Some things are taboo. Forbidden. Socially unacceptable. I remember on entering the work force (long ago) being coached by people who said one of those forbidden things was to talk about religion and/or politics while at work.
I grew up in the United States, and I was raised, nay indoctrinated, to believe in the separation of state from religion. There is a saying that goes, “religion and politics don’t mix.” I adhered to that belief….until a few years ago. That is when I first read a book that discussed Jesus as a political figure.
Hear me out.
We need to be very careful and thorough and open when we read the Bible. One of the most important things to understand as we read is the context and culture into which the particular author is writing. It is generally understood that the intent of the author is the overriding intent of the passage or portion we are reading. What makes this challenging is that in order to understand the author’s intent, we need to understand the context and culture of that day. It is not enough to read the Bible. (Heresy? I don’t think so.) This is why pastors, preachers and teachers delve into commentaries and other resources – to more fully understand the Word.
Anyway, in all my readings up until a few years ago when I read the book I referenced above, I read the gospels and understood that Jesus challenged the religious leaders of the day throughout his ministry. What I did not realize is that those same leaders, the religious leaders, were also the governing leaders of the day for the Israelites. So, by inference, Jesus challenged the governing (or political) leaders of the day as well. This dramatically challenged my thinking that religion and politics don’t (or shouldn’t) mix. They sure mixed back then!
Today in a leadership group I attend where we are studying Henry Cloud’s book Integrity, we had a spirited discussion of American (mostly) politics religion, and all the implications of the upcoming election as well as past presidential impact on the nation and the nations. I’m so glad to be able to be able to share opinions and thoughts with people who may not always think the same way. Discussion of these taboo subjects helps us get at the truth of many matters.
Ciao for now.