Why I’m not political

As I said in several times past, I am not political. I used to be, but I’m not anymore. I personally believe that politics, at least in its current form, is broken and not serving our best interests. And I’m not saying that you shouldn’t be involved in politics. In fact, I’ve seen good things happening at the local level.

What I’m specifically against is the partisan spirit. It’s a divisive and polarizing spirit that Jesus warned us against that runs absolutely contrary to Kingdom values.

15 Then He charged them, saying, “Take heed, beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and the leaven of Herod.” (Mark 8:15 NKJV)

The Greek word for leaven or yeast, ζύμη (zymē), is used metaphorically here. It means “leaven of the mind and conduct, by a system of doctrine or morals, used in a bad sense” (Mounce). You add leaven to dough or batter to cause it to rise. In this metaphoric sense, it means to permeate with an altering or transforming element.

Jesus also used leaven in a positive sense in Matthew 13:33:

“He spoke another parable to them: “The kingdom of heaven is like leaven (zymē | ζύμῃ), which a woman took and put into three measures of flour, until it was all leavened.”

But in Mark 8:15 Jesus is warning us against two types of leaven that create dangerous strongholds. These two are the spirits of religion (Pharisees) and politics (Herod). I use the term “spirit” here because, whether or not they are actual spirits, they certainly act like one, creating such obsessive and almost sociopathic behavior in otherwise normal people.

I’ve talked about this before but a quick review would be good here. Both spirits thrive on power through separation. The spirit of religion separates us from God and puts us under the control of people and rituals instead. It’s transactional instead of relational, trading on fear, shame, and guilt. Jesus condemned the religious leaders for doing this (see Luke 11:52). The spirit of politics polarizes and separates us into factions instead of letting our differences make a better world that works for everyone. This is a work of the flesh or the sinful side of human nature:

19 What human nature does is quite plain. It shows itself in immoral, filthy, and indecent actions; 20 in worship of idols and witchcraft. People become enemies and they fight; they become jealous, angry, and ambitious. They separate into parties and groups21 they are envious, get drunk, have orgies, and do other things like these. I warn you now as I have before: those who do these things will not possess the Kingdom of God. (Gal.5:19-21 GNT, emphasis added)

Hopefully, you can see the difference between these spirits and healthy and helpful religion and politics.

I’m focusing here on the spirit (or leaven) of politics because, at a national level, it’s become totally dysfunctional and increasingly detrimental to our society. It doesn’t take a sociologist to tell us that the current climate is totally saturated with this polarizing spirit that foments vitriolic hatred at a hysterical level.

And there’s nothing more evil than when the proverbial torch and pitchfork-wielding angry mob rears its ugly head.

Here’s an example of what I’m talking about with regard to our current broken political system. This is a clip from the Joe Rogan show with Tulsi Gabbard, U.S. Representative for Hawaii’s 2nd congressional district. She talks about the current state of affairs with Congress and what the “powers that be” tell their incoming freshmen. Gabbard is also a Democrat and Hindu, by the way, and currently serving as a Major in the National Guard. This is not an endorsement of her current run for presidential candidacy in 2020, but I do applaud her courage to speak out against the beast.

This is why I place no hope whatsoever in our current political system. I’m not a fan of either the Republican or Democratic parties. I also place no confidence in any religion that preaches separation and distance from God (or separation between believers based on doctrinal disagreement). My confidence is in the One who loved me so much that He came and rescued me from such sinful foolishness. His name is Jesus Christ, and He did this selfless act of love on the Cross for the whole world (1 John 2:2). And I personally believe that (actually) following Him is our best hope for a more humane future for everyone.

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About Mel Wild

God's favorite (and so are you), a son and a father, happily married to the same beautiful woman for 38 years. We have three incredible adult children. My passion is pursuing the Father's heart in Christ and giving it away to others. My favorite pastime is being iconoclastic and trailblazing the depths of God's grace. I'm also senior pastor of Cornerstone Church in Wisconsin.
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12 Responses to Why I’m not political

  1. AfroLatino says:

    Your article is so beautiful and articulate. I have always felt like a minority amongst Christians with the type of thinking as illustrated in your article.

    Luke 24:21a says “but we had hoped that he was the one who was going to redeem Israel.” I think they were referring to physical redemption of oppression etc but Jesus actually came to redeem them from the true cause of all evil which is sin.

    As a black person, in as much as I appreciate the great work of William Wilberforce as a politician who fought for years to sign the anti-slavery bill in the UK, there were a lot of prayers offered at that time by Christians who would always remain unknown. Even the quakers were very instrumental in the fight. I say this because his efforts have often been exaggerated, hence people arguing for political involvement amongst Christians.

    Another common agreement is Daniel. First of all, it is not mentioned that Daniel was involved in politics like we see today but was part of the Government. We all know that it was as a result of his faith in God that Nebuchadnezzar decreed that the people of any nation or language that said anything against God will be cut into pieces. Unfortunately, this is not usually the case for some Christians in politics. Terrible things have been done in his name thereby alienating unbelievers.

    I also agree that politics have done some good things but it is certainly not the answer to the ills of the society we greatly desire.

    God bless

    • Mel Wild says:

      You make so many good points here, AfroLatino. Thank you for taking the time to address these things. William Wilberforce is one of my heroes (like Martin Luther King in our times). He literally used up his life to correct a massive injustice. But I also agree with you that we take this too far and use these examples to become hyper-partisan. Daniel is a great example for us. I think Christians who are called to do so should be in politics, but representing the love of Christ and Kingdom values that Jesus taught, not a particular party line. Daniel was involved in government but it also says this about him:

      “20 And in all matters of wisdom and understanding about which the king examined them, he found them ten times better than all the magicians and astrologers who were in all his realm.” (Dan.1:20)

      Imagine that! Daniel knew THEIR ways better than they did! But he also applied the wisdom of God to help Babylon thrive.

      Thanks again for your comments. Blessings to you.

  2. Really well said, Mel. I’m a political animal, but I still see politics kind of as a form of idolatry, something that often comes between us and Jesus, and between us and other people. I was just talking about how someone coming to our church is going to hear culture, politics, and assorted Christianese, but very little about the Lord and our own relationship with Him. We also seem to believe our politics are going to change the world, create transformation, save us, but that is putting something where only Jesus belongs. Ultimately the way we really change the world is by becoming better Christians ourselves, by strengthening our own relationship with the Lord.

    • Mel Wild says:

      Exactly, IB. Too many Christians, especially evangelicals, put way too much trust in politics rather than Christ and His Kingdom. It’s become almost an obsession in America. Then they end up behaving very divisively and not Christlike.

      The sad thing is, most arguments against Christianity actually have nothing to do with Christ, or following Him. They have to do with politics and Christians behaving badly.

      And I wholeheartedly agree with your last sentence:
      “Ultimately the way we really change the world is by becoming better Christians ourselves, by strengthening our own relationship with the Lord.”

      Amen and amen! Jesus said they we will know we are His by our love for another (John 13:35), and that they will know they are loved by God by seeing our union with Him and each other (John 17:21-23). It says nothing about politics or being the moral police. Actually, politics, by nature, divides us.

  3. hawk2017 says:

    I believe that all this is staged for our benifit. All sides project against each other but someone in the wings is writing the script. What I believe does not sit well with family and friends but people are born in sin especially politicos. We see the promises broken hour by hour from those who govern us. So sad.

    • Mel Wild says:

      I don’t think it’s a conspiracy but it is rigged against us. Government leaders no longer serve the people but special interest groups with the most money to throw their way and keep them in power.

  4. jim- says:

    If your beliefs—in this case political, are causing a division with your friends or neighbors it’s time to re-evaluate yourself. I’m with you on this one Mel. We get my two wrong choices and so often are compelled to pick sides—by design.
    You know I’m not a believer, but I like the story of the Tower of Babel. God confounded the language because he saw the people were about to accomplish the thing they set out to do —and nothing could be withheld from them. Together we can do anything. Divided—well, you see it now.

    • Mel Wild says:

      Yeah, I remember almost screaming at my brother because he disagreed with my politics. This is was about 20 years ago. That’s when I realized I had a real problem. 🙂 I think with the Tower of Babel, the goal was evil intent which is when unity can be a very bad thing. But if people would make people more important than their issues (or worse, keeping power), it would be a vast improvement. Diversity is good, divisiveness not so much.

      What really drove me away from politics was when I realized no one was listening to anybody. They were just talking over each other. As Gabbard said in the interview, they’re more interested in party wins than what’s best for the people they were supposed to be serving.

  5. Pingback: Following Jesus versus Identity Politics | In My Father's House

  6. Lily Pierce says:

    Totally agree here, Mel. Hate to say it since I lean conservative, but I have seen and heard way too many hardcore Republican Evangelicals take pride in their condemnation of all “libtards.” Totally contradicts the recurrent theme of unity referenced again and again in the NT.

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