The door creaked as I opened it and headed into the room. Before I could see anything, I could hear screams, laughter, and shouting. A ball went whizzing past my head. Music was pumping through the sound system. Over 30 middle school and high school students were enjoying life and relationships. It was my typical Wednesday evening for over 6 years. Some would call it chaos. Others sheer insanity. A third group would say it was beauty in motion. While another set of eyes would place such a scene as comparable to heaven. However, in this setting, one reality needed clarified over and over again…who was in charge?
As a youth pastor at the time I had to deal with the question (and reality) of authority all the time. There were always differing expectations people brought to the table. Parents questioned how things would be run. Adult volunteers curiously mined for what boundaries to uphold. And of course, students were constantly seeking to know where the limits were. All of those groups of people came asking, explicitly or implicitly, about authority. I don’t think I would have described it this way then, but what they all were inquiring about was politics. Who was in charge? What were the rules? How would we engage with one another? How would decisions get made for the group? All of those questions are about how people interact with each other and any answer is inherently political.
The most significant thing I have to say about politics is that Jesus Christ is King.Hunter Baker
Those middle and high school students didn’t talk about politics often, but they were very aware of the politics of life. As adults we tend to talk more and more about politics as we get older. Not just politics from a “who did you vote for” position, but how persons, families, neighborhoods, communities, countries, and people groups relate with one another. As Christians, we are often asking, discussing, and determining how we are going to view government and Jesus. While much ink has been spilt on these topics, especially lately, I really appreciate Hunter Baker’s two points in answering the questions, “What Did Jesus Teach About Politics?“. If you’re looking for an detailed article to tell you what to think, look elsewhere. But if you are looking for a helpful framework to begin with, look no further.
I really appreciate Baker’s words here: “But we must also remember not to think merely of Jesus as a friend or a brother. Make no mistake. He is a king. Not only is a he a king, he is the one true King.” That reminder helps me think through questions students, parents, volunteers and everyone is asking. Who is in charge? What are the rules? How should we engage with each other? While I wouldn’t say Hunter says everything needing to be said, he does give a good foundation to start on. What did you appreciate, disagree with, or even get frustrated with in Hunter’s article? I love hearing from my readers so leave me a comment below. As always be with the Lord’s people on the Lord’s day.