A Politic of inclusion

For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to promise. Gal 2:27-28

Politic – Rules, systems, and cultures that give order and structure to a grouping of people. 

Most of the time when we think of politics we think of divisive words and ideas that can divide families, create hostile work environments and pit segments of the population against one another.  That is a long sentence to basically say politics divide; at least as we know them.  How many family tables have the no politics rule when friends come over to eat? 

Even in the church politics seem to have the power to divide.  As a pastor I have noticed over the years the two most dominate forces in the church that draw people together or a part are race and politics.   Just as churches in America are divided by race, they are also divided by politics.  Spend a year in any church and you will soon find out that the majority claim to be part of a particular American political party or political culture.  Some will go as far as demonizing those who belong to the opposing faction as non-Christian. 

Yes, the Church in America is as divided as the culture it is suppose to heal and speak a reconciling Gospel into.

The local church has become a mirror of the surrounding culture rather than, a light that shines in the darkness of the surrounding culture.  While we reflect the divisions of American politics Paul stands to remind us that we are to live under a different politic. 

The dividing walls in Paul’s time were national, race, and gender.  All of these walls were seen by the broader culture as impassible and permanent.  These walls were part of society and what gave the society order.  Paul was having none of it.  He recognized Jesus as King and His Kingdom had its own politic.  To be faithful to the King and the Kingdom Paul new these local outposts (churches) had to reflect the politic of Heaven.   These old ancient walls of division had to come down.  How could they not when the breaking of the body of Christ was to heal the brokenness and divisions of humanity.

I believe if Paul was writing to the Church in America he would remind us that we are no longer bound to the politics of our world but, rather we are free to live out the politic of Heaven.  And the reality is there are no Democrats or Republicans in Heaven there, are only those who have been baptized into Christ.

The litmus test for being a Christian is not the political party you belong to but rather, Jesus.  For as many as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male or female, there is neither Democrat or Republican, for you are all one in Christ!

Our churches should be an example of the healing power of Jesus.  The world should see in us how Jesus brings people together who other wise would be enemies.  We should be a light to the world not a mirror of its culture and politics.