Now when Joshua was near Jericho, he looked up and saw a man standing in front of him with a drawn sword in his hand. Joshua went up to him and asked, “Are you for us or for our enemies?”
“Neither,” he replied, “but as commander of the army of the Lord I have now come.” Then Joshua fell facedown to the ground in reverence, and asked him, “What message does my Lord have for his servant?” Joshua 5:13-14
As followers of Christ and inhabitants of the kingdom of God, we must find a way to rise above politics. And more than that, we must rise above labels (liberals and conservatives), and camps (right and left), not only because we belong to another kingdom, but because this country has become so polarized that if you are going to play the game, you have to take a side, and yet it is impossible for one side to have all the truth. Both sides have truth, and both sides have evil. The devil is on both sides, entangled in the political works, and contrary to what many Christians have thought for the last 20 years, you can’t coax the devil into doing the Lord’s work.
Christians have lost too much to politics. We have been seduced by power. We have exchanged the authority of the Word of God for a political/moral agenda. We have become a voting bloc. Campaign managers cater to us. Candidates get cozy with us. The gospel has been reduced to a seat on the Supreme Court. Christians don’t stand for Jesus anymore; we stand for a particular vote on a hotly contested issue in the political marketplace.
Christians think that God is on our side. He’s not, because He doesn’t take sides. In the passage quoted above, Joshua, as commander of the young nation of Israel, can’t even assume that God is on his side. He’s on his face before the Lord. He has realized that the important thing is not whether God is on his side, but whether he is on God’s side. If we are on the Lord’s side, we will be on His side only over all the other sides available, because God doesn’t take sides.
Next time someone asks if you are a Republican or a Democrat, tell them, “Neither. I am someone whose name is written in the Lamb’s Book of Life.”
Through many a dark hour
I’ve been thinkin’ about this
That Jesus Christ was
Betrayed by a kiss
But I can’t think for you
You’ll have to decide
Whether Judas Iscariot
Had God on his side.
– Bob Dylan