We’re continuing our exploration of the phrase “Jesus is Lord.” We have previously looked at it as personal transformation and religious scandal.
Today, we view it in relation to cultural subversion.
The only charge that the Jews could bring against Jesus that could lead to his death was the claim that he made himself equal to Caesar. Even his claim to be Yahweh (while deeply offensive) was not against the law. Ah, but when he began to insert himself into the political system, he was in for trouble!
This has continued to be true. People will tolerate churches in their communities, until those congregations challenge the status quo. The separation of church and state is not only the desire to keep the state from intruding upon the church, but also a fence to try to keep the church from influencing the state. “Business as usual” never takes kindly to subversion.
But any value system worthy of the name has significance for all of life, not just one compartment in it. Values transcend one particular location. By their very nature they seek to shape things larger than themselves.
When we say, “Jesus is Lord,” we are saying that no country, no form of government, no political party or leader, is paramount. There is a great danger (and error) to name any nation as “God’s country” (when “there is none righteous, no not one”). We put ourselves in peril when we look to a candidate to give us what only God can provide and make one party appear more ‘Christian’ than another (when “all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God”).
When we say, “Jesus is Lord,” we can still be patriotic, but we take our cues from Christ, not nation. And that means we can only condone and celebrate what is done in our land when it glorifies God. A waving flag is not supposed to cover our eyes.