THEOLOGY, TRUMP AND THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN
I smiled to myself this morning as I lay in bed listening to Radio National Breakfast. A commentator who was a professor and member of the Republican party described Mr Trump as being ‘As dumb as a pile of rocks.’ Sadly there is no shortage of people of similar insensibility who are desperate enough and willing to follow this kind of leader.
There are people who have no time for theology, just as there are those who have no time for thinking and as a result put their faith in people like Donald Trump. I’m told that before the Second World War many Germans put their faith in Hitler as a solution to their countries woes. In our day we are getting an object lesson in why people can put their faith in the basest of people. Mr Trump is unsuitable to lead in the United States let alone the free world. Not because his attitude to women is gross, but because as a leader and a person he is an inadequate human being. His attitude to women, however is a function of who He is.
It would be tempting to blame the state of The Donald on capitalism as a system. Certainly this has some bearing in respect of the fact that such people can have a larger ego than their intelligence and are possessed of a low animal cunning as befits life in the milieu of the survival of the fittest. Nevertheless there are honorable, gracious, clever and generous rich folks who have made money by making the world a more intriguing and better place. Nevertheless I believe that a life that is not Christ leaves us less than human and with the potential to be bestial.
It is not a coincidence that the book of Daniel describes national collectivities as beasts, given that numerous individuals unrefined by the grace of Jesus Christ fit this description. Neither should it escape us that that Jesus initiated the Kingdom of heaven among us. But we must live in Him and live Him personally to be agents of new creation life.
The truth is, if you choose not to have Jesus to rule over you, you are destined to be the victim of the Messiah you get. It fills me with dismay that Christians who attend church, hear from God and who sometimes heal people in the power of Christ can be fixated on acts of immorality as the prime evil, yet be blind to the immorality and grossness of the economic system that is their ‘other god.’
It’s disappointing when Christians support right-wing-ism. When they deny climate change, align themselves with special interests and greed; when they include themselves without shame in the parasite class - the class who assure us they are our benefactors yet display the kind of discernment one might find in a donkey.
Jesus is not aligned with the right or the left. He represents life and life-multiplication. Rather than hang on to His stuff and His prerogatives He gave Himself up and suffered the humiliation of death on a cross. In doing so He ensured justice would eventually triumph and that greed would have its own reward. Some attain wealth by cleverness and hard work. Others by digging it out of the ground and treating it as though they own it. Others by being cunning enough to manipulate the economic system to the advantage of themselves and the loss of all they indirectly oppress. You don’t have to be a Putin or an Assad to suck life out of people. You can do this and be esteemed ‘successful’ in the ‘free world.’ Some say that going to hell is being made to live eternally with people like yourself. An exquisite justice if ever there was one!
‘My goal is that they may be encouraged in heart and united in love, so that they may have the full riches of complete understanding, in order that they may know the mystery of God, namely, Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. I tell you this so that no one may deceive you by fine-sounding arguments’ Col 2.2 NIV.
But back to theology. If you are one of those whose attention is captured by praise and worship but your powers of reason dissolve immediately it is over, you might like to consider that there is merit in having an attention span that lasts longer than a mist in the rising son. Theology simply means the truth about God. If you are too simple or too lazy to become certain about the truth, you can expect that people will take advantage of you and that your soul and spirit will become captive to those without insight or conscience.
‘We do, however, speak a message of wisdom among the mature, but not the wisdom of this age or of the rulers of this age, who are coming to nothing’ 1 Cor 2.6 NIV.
Jesus represents grace and truth. He is grace so that we can be drawn into His truth. Theology is simply the truth about God, about who He is, what He is like, what He has done for us, how He has done it and who we can expect to become as a result of His love expressed on our behalf. It helps to read the Bible. It is important to read the Bible through the Jesus lens. You need to live in the new covenant and not the old and if you do not know the difference be sure to find out. It’s the difference between a life in Adam and a life in Jesus and a life that is actually dead and a life that is alive in spirit and in truth.