Let’s take a step back, away from a fairly heavy emphasis on one chapter of the Bible, and look at the bigger picture. Jesus, whom most of us admire if not worship, is mere steps and minutes away from His crucifixion. And surprisingly, He’s picked out our unity as the most important need to pray about – not primarily our political unity, but neither everything except political unity. There aren’t any footnotes or small print saying that Jesus was only talking about how we treat one another in Church. In fact, if You know Jesus, you know that the very last thing He would have done would be to separate Churchy things from everyday life.
He’s imminently practical, and desires to be Lord of all of life, not just the spiritual compartments.
If a strong majority of the public claims to admire Jesus, then that means Jesus-admirers are in both political parties, and Jesus’ prayer has something to say about our mess.
If you’ve been following this blog from the beginning, you’ve read most of what will eventually be the first two chapters of a book. So, in case you’re wondering, here are a couple disclaimers, in normal size font.
Is this a Bible study, or a book designed to help us through our political climate? As we’ll see in the next chapter, the answer is more of a both/and than an either/or, but if I had to pick between the two, as the author I’d say my goal is more the latter than the former. I didn’t write this book merely as another study of the Bible or a portion of it. Yet my thesis is that Jesus is the Good News that can be heard above the shrill cacophony of the donkey/elephant brawls, and that this Good News actually could solve our political gridlock. And we don’t have the privilege of remaking Jesus in our own image, shaping Him the way we’d like Him to be. He’s a real person who entered history at a thoroughly documented time and place, and the Bible is our primary source for knowing Him. So I’m putting most of the direct Bible references in the footnotes, but I’m drawing from the Bible to announce the good news for which we all so desperately long.
Are you saying that we should all just get along and ignore our differences politically? Not at all, although you wouldn’t know that for certain right now unless you’d seen the table of contents. There are real differences between the two parties which we’d be foolish to ignore or paper over. I’m not even arguing that everyone should leave a party and become independent, even though that’s what my wife and I did about four years ago. I intend to pick out some platforms from both political parties that I believe Jesus would support, and then argue that we need to start making decisions more on the basis of content than animal species. And in the areas where we may vehemently disagree, dialogue that is substantive, respectful, and humble could actually break off some of the sharper edges to partisan policy and leave us with some options that would be far more attractive than anything available to us now. Those who claim allegiance to an authority higher than any here on Earth will have to lead the way.