I grew up in a great political era. Honestly.
My family was very aware of the news and it was discussed at the dinner table. I was a political geek, knowing the names of the Supreme Court justices, the leaders of the Congress, and many key cabinet leaders in the sitting president’s cabinet.
I knew key world leaders. Key events interested me.
It was also the time of the Moral Majority and the big issue was abortion. Political action was part of life growing up for me.
Political action is still an interest, but it isn’t life.
Do I still believe in right actions? Yes.
Do I still believe there are actions that bring blessing and actions that bring curses… or consequences? Absolutely.
I fundamentally believe there is a way that is God’s best in our lives that will bring us incredible freedom, blessing, and some definition of abundance that doesn’t always include multiple houses, cars, and planes.
I also believe fundamentally that outside the work of the Spirit the fundamental understanding of just how that blessing works can be “hit” from time to time, but living in it, with the understanding of eternal blessing, is nigh impossible.
Over the years I’ve come to an understanding that working from the outside in is a fruitless effort. We act from the inside out.
I don’t say, “You can’t legislate morality,” because I deeply believe morality is legislated all the time. Someone’s deep belief in how the world, or at least a culture, should work gets pushed ahead into legislative and legal action. We legislate someone’s morality all the time.
But that is not the issue for me. The issue is the Kingdom of God. The issue is the beauty of Jesus and the pursuit I have in treasuring Jesus. It is the pursuit of my life and I want to draw others into pursuing his beauty as well.
So, for me, culture wars are just crazy now. They will still go on and I can easily say it’s not just conservatives that wage that war. It is liberals, and now it is their turn in winning. But, that is life.
The parable that has helped me understand I need to hold these issues in this world more loosely is the parable of the wheat and the weeds.
When Jesus explains this parable later in Matthew 13, he essentially says the Father will work this all out.
I still vote, even though I hold my nose to do so more and more. I still have deep held opinions on every action we take as Americans and still voice those opinions. But disagreement over abortion, gay marriage, food stamps, healthcare, etc., is not going to send opponents to hell… or heaven.
It is the heart and life that follows Christ, treasures the Kingdom, and obeys that will find itself harvested and saved. THAT is what I most cherish.
In the meantime, at least according to this parable, we are growing in this mess together. You may think I’m a weed. I may think you’re a weed. You may think I’m just weird… and I you.
But I want to treasure Jesus and I desire for others to simply treasure Jesus. He will sort this out in the end and we will all be wonderfully (and sometimes painfully) surprised.