Where No Politician Has Ever Gone
Where No Politician Has Ever Gone
By W. Frank Walton
"Jesus answered, "My kingdom is not of this world. If my kingdom were of this world, my servants would have been fighting, that I might not be delivered over to the Jews. But my kingdom is not from the world." Then Pilate said to him, "So you are a king?" Jesus answered, "You say that I am a king. For this purpose I was born and for this purpose I have come into the world--to bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth listens to my voice." Pilate said to him, "What is truth?" (John 18:36-38 ESV).
Pilate, the Roman governing politician, was flummoxed in trying to figure out the seditious charges against Jesus. Christ did not come as a political ruler, as the Jews had hoped and the Romans feared. Jesus came as a spiritual king to rule the hearts of men, by the force of eternal truth, and to enter into healing men’s souls. Here, no mere politician can ever enter.
Lee Atwater was a brilliant, tough political campaign manager for the Republican Party during the 1980’s. In 1990, Atwater was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor. Just before he died at age 40, he had a religious conversion and sent several apologies to political opponents that had unfairly attacked.
Atwater apologized to a South Carolina Senate opponent: "my illness has taught me something about the nature of humanity, love, brotherhood and relationships that I never understood, and probably never would have.” He then wrote in Life Magazine, “My illness helped me to see that what was missing in society is what was missing in me: a little heart, a lot of brotherhood. The '80s were about acquiring….I know. I acquired more wealth, power, and prestige than most. But you can acquire all you want and still feel empty. What power wouldn't I trade for a little more time with my family?...It took a deadly illness to put me eye to eye with that truth, but it is a truth that the country, caught up in its ruthless ambitions and moral decay, can learn….I don't know who will lead us…but they must be made to speak to this spiritual vacuum at the heart of American society, this tumor of the soul.”
Christians, in a democratic republic, certainly have a right, unavailable in the first century, to speak up for what is morally upright, as salt and light for God (Matt 5:13-16). Christians should vote for candidates whose values and proposals are most consistent with Biblical principles (Rom 13:1-4, Prov 14:34). (Yet, realize you will not find one who agrees with you on every point.)
However, there is no college course in political science that can heal the “tumor of the soul.” Politics uses human wisdom, from various sources including the Bible, to pragmatically deal with civil affairs. What heals the immortal soul is not adjudicated by human wisdom in the political forum as public policy.
To heal the sinful “tumor of the soul,” man needs transcendent truth from the Creator of souls. C. S. Lewis observed, “God made the human machine to run on Himself.” Each individual’s soul is saved or lost by whether or not he or she listens to the truth of Jesus and accepts it by obedient faith (Heb 5:9). This cannot be imposed by politicians or secular government, but only by personal moral suasion.
Society, as it was in the first century, is changed within, one person at a time, as a spiritual byproduct of the leavening power of the gospel. The truth of Jesus makes a better society simply by making better, moral people in converting them to “King Jesus” (Acts 17:7). This is not a government program. This is the mission of Christ’s church, to know Him and make Him known (1 Tim 3:15, Eph 3:10). The kingdom of heaven will outlast all the kingdoms of men (Dan 2:44). Jesus rules the soul where no politician can enter (1Peter 3:15).
“That’s More Than I Am Supposed to Do!”
Practically all progress in the world has been made by those who did more than their share, “more than they were supposed to do.”
Our independence was won by George Washington and his men who “did more than they were supposed to do” as they suffered privation at Valley Forge while others were living in luxury not far away. Many a lad has been set up in business or given a college education by parents who “did more than they were supposed to do” while neighbor boys are left without a start in life by satisfied parents. Many a sick child has been brought back to health by a sacrificing mother who did more than her share.
The church of the Lord has been established in many places in America by sacrificing Christians who did far more than their share - they could have worshipped down the street - but they did more than they were supposed to do (according to the opinion of men) and established the Lord’s church.
Most of the work around the church building is done by Christians who “do more than they are supposed to do” while many are perfectly willing that they should do it. (This reminds me of something I heard one time. A preacher was asked it there was anyone at the church where he preached that were willing to work. He said, “Everyone in this church is willing, five percent are willing to work, and the other 95 percent are willing to let them do it.”). If it were not for those who do more than they are supposed to do by giving themselves, this congregation wouldn’t grow, but would stagnate and die.
After all, “doing more that we are supposed to do” as men judge is the very crux of Christianity. It means ‘going more than half way,’ ‘turning the other cheek,’ ‘loving one’s enemies,’ ‘praying for those who persecute us,’ ‘giving money to the needy,’ ‘working for the Lord while others are engaged in pleasure.’ Yes, it means all this and more. But this will bring eternal life for the faithful, all of whom “did more than they were supposed to do.” (Harry E. Rice)
A Moments Wisdom
--Sometimes silence is not golden but yellow.
--It is easy to see the faults of children — IF they are someone else’s children.
--Before you try your hand at something, make sure you try your brain at it first.
--Great trials are often necessary to prepare us for great responsibilities.
--If you help someone get up the hill, you will find yourself closer to the top.
--Contentment comes not so much from great wealth, but from few wants.
--There is no such thing as preaching patience into people unless the sermon is so long they have to practice it while they hear.
--A handful of patience is worth more than a bushel of brains.
--Each one of us should do something every day that we do not want to do but know we should do, in order to strengthen our backbone and put iron in our soul.
2/19/23 AM - The Testimony of the Scoundrels; PM - “He Shuts Out My Prayer!”
2/26/23 AM - Why Do We Sin?; PM - What Happened to Faith-Based Expressions?
3/5/23 AM - Report of the 2022 Work of the Lord at Trilacoochee; PM - Worship in Song: Congregational Choice of Songs
3/12/23 AM & PM - The Servant’s Heart (Parts One& Two)
3/19/23 AM - What if God Let Us have Our Own Way?; PM - “One Cup, No Bible Class” churches of Christ
3/26/23 AM & PM - Four Biblical Obligations to Others (Part One & Two)