“The sands of politics and political philosophy shift with the ages. One can anchor herself to political philosophy and find herself in the party of “the enemy” within one generation. Conversely, one can anchor himself to a political party and find his philosophical and theological convictions compromised within one election cycle.
So, I reject the moniker “Christian Left.” It is a moniker drawn in hasty response to the “Religious Right” a political movement (not a theological one). I do not set the standards of my political engagement in response to some random political point on a line. No. Rather than anchoring my politics on the shifting sand of a linear continuum, I ask a higher question: “What is my axis?” What does my political engagement revolve around? Is it political ideology? Is it political party? Is it biblical theology? I choose the later.
I am a Kingdom Christian, not a leftist Christian, a conservative Christian, nor any other political brand of Christian. I have even moved away from the term progressive Christian. It is too closely associated with that linear political spectrum. No. I am called to be a prophetic Christian. The axis of my political engagement is scripture and the biblical theology of shalom: It sets the standards of my political engagement.
Shalom is what the reign of God smells like. It is what the Kingdom of God looks like. Grounded in the story of creation in Genesis 1-14 and woven through every book of the Bible, the concept of shalom teaches us that we were created in relationship with God, with our selves, with each other, with the rest of creation and with the systems that govern us. What it means to be one who lives under the reign of God is to be connected with a forceful bond of love in all these relationships. Genesis 3 offers a picture of the consequences of humanity’s grab at its own peace, in its own way (not the Jesus way). When we say to God “You don’t know what you’re talking about” or “Your word is good for church, but not for real life” or “You are not out for my good” and we take matters into our own hands, then shalom is shattered. Every relationship in creation is broken.
Jesus’s life, death and resurrection bring us the ministry of reconciliation. Reconciliation to God, to self, to each other, to the rest of creation and to the systems that govern us is now possible because Jesus beat death — the one power we all must face.”
Seldom do I almost moan in agreement with an article. But I did with this one. Lisa Sharon Harper so eloquently lays out what it means to be a Christian who sees politics through the eyes of Christ. I will let Ms. Harper do the telling: