A Political Hope

Andreea Popa

One of my deep alarms as a Christian (and a pastor) in our current political moment is how often we–both right and left–surrender our unique story and conviction and identity. Rather than speaking a prophetic word, revealed and made possible in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus, we are virtually indistinguishable from whatever our party line happens to be. The other side is evil. We are righteous. With predictable knee-jerk reaction, we imbibe the talking points of our new gods, and we worship at the altar of our enraged moral certainty and superiority.

I’m drawn to those strange creatures whose political life mirrors both the action and the posture of Jesus, who seek righteousness and justice alongside humility and love. I’m watching out for those rare persons who do not allow their Christian faith to be subsumed by either a conservative or a progressive vision–but who, because Jesus is always a perplexing and disruptive reality, confound the labels and assumptions all of us have accepted as the bare, incontrovertible facts. Strange, isn’t it, that the one thing we agree on–the labels we must use and the binaries we must live within–is the very lie that devours us.

I’m desperate for people who do not flinch from speaking and enacting the hard and necessary truth, even as they cling to mercy and redemption, bewildering us with their open seat for those we’re supposed to despise. I’m desperate for people whose passionate devotion (precisely because of their Christian conviction) for the full spectrum of life, for the well-being of every human, for honesty and integrity and fairness and humanness and robust, full-orbed justice, makes them simultaneously a dear and bedeviling friend.

I’m hopeful for an awakening of Christians whose burning desire and commitment is to love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul and mind—and then to love our neighbors (all of our neighbors) as ourselves.

15 Replies to “A Political Hope”

  1. Thank you for this post. I wrestle with living into that balance you so aptly describe, especially in the last two paragraphs.

    1. That makes me smile, Jim. Thank you. I saw your art work yesterday in Dr. Gelburd’s office. That made me smile too.

    1. I feel the same as Bud, from his words above. I am skeptical of what I hear and read. I am grateful to God, that He is in control. We may have to go through the storms of this political goings on, but because of God, we have hope. Thank you Winn for your writings. I always enjoy them and they uplift me every time.

  2. Winn, me too! This is a “Me Too” movement I want to continue. The world must see the authentic love of God and that includes loving our political “enemies”. I find that unless acceptance and speaking truth in love are not learned in the home while growing up, that kind of maturity is difficult to develop afterward without the power of God to heal and change us. Just an observation …..

    1. there’s lots of these movements that we need, and I’m sure that the love we receive (or don’t) in our maturing years shapes us in so many ways.

  3. Winn, I’m reminded of a message from Andy Stanley on this topic. The “church” may disagree politically, but we ‘re to love unconditionally, as Jesus loves, and pray for unity.
    Thanks for your eloquence, and heart!

  4. Through a series of drastic losses and a self-imposed re-location, I’ve discovered that I’ve been rendered (at last – thank you, God!) humble enough to give and receive love and friendship to and from others who don’t believe the way I do. I’ve found such peace and so many surprises on common ground of the sort you eloquently describe! We all walk on common ground: the very Earth God created. Thank you, Winn, for clearing a place for us to read, reflect and share.

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