“…These men who have turned the world upside down have come here too, and Jason has received them as guests! They are all acting contrary to Caesar’s decrees, saying there is another king–Jesus!” Acts 17:6b-7 HCSB
There’s a lot of discussion–and rightly so–about the intersection of faith and politics, even if there should be such an intersection at all. One of the admittedly many things I appreciate about Pastor Doug Wilson is his consistent emphasis that Christianity is necessarily a political reality. “Jesus is Lord” is not merely a religious statement or sentiment; it is a political declaration.
Here in Acts, we see this borne out. Being born again truly is a political reality, because it is a living statement that there is a throne above and beyond Caesar to which the believer gladly submits, and to which everyone else should submit as well. It is not as though Heaven’s throne is in competition with Caesar; rather, Heaven’s throne established Caesar’s! Peter commands masters of slaves to treat them respectfully because they themselves have a Master over them. This is no less true of the supposed “authority” of culture, or even of established government. To act or claim that there is no authority higher than you is to claim to be god.
Just as it was in Acts 17, so it is today: bowing the knee to Jesus is shocking. Revolutionary, even. Proclaim that abortion is murder and therefore is morally evil and therefore must be stopped post-haste. Proclaim that sex is gloriously bounded by heterosexual marriage for the benefit of all and the glory of God. Then watch the world flip like an Olympian gymnast.
Acts 17 also parallels our time in that it is repugnant to defy Caesar’s “norms.” To uphold what God’s natural and Spiritual words have clearly and consistently declared is seen as laughable nonsense (at best) and abusive bigotry (or worse).
O give us courage, King Jesus!