Regardless of what country you live in, there will be at least one political party, and usually many to choose from. People who read and follow the Bible often affiliate with a particular party in order to best align their politics with the Bible. What’s interesting is they can read the same book and reach different conclusions about which party to join. This, I think, points to the diversity of the Bible — and the God behind it — as much to the varied interpretations of its readers.
But setting politics aside, what if there was a life party, a holistic philosophy that covered everything? Might you join a compelling life party? I have.
In the Amplified Bible, Jesus invites people to “side with my party.” This wasn’t about politics, but about life. When Jesus calls people to do this, it usually accompanies phrases such as “be my disciple” and “follow me.” Other supporting thoughts include “take up your cross,” “forsake everything,” “identify with me,” “leave everything,” and “join with me.”
Being part of Jesus’ party isn’t about politics; it’s about all of life. It’s not an opinion to be held, it’s about a complete, all-in, sold-out commitment to side with him.
Will you side with his party?
[Biblical references to Jesus’ party (and a few others, too)]
I have Christian friends who are staunch, conservative Republicans. When they read their Bible, they see God as a conservative Republican. They cannot comprehend how anyone who follows Jesus could be or think like a Democrat. Their views are found and substantiated in the Bible.
I have other Christian friends who are staunch, liberal Democrats. When they read their Bible, they see God as a liberal Democrat. They cannot comprehend how anyone who follows Jesus could be or think like a Republican. Their views are also found and substantiated in the Bible.
Unfortunately, both these groups read their Bible through the filter of their preconceived notion of politics, focusing on those verses that confirm their views, while glossing over or skipping those passages that confront their predetermined and intractable ideals.
This doesn’t just happen with politics, either. If we are not careful, this is always how we read the Bible, giving great prominence to those sections we agree with, while dismissing those that challenge our theological expectations and spiritual status quo.
We need to — we must — take off the blinders and cast aside our filters, instead reading the Bible with an open mind, focusing precisely on the parts that don’t align with our preconceived notions and preferences, which are anathemas, and that cause us confusion or even anger. It is in truly considering all that the Bible has to say that we will have a chance for real understanding and spiritual growth.