At the end of the day only one person can provide the proper remedy for what ails us:

The Christian carries two passports: an earthly one and a heavenly one. Being dual citizens can often be problematic, since the demands, duties, rights and responsibilities of the one might conflict with those of the other. Our obligations and opportunities might not always cohere between the two.

We of course are to be fully committed, obedient and loyal subjects of the kingdom of God. But we also have various things we are called to be involved in here. Being a good citizen of the country we live in is part of this. But the two loyalties can clash at times.

And there can be unhelpful extremes we run with. Some believers can be so attached to and enthralled by this world that they do next to nothing worthwhile for the spiritual world. And other believers might be so heavenly-minded that they are no earthly good.

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Some Christians seem to put all their energy and efforts and time and commitment into this world, be it finding political solutions for our problems, or what have you. Some Christians want nothing to do with this world, and just sit around with their feet up, waiting for Christ to return. Both extremes are unhelpful.

Trying to get the biblical balance right here is always crucial. And I speak to these issues again in part to follow up on a piece I penned just yesterday. It had looked at politics and the culture wars in America and Australia. You can read it here

The piece covered three incidents. Two involved noted American conservatives who took on leftist loons who pass themselves off as journalists here in Australia. But the third and main topic of that article had to do with the just-held debate in Atlanta between Donald Trump and Joe Biden.

As I said in that piece, it was an absolute trainwreck for Biden. It was also a case of elder abuse. The old guy needs to be sitting in a rocking chair somewhere by the seaside, enjoying retirement. He is not fit to handle a debate, let alone handle the nation. It was a sad spectacle indeed.

But it may well have been part of the plan by the Democrats. Any honest Dem would have known for quite some time what a liability he is, along with his laughable sidekick Kamala. Their problem is how to get rid of him and put someone else in, perhaps Gavin Newsom. So who knows, they might have been keen to have this early debate, held even before both conventions (the Republicans in Milwaukee in July and the Dems in Chicago in August).

So what does that have to do with what I wrote above? Well, as I have to keep saying, at the end of the day politics cannot save us. It is vitally important, and we must be involved, but we cannot put all our hopes and trust in some political outcome.

These sorts of things I have been saying for years now. Even when I comment on some election here or overseas, I almost always mention that proviso. I might be pleased that one party or one candidate has defeated another, but I know I cannot pin all my hopes and faith in such a victory.

All politicians, all political parties, and all human efforts at anything will only go so far. Sure, we are called to be salt and light here on planet earth, so that means getting involved in all areas of life, including the political. We should strive to better the situations we find ourselves in.

We may be strangers in a strange land, but we still have a job to do. Many texts could be appealed to here. But one important passage involves a situation in the Old Testament that is not unlike the situation Christians find themselves in today in the West.

The OT situation was this: the ancient Israelites found themselves living in a strange and hostile land. They had been taken captive to pagan Babylon. They were well and truly out of their comfort zone and where they were supposed to be, much like the Christian church today in the secular and increasingly anti-Christian West.

The text I have in mind here comes from Jeremiah 29. The prophet Jeremiah had sent a letter to the captives living in Babylon. In verses 4-7 we read these words:

Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, to all the exiles whom I have sent into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon: Build houses and live in them; plant gardens and eat their produce. Take wives and have sons and daughters; take wives for your sons, and give your daughters in marriage, that they may bear sons and daughters; multiply there, and do not decrease. But seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the Lord on its behalf, for in its welfare you will find your welfare.

The exiled Israelites would not be there forever, but they would be there for a good while (70 years all up). So they were not only to live normal lives (build homes, plant gardens, and raise families) but to actually seek the welfare of this pagan nation.

Again, we are called to do the same. This is NOT our home – at least not our eternal and final home. BUT, it is the home God has put us in for now. That means we are to seek to be good citizens, to make a difference, and to pray for the nations that God has placed us in.

So if you are an American, that DOES mean taking an interest in politics and social affairs. It DOES mean even checking out a televised presidential debate. It does mean thinking carefully and prayerfully about who you might vote for in November.

The Unlucky Country - Zimmermann & Moens

It should be clear by now from what I have written in the past that I believe no one party and no one candidate is going to save the day. However, in a deeply fallen world, one party or candidate might well be preferable to another. As but just one important issue, there is a big difference between a candidate who at least wants to see most abortions reduced as opposed to a candidate who wants to see open slather on abortion.

Yes, plenty of other issues need to be assessed. But while all parties and platforms will be flawed in this world of sin, some can be somewhat better than others. That may be the best we can hope for until Christ returns. Thus I for one do not put all my hope in any one man or any one party.

Whether inside or outside of politics, I do not commit myself fully to any one person. I do not see a Jordan Peterson or a Tucker Carlson as a messiah. I do not see a Donald Trump or a Peter Dutton as a messiah. I do not see a Nigel Farage or a Ron DeSantis as a messiah. Sure, I may have much more time for folks like this than for some other folks, but I know none of them can save.

None of them can fully and finally fix what ails us. None of them will give us what we really need. None of them can do other than provide temporary and partial fixes to our many ills and woes. Yes, those fixes are important. If one man can make a nation marginally better – be it in terms of the cost of living or national security – that is nothing to sneeze at.

Those are things we SHOULD aim for, even though we know they will not last and will not be the remedy that we all need. We should want to see good things championed such as reducing crime, making life affordable for families, maintaining border protection, and keeping our economies strong to really help people, and so on.

But again, no one person will be ideal for these jobs, no one person will be sufficient for these things. Who then will be? Who can come to our aid here? Who can give us real help and hope? Who can we depend upon and who can we count on?

Well, similar sorts of questions were asked some 2000 years ago. And the only correct answer was given by one man, as we find in John 6:68. But let me give to you the words of the disciple Peter in context. Here is what we find in John 6:60-69

When many of his disciples heard it, they said, “This is a hard saying; who can listen to it?” But Jesus, knowing in himself that his disciples were grumbling about this, said to them, “Do you take offense at this? Then what if you were to see the Son of Man ascending to where he was before? It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh is no help at all. The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life. But there are some of you who do not believe.” (For Jesus knew from the beginning who those were who did not believe, and who it was who would betray him.) And he said, “This is why I told you that no one can come to me unless it is granted him by the Father.” After this many of his disciples turned back and no longer walked with him. So Jesus said to the twelve, “Do you want to go away as well?” Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life, and we have believed, and have come to know, that you are the Holy One of God.”

There you have it folks: “Lord, to whom shall we go?” Only Jesus is the one we can count on and bank on. Not only does he alone “have the words of eternal life,” but he has the answers for all our questions, all our problems, all our difficulties, and all our situations.

Yes, I will take a careful interest in the political and social situation here in Australia, or in America, or in England (and the Brits do go to the polls next week by the way). Not only should we all be at least somewhat informed about these situations, but we certainly should be in prayer about them as well.

I did pray before and during the US presidential debate. I pray for elections there, here and elsewhere. And some people I have on my daily prayer list, including Biden, Trump, Kamala Harris, Macron, Trudeau, Anthony Albanese, Peter Dutton, Jacinta Allan and many others.

I know that none of them will be the messiah we need, but some WILL be better than others in the short term. And that is important. But even more important is the one who can and will be what we need both for the short term and the long term.

Like Peter, I know there is only one to whom we all should go.

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Bill Muehlenberg teaches ethics, apologetics and theology at several Melbourne Bible Colleges. His independent blog, Culture Watch, has over 5,000 articles commenting on the major cultural, social and political issues of the day.

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