Exposed takes a close look at the “cult of personality” that occupies so much of pop-culture’s time and focus. We are quick to judge politicians and celebrities and be entertained by their downfall, yet in reality our lives are often just as broken.
Pastor Miles opened today’s message by sharing some of the experiences he has had in attending/speaking/praying at government events. He had to go through a gauntlet of armed soldiers, protestors attacking the cars, bomb-sniffing dogs, barricades, metal detectors, and people enraged and acting crazy. After events like these, he has an influx of emails, “Glad to see you were there. He is the best president ever!” or “What are you doing with him? He is the worst president ever!”
People can get very passionate about politics, can’t they? Radical responses about our authorities or their policies do not necessarily expose what’s wrong with those things, but rather what is in our hearts as their critics. There is nothing wrong with passion (in fact, God prefers our passion to our apathy) and there is nothing wrong with being involved in politics and government, but the problem comes when those passions cause us to sin. Passion without love and self-control can causes us to say things we shouldn’t say, hate other people, and stir so much anger in us that we compromise our witness for Jesus.
Be angry, and do not sin. Meditate within your heart on your bed, and be still. Psalm 4:4
Our authority figures will not always do what we want and they may make “unfair” decisions, but we are called to reserve judgment and remember some important facts about our true Authority.
In today’s passage from John 18:33-38, Jesus speaks to where our hearts where should be concerning the people in authority over us. Our authority figures will not always do what we want and they may make “unfair” decisions, but we are called to reserve judgment and remember some important facts about our true Authority.
A judgmental spirit exposes that:
1. We deny the reality of a superior kingdom.
When we get extremely angry about politics and government policies, this reveals that our perspective is limited to earth. This world is not all there is—in fact, someday it will no longer exist.
There is a superior, more powerful kingdom out there cannot be conquered by this world. Remember that Jesus was falsely accused by an inferior kingdom, convicted, and crucified, and this was all part of God’s plan. So if we partake in suffering, Jesus’ example to us to obey God and trust Him.
2. We suffer from citizenship confusion.
When we sin in your passion for politics, we forget to Whom we belong and where our citizenship lies. Our country is wonderful (albeit flawed), but our real home is in heaven, which will be infinitely better.
Pilate therefore said to Him, “Are You a king then?” Jesus answered, “You say rightly that I am a king. For this cause I was born, and for this cause I have come into the world, that I should bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice.” John 18:37
Jesus says that He came here from heaven to bear witness to the truth. If Christ is your Savior, then your true citizenship lies in heaven, and the rules of heaven are the rules of your life. Do you read the newspaper first thing in the morning, or the Bible? Only God’s Word can give us complete truth, peace, joy, and stability, as it never changes.
For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ… Philippians 3:20
3. We overestimate the goodness of man.
Don’t be shocked when sinners sin. Give people space to make mistakes, because we all do—even you! You overestimate your own goodness; if you think you are good, imagine if everything in your heart and mind came out as words the moment you thought or felt it!
We should not be shocked and judgmental when a politician under immense pressure (or not walking with the Lord) is caught in a lie or a scandal. Remember with humility that all people sin; we don’t have to approve in order to understand.
So be passionate about our current world, but don’t go so far as to let your anger lead you to sin. Hold the circumstances of this world lightly because there is more to come.
Now when He was in Jerusalem at the Passover, during the feast, many believed in His name when they saw the signs which He did. But Jesus did not commit Himself to them, because He knew all men, and had no need that anyone should testify of man, for He knew what was in man. John 2:23-25
So be passionate about our current world, but don’t go so far as to let your anger lead you to sin. Hold the circumstances of this world lightly because there is more to come, and God is unfolding His plans of which we are all a part.