Winston Churchill said, “If you are not a liberal when you are young, then you have no heart. If you are not a conservative when you are old, then you have no brains.” So where is God politically? Every society struggles with the conflict of liberals versus conservatives. These two political viewpoints seem to be built into the very essence of human nature. So where is God in all of this? Is God a Republican or a Democrat?
Let’s step back into biblical history. We find both political parties represented in the culture of Jesus’ day. The Pharisees where the Republicans of that era. They were the religious and more fiscally conservative party. They were deeply entrenched in making money and profiteering as evidenced from their business adventures in the temple. They were for big business – especially when it lined their pockets. They were not particularly known as the party which championed the “down and outs” of society.
The Sadducees were the Democrats of the day. They tended to be the upper social and economic echelon of Judean society. They were viewed as the more liberal party, who was against big business and if favor of more governmental involvement in public affairs. They were generally less religious than the other party, the Pharisees. They were more humanistic in their approach to life. The “big tent” included “sinners and prostitutes.”
They even had the Libertarians and Green Party people. These were the Essenes, a desert-dwelling, disorganized bunch. They had personal agendas and were not well-informed, beyond a few “pet” issues.
Do you see any parallels today? In broad sweeping terms the Republican Party looks a lot like the Pharisees and the Democrats look a lot like the Sadducees.
But God is an Independent, not allied with either political party. So as a Christian I am not so concerned with whether I am on the Republican or Democratic side. I am concerned with whether or not I am on God’s side.
In Joshua 5:13-15, we find the story of Jericho. As Joshua moved through the battle lines, he encountered a mighty soldier with a drawn sword. Joshua asked whether the soldier was on the side of Israel or on the side of her enemies. “Neither,” said the soldier. “I am on the Lord’s side. On whose side are you?”
At that Joshua dropped to his knees and broke out in worship.
It’s okay to have strong political views – I certainly do. But at the end of the day, what matters most is not if you are on Trump’s side or Clinton’s side. May we all be on God’s side.
About the Author
Roger Barrier is the pastor of Casas Adobes Baptist Church in Tucson, Arizona. He is also the founder of Preach It, Teach It, and an international conference speaker and prolific author.