The Pattern of the World

I’m way off track on my goal of switching from full-time criminal justice reform to creating a new album and studying more about God. It’s super frustrating, but I can see some light. Plus, I consider everything I do with criminal justice reform still to be doing God’s will – in fact, I call what I do “God’s Project,” because of all the things He’s done to make it happen. So if He wants me to keep it up, I will. Part of walking in the supernatural is to hear God and do what He says no matter what else you think you want to do. We’ll see.

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Last week I watched with amusement the Family Leadership Summit, where each of most of the Republican candidates for president answered questions about pretty much everything, including God. I watched a lot of strange answers, including a guy who said that he never asks for forgiveness (apparently he doesn’t need it), but that he enjoys eating that “little cracker.” Most of the answers made me think that everyone was just trying to find that perfect balance between talking about God and not saying anything too crazy to lose votes. Political Christianity.

A lot of America is probably content with these kinds of answers. But if you’re a follower of Jesus, you have to get used to living in a foreign land – the natural world, where everything Jesus said and did often seems crazy to most everyone else. For a moment, I wondered what it would look like if a candidate for president was truly someone who believed in all that Jesus taught and modeled. Someone who believed in the supernatural. Someone who understood the transcendent force of love for all persons, even those who are unloved by the world. What would he say? Would he be called a “Republican?” Would he even be there?

In my opinion, if Jesus himself were in Ames Iowa that day, he wouldn’t have been labeled as either a Republican or a Democrat. If he spoke to anybody, he probably would have spoken of things that people simply wouldn’t have understood. Just like before, he would have spoken of wonderful things to give hope to all humanity, but he also likely would have spoken about things that would have made people want to kill him. The more I think about it, the more I believe that he wouldn’t have even gone in to the Summit – I think he would have spent his time looking for the poor and displaced people that were somewhere in the backstreets of Ames.

If you’re like me, and you want to follow this radical named Jesus, you have to realize that some things he said might be labeled ultra-conservative, while other things might be considered downright socialist. And so to truly follow Jesus, you’re going to have to get used to feeling like a complete outcast in the natural world. That’s to be expected. In Romans 12, Paul wrote, “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – his good, pleasing and perfect will.”  Jesus mentions being “not of this world” a few times, and one commentary explains one of those statements quite succinctly: “The Spirit of God in true Christians is opposed to the spirit of the world.”

If the whole political thing just frustrates and confuses you – especially when they talk about God – then that’s a good thing. In my opinion, that’s just you listening to the Spirit of God and not conforming to the pattern of the world.

Be blessed, everyone!

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