October 28, 2016 | PASTOR ZACHARY PUDLO
Archbishop William Temple is attributed with saying, “Your religion is what you do with your solitude.” A.K.A. What do you do when you have free time? Where does your mind drift? What do you think or daydream about? If it’s the same thing day in and day out, it’s possible that thing has become your religion. Like many of you, in my free time I occasionally will go to social media to see what is trending. I’m guessing I’m not the only one who sees countless political posts and rants, some with threads leading down a dark, divisive path. Right wing, left wing, libertarian, it seems like everyone has a political view they are thinking about, dreaming about and spending a lot of their free time promoting. Is it possible that politics has become our culture’s religion? How does a person’s Christian faith affect the way they relate to politics?
In one of his great works, City of God, Augustine elaborates on the Biblical teaching that Christians are dual citizens. Our primary citizenship is in the kingdom of God, but as long as we are on earth, we also are citizens of this world. Our first allegiance belongs to the City of God, and our secondary allegiance belongs to the City of Man. But what happens if those allegiances are reversed? What happens when my dedication to earthly politics takes precedence over my allegiance to God’s kingdom? How will that affect my allegiance to God and the mission he has given to his kingdom to “Go and make disciples of all nations…”?
You see, the founding fathers were really influenced by the Bible. The whole concept of the imago dei, as it is expressed in Latin, the “image of God,” is the idea that all men have something within them that God injected. Not that they have substantial unity with God, but that every man has a capacity to have fellowship with God. And this gives him a uniqueness, it gives him worth, it gives him dignity. And we must never forget this as a nation: there are no gradations in the image of God. Every man from a treble white to a bass black is significant on God’s keyboard, precisely because every man is made in the image of God. One day we will learn that. (Yes) We will know one day that God made us to live together as brothers and to respect the dignity and worth of every man.
Martin Luther King Jr. was alluding to the book of Genesis when he said that all mankind is made in the image of God. “So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.” (Genesis 1:27) Seems simple, doesn’t it? Every human being has their origin in God. God loves and creates every human being, so every human being should have respect for every other human being. If God loves all, then why don’t we? Why is this so hard to keep in mind? What’s gone wrong?