robert Menzies
    Saddam Hussein
    Theodore Roosevelt
    Vladamir Lenin
    Winston Churchill
    Yasser Arafat
    Yitzhak Rabin

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  6. Indubitably “Christians, like everyone else, have a natural tendency to lean towards the left or the right.”
    ….and they all incline to attack the upright.

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