Applied Belief: Baptizing politics

Religion and politics are sometimes considered dirty topics. People pledge to keep these two topics off the table when gathering for family events. The media portrays families always having an argument between that gun toting confederate flag waving uncle and the pro choice gay marriage supporting niece. I am sure the reality is not that drastic but it still illustrates the point, that religion and politics should not be discussed amongst family.

One thing is true about religion and politics. They share at least one thing in common, they both are not for the faint hearted. Barack Obama himself said in 2004 “Everybody knows politics is a contact sport.” When Ted Cruz won in Iowa this past week some headlines read “Cruz draws first blood!” You cannot survive in politics if you are not ready for attacks, battles and much more.

Like politicians, Christians face a tough road. In Matthew 24:9, Jesus says “Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and put you to death, and you will be hated by all nations for my name's sake.”

What a life, right? If you follow Jesus, people will hate you and persecute you and even put you to death. Who in their right mind would follow Jesus if this is what will befall them? Like politics, those who follow Christ do so knowing the risks and find that the risks are worth it. As a Christian, I can affirm that if following Christ leads to my death then so be it for Jesus first suffered for me and died. Risking my life is the least I could do for him.

You see the political system is dirty and ineffective. Congress has the lowest rating perhaps in its history and conservatives argue that Obama is the worst president America has ever had. It is no wonder that many people are excited to get behind someone that is not a lifelong politician or someone who is so anti political status quo that many in his own party hate him.

The argument from some of the political “outsiders” and anti-establishment candidates is that Washington is self-serving. Politicians get elected simply to enrich themselves and their lobbyists at the expense of the people and their tax dollars. Bills are passed full of money for political interests all the while things that really matter to Americans always stall in the halls of the government. For Christians, the government has continued to pass laws that demonize and criminalize what we have always held to be biblically true and godly.

There are many in and out of government that want more and a larger government, but why? If something is dirty, why on earth would we want more of it? Politics is dirty. But does it have to be this way? If this nation was founded on Judeo Christian principles and if the Bible is the bed rock on which the Constitution and many of our laws are grounded on, then maybe politics should be more just and righteous.

Perhaps this is all lofty thinking, but a man can dream, right? I love politics and I engage in it because it is my civic duty as an American. I also acknowledge that God is the one that ultimately has the say regarding who is elected.

Romans 13:1 makes that abundantly clear: Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God.

So we can argue all the day if our vote counts or not in an electoral college system but at the end of the day for good or for bad whoever is chosen and “established” is done so by God.

Given this, it would be my hope that we could once and for all baptize all of politics. For Christians, baptism by immersion means burying the old and raising the new.

Romans 6:3 says, Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.

We need to take the whole political system and immerse it in the river of justice, baptize it in the ever-flowing stream of righteousness (Amos 5:24).

Burying the old corrupt, self-serving and debt ridden immoral system that from this river and from this stream might arise a renewed political system that honors God first and recognizing who is truly in charge. Rising anew to return to the moral basis of the Constitution grounded in a Judeo Christian ethic. This is my hope; this I do pray.

* The opinions expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the ownership or management of Chadds Ford Live. We welcome opposing viewpoints. Readers may comment in the comments section or they may submit a Letter to the Editor to: editor@chaddsfordlive.com

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About Rev. Marcos O. Almonte

Rev. Marcos O. Almonte is senior pastor at Brandywine Baptist Church, the oldest Baptist Church west of Philadelphia. Pastor Marcos is a graduate of Palmer Theological Seminary with more than 10 years working with families with an expertise in theology, trauma and addictions. Pastor Marcos and his wife Mary have three children, Carmen, Joseph, and Lincoln.

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