Not My Jesus

This week I watched in horror as a mob of violent Americans stormed the US Capitol Building in an attempt to halt democracy and begin a revolution. My jaw remained dropped for hours as I saw people pulling down barriers, scaling walls, and sitting in hallowed seats. 

I once spent a week in the Capitol building in high school and was detained for foolishly trying to get into the second-floor senator’s lounge as a joke. All I did was get on an elevator and press a button and I was detained until my group leader was found. This was pre 9/11 when security was nothing close to what it is now.

And yet I watched hordes of people pour through the doors, with backpacks full of who-knows-what, some carrying weapons, tear apart what they claim is of utter importance - America. The tragic irony is that many of these thugs were claiming to defend democracy when they were actually attacking it.

Who were they? The Trumpers trying to #stopthesteal? Antifa masquerading as Trumpers? Leftist attempting to make Trump look worse? Maybe one day the answers will come, but that wasn’t my question yesterday. Or today. Or for the last four years. 

My question was this - Why are they committing acts of sedition and flying a Jesus flag? Why do I keep seeing “Jesus Saves” banners and “Jesus for Trump” flags? 

Whose Jesus are they talking about?

Some tweets I read soon after - 

“Seeing “Jesus saves” intertwined with Trump signs is exactly what it looks like to break the third commandment. Stop taking the Lord’s name in vain.”

“As long as I live, I will never forget that a seditious mob stormed our country’s Capitol building while carrying the Christian flag and signs that say “Jesus Saves”

And in reply to that one - “All the nonbelievers watching won’t forget either.”

“It is clear who and what is being worshipped and it's not Jesus.”

And from Phil Vischer, of VeggieTales fame, - “Watching protestors invade the Capitol with Christian flags and a giant “Jesus 2020” banner. Lawmakers are in hiding because of marauding...Christians??”

Exactly, Phil. It’s confusing. It’s embarrassing. The unbelieving world is watching and the evil unseen realm is laughing. 

I don’t care if you’re a Trumper or a Never-Trumper; please stop baptizing your political views in the waters of Christianity. 

EvangelicalismChristian Nationalism, and Trump Cultism seem to have become a giant Griswold-esque ball of Christmas lights that will take the authentic followers of Jesus years to untangle in the eyes of their unbelieving friends and family. 

The tragic consequence of a political priesthood is that we lead many astray down the broad path of Christendom rather than towards the narrow way of the cross. It offers what Bonhoeffer called “cheap grace.” It leads to a faith that is shaped by politics rather than a political shaping faith. 

Some things have been revealed this week that have lurked in the shadows for a long time. This disruption provides the Church with an opportunity to shine the light of truth into every closet; to fling open the basement doors and drag the skeletons into the light. 

The Church has an opportunity to clean house. To repent. To storm the temple and rather than flipping tables, to take down the flags that are proudly displayed in the sanctuary. (Oh yes, dear Canadians, there are American flags in sanctuaries all over churches in your neighbour to the South).

We need to say unequivocally, “We have no King but Jesus!” We pledge allegiance to the Lamb and no other. No qualifications. No caveats. And allegiance to Him will inevitably put us at odds with the empire. It always has. 

Whatever Jesus those signs were speaking of, He’s not mine.

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