42 Comments
Mar 9Liked by Scott Sauls

Hi Scott...I really enjoy your posts. Thanks!

I'm 'across the pond' in the UK so don't pretend to have any grasp on what I sense as the depth of the 'politicisation' of faith in the US (please correct me if I'm wrong). There are some parallels to the UK though, but more broadly in the sense of the growing cultural polarisation between the political 'left' and 'right', the loss of 'centrist' politics and the truth (for surely truth it is) that politics should serve the people. But from from a Christian perspective, isn't political allegiance irrelevant, even missing the point of the gospel. Was Jesus political? I don't believe so. He was certainly perceived as threatening the political and theocratic order, so much that it got Him killed.

If we truly identify as 'Christian' then are we not called to be above politics? As with you folk in the USA, we in the UK will have a General Election towards the end of 2024 (interestingly, 50% of the world's population will be called to vote in numerous nation elections this year) and yes, I will vote.

but not out of any allegiance to any political part...rather , I will vote for my local candidate who most, in my view, mirrors the Spirit of Christ.

I can't help but wonder how many of those who seek to follow The Way of Christ, who hunger and thirst for Christ to be formed in us in order to better serve the King and the Kingdom, to sow seeds of shalom in the little bit of the world we find ourselves, have forgotten, or even not realised to any great degree, that we are 'aliens and strangers' here, that 'here we have no continuing city,' we are primarily 'citizens of heaven', not the USA or thr UK or wherever we find ourselves.

We are in exile here on this earth; yes, we have a sacred mandate to 'seek the peace and prosperity of this city into which we have been brought into exile'; but I do not believe we have any mandate to pick purely political sides. There are no sides in my view...only Gods's will. May it be done...

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Thank you, Michael. That is the main point of my essay.

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Alternate viewpoint: Politics bifurcate the people, but it isn’t supposed to be so amongst Gods people (1 Cor 1:10), especially when Jesus taught them to pray for Gods kingdom to eliminate these intractable problems that humans cannot solve (Lords Prayer). Because after all, humans thinking they can govern themselves independent of God is Eve snatching the apple over and over again. Political neutrality and full commitment to siding with Gods kingdom would do better to guarantee peace amongst believers.

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This is more of a congruent perspective versus an alternate one. ;-)

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As a Jew who believes that Jesus is the Messiah, I've had give up much for my belief. I had to study scriptures deeply, and have done so for 52 years--I started when I was 16. I needed to know that I right in giving up rabbinical judaism for Yeshua. I spent many years influenced by very conservative christians.

But I found so many inconsistencies between what Jesus taught, and what they practiced. I saw how they would find loopholes to commands of Jesus by making them far more complicated than the simplest interpretation. For example, "Do not judge." would always be responded, "but I judge with a righteous judgment". Ignoring the context which says to not judge by appearances.

The final straw for me was when I flew across the country to meet my spiritual mentor who showed me his garage. It was a literal arsenal. Cases and cases of assault weapons and ammo filled it like a warehouse.

That and never being accepted as a Jew who believed in Jesus. Every church I ever attended tried to make me gentile. They didn't accept the Jewish part of me. They never accepted me as one of their own. I was always an 'other'.

So I studied on my own, and have come to understand that what Jesus wants from us is for us to treat others with kindness and love. If I brought up the commandment "love your neighbor as you love yourself," somehow they always took offense--that it wasn't the whole gospel or the real gospel.

They were all about doctrine and dogma. But not about loving your neighbor, unless it was the person sitting next to them in the pew. They were also very politically active, and believed that if you weren't on their side politically, you were somehow in sin.

I believe that there are true believers--people who not only believe in Jesus, but strive to do as he teaches and commands--in both parties.

When Jesus separates the sheep from the goats, the decision will not be made by political affiliation, nor by religious creed, but by how one treats others, especially the marginalized and the needy. (Matthew 25:31-46)

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Who did Yashua Messiah and His learners vote for!

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Indeed, we are in the world, but we should not be of the world, but be a light to the world.

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"For us preachers, Tim said, the longer it takes people to figure out our party affiliations and voting records, the more likely it is that we are preaching Jesus." Yes.

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Indeed, we are in the world, but we should not be of the world, but be a light to the world.

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Come on somebody!!!

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Somebody with integrity would be nice!

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Those changes will never be fully realized. Politicians are people elevated by people thus imperfect.

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These aryon nation guys ask me to teach a Bible class so I did. Everything was fine until I told em Moses was married to a black woman

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I'm not racist my beautiful granddaughter is black when I told those racist Moses wife was black they turned on me. Sorry if I offended anyone pls forgive me

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And Miriam and Aaron didn't like it!, but God corrected them both: Num 12:1-16

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It is true that Moses was in a biracial marriage. The Song of Solomon also portrays a biracial marriage. Both a microcosm of the diversity God desires among his people.

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And Miriam and Aaron didn't like it!, but God corrected them both: Num 12:1-16

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Amen touch not MINE anointed n do MY prophets no harm

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How would this be different if Jesus participated in a democratic republican form of government? Most of history has been and is totalitarian where things are more "cut and dried"--gray areas very limited. His message and mission would be the same but how might it have been differently delivered?

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All systems have their problems, and democracy is prone to corruption as much as totalitarian systems. We need to work with what we have, as Paul appealed to Caesar for his rights, we have different rights in a democracy.

Jesus said that we are to be in the world, but we should not be of the world, but be a light to the world.

I do not ask that you take them out of the world, but that you keep them from the evil one. They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth. As you sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world.

(John 17:15-18)

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Good question! I suspect he would still lead with "My kingdom is not of the world."

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… but one day it will be the only Kingdom of the earth! That wouldn’t play so well.

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Great message.

Have always loved the Response given to Joshua.

“No. I Am.”

Also mindful of the tension in a discussion of “religion” and earthly “politics.” For Jesus is King of Kings—which is nothing if not the eternal pinnacle of a Political position. Yet without human partisanship.

Perfect Politics, if you will.

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I feel strange when politics comes up in conversation, whether it is a private one or a public sermon. I was a political animal some time ago, but I found it to be too frustrating. The leaders, whatever the stripe or colour, make promises galore during the electioneering, reneging on them when they achieve power. Let me give a prophesy (though in the flesh and not the Spirit)…The kinds of changes needed by governments. States, and jurisdictions, will not be accomplished by political means. Period. Full stop.

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Yes lies are acceptable in modern politics, which undermines the integrity of the entire system.

Truth would be a good place to start in the changes needed in government, then not stealing, or committing adultery, or disrespecting parents, or killing, or coveting, or taking God's name in vain, or having other God's, or worshiping idols, and to make it all worth doing founding it on love and mercy and justice and faith.

That should just about set things up well to start with??

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I am of the opinion that these things are foreign to the human nature. We need divine intervention to get there. That is one reason why politics will not be the saving grace of humanity.

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Those changes can be approached but never fully realized.

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Perhaps, but that is the goal, for Jesus tells us "Therefore be perfect, even as your Father in Heaven is perfect. (Mat 5:48)?

And this one:

And I have given them the glory which You have given Me, that they may be one, even as We are one, I in them, and You in Me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that You have sent Me and have loved them as You have loved Me.

(John 17:22-23)

And:

That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works. (2Tim 3:17 )

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“ As far as we can tell, Simon remained a Zealot and Matthew remained a tax collector, even after they started following Jesus “. … is this so ? Surely the most we can say about that is that scripture is inconclusive, although perhaps we could also say following a Rabbi was seemingly logistically incompatible with being a tax collector, and also an active Zealot, although Simon could of remained philosophically one. What do you think ? It’s just that I have never come across that assumption.

Great piece though, will definitely be sharing it.

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Yes I doubt they were active Zealots and Tax Collectors, no more than Paul remained a Pharisee.

We are called out of this world, but must still live in it, and be a light to it.

When Paul stopped being a Pharisee they tried to kill him, I assume that Simon had the same problem from the Zealots, as it is clear that Christians should not be involved in insurrections, which was a foundational ideal of Zealots.

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Excellent question. One might also say that Jesus himself would be incompatible with elements of the partisan right and partisan left in contemporary America. And yet he embraces many women and men on either side in a saving and sanctifying way.

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Hi Scott

I doubt Simon remained an active Zealot, no more than Paul remained a Pharisee.

We are called out of this world, but must still live in it, and be a light to it.

When Paul stopped being a Pharisee they tried to kill him, I assume that Simon had the same problem from the Zealots, as it is clear that Christians should not be involved in insurrections, which was a foundational ideal of Zealots.

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Thanks Scott

I don't think that there was always great friendship amongst the apostles, at least prior to the giving of the Holy Spirit. For the issue of who should be the greatest amongst them was constantly raised, even at the Passover, or last supper! (Luke 22:24-30) See also Matthew 20:18-28 Matt 18:1-4, Mark 9:33-41, Mark 10:35-45, Luke 9:46-56,

Jesus answered their desire for domination over others by saying:

You know that the rulers of the gentiles (non-Israelites) exercise dominion over them, and they who are great exercise authority over them. However, it shall not be so among you. But whoever desires to be great among you, let him be your servant. And whoever desires to be chief among you, let him be your slave; even as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, .... (Matt 20:25-28)

In ancient Israel God's governmental structure was shown as being neither left nor right wing, but family and tribe based, with God as the Captain of the host.

In times of peace the government was very dispersed, with leaders or 10's, and 50's and 100's and 1,000's being the way decisions were made, but during times of war they united as one body of fighting men under one physical leader. (Exo 18:18-24)

The structure of a king as a physical leader of the nation, with a large standing army and lots of other bureaucratic groups, was not God's way of ruling his country. 1Sam 8:1-22

You can see this when Samuel was told by God to give the people the King that they wanted- for they had not rejected Samuel as Judge, but they had rejected God. 1Sam 8:7

Service, love and faith in God is the foundation of good government.

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Martin, a very informed and intelligent comment. You're well studied, and have drawn astute conclusions from your studies.

As a Jew who believes that Jesus is the Messiah, I had to study the history of the time, and the OT carefully to make sure that I was being true to God by rejecting rabbinical judaism. You seem to have studied both deeply as well.

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GOD BLESS YOU SIR I pray you can influence other of our ppl to know JESUS IS THE MESSIAH

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Thanks Woody

The rejection of rabbinical judaism was an issue of first century Christianity too, and it caused great division in the early church, including persecution of Jews and anyone who wanted to keep the Sabbath and God's Holy Days.

We need to keep reading and asking God for guidance, and talking amongst ourselves as they did in Barea (Acts 17:10-13) yet the unbelieving Jews stirred up the people there too!

We are also told in Malachi

Then they that feared the LORD spoke often one to another: and the LORD hearkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before him for them that feared the LORD, and that thought upon his name. (Mal 3:16)

If you would like to keep talking you may contact me at

martin@friendswithgod.com.au

Cheers for now

Martin

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Shalom my friend yes I love talking about our KING I'm not big on emails computer stupid I guess I'm 64 old school I am. You are wise n the LORD n can help many know JESUS Sir

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Thanks Mark

Appreciate your comments.

If you would like to visit my substack site I think you would like the content.

Just click "Friends With God" next to my name and it will take you there.

You can subscribe to get free posts which I put out once or twice a week.

cheers for now

Martin

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Wonderful message. I sure needed to hear it!!

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Mar 3Liked by Scott Sauls

So good! Thankyou for this.

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