Political righteousness, or “I ain’t stupid!” has been around since the beginning. “And the serpent said to the woman, ‘You surely shall not die! For God knows that in the day you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.’” Who would ever have thought a talking serpent would lie?
Fast forward to 2022. Politics has infected all of America. We have all tested positive for stupid, to the extent that even our churches and religious institutions are debating political issues as if they were questions of orthodoxy or orthopraxy. We used to have denominational tags. Nowadays we have political tags like conservative, progressive, liberal, or moderate.
After WWII, Europeans began leaving churches and abandoning religion in general. We see a similar abandonment in America today with the formerly faithful exchanging their faith for political righteousness. While political correctness has always been a trump card for the political LEFT, political righteousness is the zeal that spans the political spectrum. All sides believe they are politically righteousness.
Many religious leaders in America have become alarmed at reduced attendance and participation in religious organizations and institutions particularly among younger generations. They have become even more concerned about political battles amongst the faithful. Religious politics is the latest syncretistic blending of culture and faith.
The Bible is a record of God’s working His plan through the ages. We read time after time of God promising deliverance for His people whether they believed or not. It’s His plan and His work, not dependent on any of us for sure. And, yet we worry what we should do to solve the troubles and problems that have descended on earth at the end of the sixth millennium. Like Eve, we somehow believe we can make things better. “We’re not stupid!”
Political righteousness is the belief we can make things good, or at least better through government. Political righteousness believes we can legislate or dictate higher moral standards, that humanity itself can lift us up by our own bootstraps. In a way, political righteousness is a fulfillment of Paul’s description of the last days in his letter to Timothy when he wrote, “For men will be lovers of self … always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.”
Somewhere along the way we have abandoned the biblical view that man is inherently bad and have fully em-braced the worldly belief that most people are good. Mark’s gospel records a man kneeling before Jesus asking Him, “Good Teacher what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” Jesus replied, “Why do you call Me good? No one is good except God alone.”
As usual we continue to face uncertain days and times. Rather than continuing to seek deliverance through our own politically righteous prowess, perhaps we should listen to the Preacher, who wrote, “I again saw under the sun that the race is not to the swift, and the battle is not to the warriors … for time and chance overtake them all.”
God is no less at work in the world today than He has ever been. If we believed this we would see it and not be tempted to make His plans better. In times of distress it’s better for believers to watch and see what God is doing.
by Daniel Gardner, Special to the Gazette
on January 19, 2022, 10:46 am