One month from today the people of the United States will vote in the 2016 Presidential Election. I have nothing new to add to the bluster and haze that has been the most disheartening political process of my lifetime. I will only reiterate something I published more than five years ago,
I wrote a little book called The Jesus Tribe, based on the Sermon on the Mount (published by Smyth and Helwys). I was told by multiple confidants and friends at the time not to do it. It was too edgy, too un-American. These years later, what I wrote then is more applicable than ever. Excerpts from the book are below, but it might not be for everybody. As I said in an interview shortly after publication:
“Those who are suspicious of the dominate models used by the church to engage the world will find a lot to think about here. Those who are looking for an authentic Christian witness in a Post-Christendom world should certainly consider picking up a copy. I’d like to say that everyone will enjoy this book, but that won’t be the case. Those who want to ‘take America back’ by force or by violence won’t find much traction here. And those who seem to enjoy the culture wars seething in so many strands of Christianity, should probably leave this book on the shelf.”
I’m in the Jesus Party my friends, for the powers of this world are passing away. – RM
“I am emphatically saying that the United States is not the Kingdom of God. Like a growing number of Christians in North America I have developed this aversion to attaching a national flag – any national flag – to the cross or the way of Jesus. God’s Kingdom cannot be taken hostage like that, for the church’s identity cannot be bound to any earthly nation. The church is a unique, called-out people who live as aliens and strangers in a world that is no longer our home. I know some people will think me very un-American to say such things; but as a follower of Jesus I must pledge my primary allegiance to him, even if this is perceived as a lack of patriotism.”
“The majority of Americans perceive themselves as “American Christians” rather than being Christians who happen live in America. The majority of this country’s churches are fiercely joined to American goals, ambitions, ideals, and nationalism and they let that nationalism steer their social and theological agenda more than the way of Jesus. And undeniably, yes, it is an American version of Christendom, a fusion of the Christian faith with the powers that be. Nothing, in my opinion, robs the church of its witness like this union with power. The Empire gains everything by becoming “Christian” (but doesn’t have to change anything), and the church loses everything by picking up the means and ways of the world.”
“The first Christians would not bring their faith under the Roman pantheon or collaborate with state power. Thus, our Christian ancestors found themselves on the business end of the ‘Patriot Act’ of their day not because they believed in the afterlife, or because they believed Jesus died for their sins, or even because they claimed Christ rose from the dead. They were thrown to the gladiators and lions, crucified, exiled, marginalized and otherwise persecuted ‘for following a way that ran counter to the prevailing direction’ of the Empire. They were unloyal citizens.”
“Yes, participate as a Christian in society. Nothing about being a committed member of the Jesus Tribe should prevent us from working, and working hard, toward grace, goodness, and justice in the world. Just realize that anyone who reaches for power while remaining absolutely within the way of Jesus will not likely reach very far. Something will have to give because the way of Jesus and the way of Empire are just not compatible. The existing systems we often seek to improve, guide, endorse, seize, or reform do not belong to ‘us.’ They are of the world, and as such, these systems are poisoned, and like a river flowing into the sea, if the river is polluted so will be the end result.”
“Yes, human society needs social structures and ways to meet the needs of others, but the Jesus Tribe is a society informed and shaped by a different kind of power. It is a society constructed upon the inverted power of sacrifice, servanthood, grace, and nonviolence. It is a society built on a cross. This can prove dangerous to one’s reputation – maybe one’s life – but a church ‘addicted to security and safety is not the church of Jesus Christ.’ It is something else.”
2 thoughts on “A Month To Go: My Presidential Endorsement”
Reblogged this on Michael Moore's Blog and commented:
Thanks for sharing, Ronnie! As wise as they were (your words) when I first read them five years ago!
Dear Pastor McBrayer. I read w/ great interest you ideas on the vote ” Can’t vote for her, won’t vote for him. I’m sure you are aware that most people feel this way, however we have an obligation as citizens of this great land to make a choice, our duty. All of us could beat our chests howeling but I, a Christian I.mCatholic I; m not voting …… Rhis still would not answer the question the goverment must be run, congress has it’s duties, the budget must be bananced, Abortion mist be stopped, boarders must be fixed. Try Try to get over the mud slinging, language unbecoming,etc. We have A DUTY to make a choice to help out, not run away, or Beat our chests & day Or no not me I, let the others guys do it, I’m too piousa christian. I cannot , even though it is my OBLIGATION as a citizen ? PASTOR OF MY PEOPLE TO SHOW MY BACK BONE, LEAD , INCOURAGE ALL WHO ARE WEAKER. Please we want to be PROUD of our leaders, our pastors , even when its hard. YOU are our First line of Defence. Please Lead !!!!!!!! Thoughtfully /With Prayers & a humble heart do the right thing . Barb Comer —-email@example.com Thank you for listening.