People Say That Christianity Is Not Political, But Is This True?

By Theodore Shoebat

If I were the devil, I would tell people that it is more civil and fashionable to keep Christianity away from politics. If I were the devil, I would tell Christians to relax, be themselves, and restrict their Faith only within the sphere of social life, and not within government. If I were the devil, I would tell people that Jesus was not political.

Amongst this brood of vipers who teach such doctrine is Max Lucado, who said:

I don’t see Jesus being politically active.

This is a statement worthy of the greatest vagueness, and is typical of the shallow and jejune generalities that so many accept in this world which we call “modern.”

Lucado

Lucado

But I cannot accept such a scatty assertion, rather, I object to such a broad, flimsy and weak way of looking to our eternal King who utters with the greatest strength of His coming crusade, that He will stomp upon his enemies:

I have trodden the winepress alone; and of the people there was none with me: for I will tread them in mine anger, and trample them in my fury; and their blood shall be sprinkled upon my garments, and I will stain all my raiment. (Isaiah 63:3)

Christ the conquerer

Christ the conquerer

And so easily do these soulless teachers deceive, for so many ignore that the Bible is filled with so many details which, while being often skimmed and overlooked, are what present the meaning of the text, like a beam of pristine and transparent light reminding one of what it means to see after lingering so long in the darkness.

In our day and age, a saying echoes throughout, and that is, “Jesus never ran for political office.” Well, of course He didn’t, He is the King of the universe. As St. John declares, Christ “is the Lord of lords, and King of kings” (Revelation 17:14).

King Jesus Christ

King Jesus Christ

Because Christ holds this sublime and supreme office, His doctrine, inevitably, breaches into the politics of the world, reminding us of the sun which, no matter what we do, will always illuminate earth and extinguish the pitch blackness of the diabolical. This is why so many politicians want to oust out God from the government, and replace Him with their wretched and wicked selves. And to those Christians who are indifferent to this evil, why are you so shameless to agree with these evil politicians? Are you so empty and callous as to allow them to infiltrate government and tyrannize the Church? When persecution does come, these heretics would be in no position to protest.

Among the promoters of this indifferentism is Andrew Farley, who goes so far as to say that Christians who fight for the Ten Commandments to remain in courthouses are not abiding by true Christianity:

In the United States, some Christians fight for the Ten Commandments to be posted on our public buildings. We say that we don’t want our society to lose its Christian roots. But Christianity was never rooted in the law, not even in the Ten Commandments. (1)

Andrew Farley

Andrew Farley

If we also listened to this man, the atheists would win and overrun us with their antichrist communism, and from such a flooding of their wickedness, would persecution arise. These false preachers who say such things, are wolves disguised as shepherds who beguile the sheep to accept the rest of the wolf pack, so that they may be devoured without mercy.

Christ defeats Satan in the desert

Christ defeats Satan in the desert

Christ’s teachings affected the politics of His age to such a severe degree, that the power of the Sanhedrin, which was a political puppet for the Roman empire, was greatly threatened by them. Christ declared

Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s; and unto God the things that are God’s. (Matthew 22:22)

This verse is revolutionarily political, it states that there are certain things which only belong to God, and that if the state ever desired to take them, it is the Church’s obligation to defy it. If the government demands worship, the Church responds with defiance; if government wishes to establish heresy, we respond with the immutable and heavenly sword of orthodoxy.

Christ entering Jerusalem

Christ entering Jerusalem

The danger which Christ posed to the Jewish authorities was of such a political effect, that after Pilate asked the mobish multitude, “Shall I crucify your king?” the chief priests took everything that was God’s and rendered it unto Caesar:

We have no king but Caesar. (John 19:15)

They rejected the Kingship of Christ for the despotism of Caesar, and this right here indicates political effects of Christ’s ministry.

Christ before Caiaphas

Christ before Caiaphas

Christ did not come to be a gentle social worker, or a philosopher Who wanted to teach people good morality, but He came to establish division between the citizens of the City of Heaven and the slaves of the devil. The very existence of Christ’s teaching provokes strife between families and individuals, and ignites wars between nations. This is what Christ was speaking of when He proclaimed:

Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter in law against her mother in law. And a man’s foes shall be they of his own household. (Matthew 10:34-36)

Jesus armed with sword

Jesus armed with sword

This division is not limited to families, but extends to an international level, for Christ said:

Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name’s sake. (Matthew 24:9)

To be hated by nations, does not just imply being persecuted by mobs, but also by the governments of nations. This was made very clear by Christ when He foretold to the Disciples:

But beware of men: for they will deliver you up to the councils and they will scourge you in their synagogues; and ye shall be brought before governors and kings for my sake, for a testimony against them and the Gentiles. (Matthew 10:17-18)

Why would governments be concerned about a doctrine which is, to the modern eye, apolitical? Christianity is political, and thus why it is a threat to all tyrannical governments. Religion is intricate to politics, and so it is only natural that Christianity would wound any state bent on despotism.

A common argument used by people who don’t believe Christianity is political, is to quote St. Paul when he wrote, “For our citizenship is in heaven” (Philippians 3:20). Their argument seems plausible when the verse is isolated, but when Paul was about to be whipped by the government, he told the chief captain, “Is it lawful for you to scourge a man that is a Roman, and uncondemned?” (Acts 22:25)

Paul used his earthly citizenship to enable him in his ministry which was a threat to the politics of the Roman empire, because Christianity went against the pagan religion of the state. To illustrate this, we will have to transition into, and explain the political aspects of the pagan religion to which Paul preached against.

Paganism, regardless of what those snakes who call themselves “wiccans” say, is a political ideology that aspires to exalt government as divine and established by the gods. Its very foundation, and object, is political.

Julius Caesar exalted his family, and hence himself, as divine, for, he said, they descended from the goddess Venus herself, and thus their royal supremacy over other men was established in this way:

The family of my aunt Julia is descended by her mother from the kings, and on her father’s side is akin to the immortal gods; for the Marcii Reges (her mother’s family name) go back to Ancus Marius, and the Julii, the family of which ours is a branch, to Venus. Our stock therefore has at once the sanctity of kings, whose power is supreme among mortal men, and the claim to reverence which attaches to the Gods, who hold sway over kings themselves. (2)

Julius

Julius

The Roman empire, on account of its religion, was adored as those of Babel exalted their aspired city and tower, as bridging and connecting to heaven itself, and uniting the world under the single language of Latin. This Babel-like utopian idea sprung directly from the Roman religion.

In Virgil’s Aeneid, which illustrates the Roman religion in its most original form, Jupiter declares that Aeneas the Trojan was “to rule Italia, freighted with the weight of empire, fierce in war,” and “make the whole world subject to his laws.” (3)

Virgil

Virgil

The ancient scholar Pliny the Elder expressed this veneration for the Roman empire when he described it as

a land which is at once the nursling and the mother of all other lands, chosen by the providence of the gods to make heaven itself more glorious, to unite scattered empires, to make manners gentle, to draw together in converse by community of language the jarring and uncouth tongues of so many nations, to give mankind civilization, and in a word to become throughout the world the single fatherland of all races. (4)

Pliny the Elder

Pliny the Elder

The Roman historian Livy gives a similar adoration to Rome, declaring that its empire is second to heaven:

But the Fates were resolved, as I suppose, upon the founding of this great City, and the beginning of the mightiest of empires, next after that of Heaven. (5)

Livy

Livy

When the builders in Babel were attempting to build their lofty tower, it was not just a symbol of power or pride, but a political icon, representing the unification of all the lands under a single government, and a unifier of these peoples. The tower itself was a temple dedicated to the hosts of heaven, and since all people can see the same stars, planets, moon, and constellations, they could easily be collectivized through this astral edifice and religion.

The Tower of Babel

The Tower of Babel

This ideology behind the Tower of Babel would be done very similarly in ancient Rome, and in other pagan governments. The Roman pagan Symmachus wrote of this universalist trait of paganism when he denounced the Christians of his day for objecting against a statue of the goddess Victory being placed in the senate house:

We look on the same stars, the sky is common, the same world surrounds us. What difference does it make by what pains each seeks the truth? We cannot attain to so great a secret by one road (6)

When the Romans expanded its power through military strength, they believed that they were unifying the world under their hegemony, and doing so for the glory of their gods.

The fourth century Greek pagan writer, Libanius, in his work against the ancient Christians, praises the military conquests of the heathen Romans and attributes them to the gods:

And with the aid of these gods the Romans fought and conquered their enemies; and having conquered them, they improved their condition, and made them happier than they were before their defeat; lessening their fears and making them partners in the privileges of the commonwealth. (7)

Christians became a threat to this despotic and pagan universalism, for the reason that their Scriptures denounced it in Genesis 11, and therefore the heathens saw them worthy of persecution. Christianity’s disdain for pagan universalism was the reason why the emperor Trajan commenced a violent policy against the Church, as we read in an ancient Christian account on this particular oppression:

For Trajan, in the nineteenth year of his empire, being lifted up with his victory over the Scythians and Dacians, and many other nations, and thinking that the religious company of Christians was yet wanting to his absolute and universal dominion, and thereupon threatening them that they should be persecuted, unless they should choose to worship the devil, with all other nations, fear obliged them all such as live religiously either to sacrifice, or to die. (8)

Christian woman martyred under Nero

Christian woman martyred under Nero

In the 4th century there was a wizard named Theotecnus who erected the statue of Jupiter in Antioch and tried to force the Christians to worship it. When Constantine took the throne, he had this wicked man seized, alongside all of his companions, and killed, (9) like Zebah and Zalmunah, who forced the Hebrews to worship the idols of Baal.

Battle of Milvian Bridge, after which Constantine executed Theotecnus

Battle of Milvian Bridge, after which Constantine executed Theotecnus

The enforced worship of Jupiter was as well political, for the Caesar was in fact Jupiter in the flesh, and, according to Roman policy, was suppose to be worshiped universally. Christianity, of course, innately refused and condemned such a belief. The imperial cult of the Roman throne was merely an attempt by Caesar to take that which is God’s.

According to Prudentius, there was a temple dedicated to Caesar Augustus “in the fashion of Jupiter”. (10)

Emperor Augustus depicted as Jupiter

Emperor Augustus depicted as Jupiter

The Hebrews, in accordance to the Scriptures, refused to worship the Caesar, and when Caligula, that tyrant most notorious for cruelty and depravity, enacted a policy to force them to worship him as Jupiter. He changed the most holy temple of Jerusalem into “temple of Caius [Caligula] the younger, the visible Jupiter.” (11)

Caligula

Caligula

When a great number of the Jews protested against this tyrannical sacrilege, Pontius Pilate ordered his officers to attack them with wooden clubs, and many were killed. (12)

Jupiter, it was said, was a dead king who was deified, (13) and identified with later kings; so the god itself was a political figure. And the ancient Christian, burning with the fieriest zeal, declared God as the King of kings, and thus is the Almighty political, vanquishing over the demons who wish to take His throne.

Christ on His heavenly throne

Christ on His heavenly throne

When St. Paul and St. Barnabas were in Lystra, the natives told them, “The gods are come down to us in the likeness of men.” (Acts 14:11) They then called Paul Mercury, and Barnabas Jupiter, just as they identified the Caesar as Jupiter. This belief system is what gave rise to the worship of kings, and therefore it was a political ideology. The two Apostles were combating this political ideology, and in turn the imperial cult of the Caesar, when they declared to the confused pagans,

Sir, why do ye do these things? We also are men of like passions with you that ye should turn from these vanities unto the living God, which made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and all things that are therein (Acts 14:15)

This story alone illustrates the politically revolutionary advancements of Christianity; for it was because of this profound Faith that much of the world deems the worship of tyrants as most repugnant.

St. Paul and St. Barnabas rebuking the pagans in Lystra

St. Paul and St. Barnabas rebuking the pagans in Lystra

The 2nd century Christian writer Theolophilus, a bishop of Antioch, expressed his fierce and bold affirmation that the Caesar was not worthy of worship, and that only God was meritorious of our veneration and submission:

Wherefore I will rather honour the king [than your gods], not, indeed, worshipping him, but praying for him. But God, the living and true God, I worship, knowing that the king is made by Him. You will say, then, to me, ‘Why do you not worship the king?’ Because he is not made to be worshipped, but to be reverenced with lawful honour, for he is not a god, but a man appointed by God, not to be worshipped, but to judge justly. For in a kind of way his government is committed to him by God: as He will not have those called kings whom He has appointed under Himself; for ‘king’ is his title, and it is not lawful for another to use it; so neither is it lawful for any to be worshipped but God only. Wherefore, O man, you are wholly in error. (14)

Theophilus of Antioch

Theophilus of Antioch

When the Christians met the gaze of the pagans of Rome, their Faith was to their rage; their piety to their pomp; and their sanctification of human life, was met with contempt.

The pagan philosopher Celsus wrote against the Christians for, amongst a number of other reason, this rejection of Rome’s imperial cult:

Indeed, it is only insanity for the Christians to refuse their religious duties, rushing headlong to offend the emperor and the governors and to invite their wrath. (15)

Celsus, with the utmost of violent, vitriolic, vociferous, megalomaniacal, and scoffing enmity worthy of a pagan, explicitly supported the massacring of Christians for their refusal to worship the state and the gods thereof, which signifies what wicked people the ancient Christians had to withstand:

You are banished from the land and sea, bound and punished for your devotion to [your Christian demon] and taken away to be crucified. Where then is your God’s vengeance of his persecutors? …it is evident that the old gods are rather more effective in punishing blasphemers than is the god of the Christians, and those who blaspheme the former are usually caught and punished: just how effective is the Christian god in that respect? (16)

Another political idol of the Romans was a certain shield believed to have fallen from heaven and to have been sent by Jupiter or Mars. The Christians were repulsed by this, and gave not the slightest bit of worship to, and this of course was to the animosity of the 4th century pagan king Julian, who was so vindictive toward the Christians that he wrote a book entitled, Against the Christians, in which he chided them for rejecting the idolatrous shield, for drawing the Cross (the mark of God) on their foreheads, and for worshiping Jesus:

But you, O unfortunate men! neglecting to adore and reverence the heaven-descended shield which is preserved by us, and which was sent by the great Jupiter, or by the father Mars, as a most certain pledge that he will perpetually defend our city, you adore the wood of a cross, marking your forehead with the images of it, and engraving it in the vestibules of your dwellings. Whether, therefore, may any one deservedly hate the more intelligent, or pity the more insane among you, who following you have arrived at such perdition, as to neglect the eternal gods, and betake themselves to a dead body of the Jews. (17)

Emperor Julian

Emperor Julian

The political spirit of Christianity is shown by the fact that this same Julian, in his hatred for the Faith, sought to replace Christian law with pagan jurisprudence. If Christianity was not political, he would have never seen it as a threat to his pagan utopian plan. Here are a few examples of the persecution that was done to fulfill Julian’s desire.

The heathens of Phoenicia seized Cyril, a deacon of Heliopolis who despised idolatry, killed him, teared open his stomach and ate his liver. (18)

St. Cyril

St. Cyril

In Palestine, heathens kidnapped Christians, teared open their stomaches, filled them with barley, and left them to be eaten by pigs. In Sebaste, a city of Palestine, pagans opened the coffin of John the Baptist, burnt his bones and tossed away the ashes, (19) just as the Muslims in our own day desecrated Joseph’s tomb. At Emessa, the idolaters desecrated an entire church and placed inside of it an image of Bacchus Androgynes. (20) Thus are the actions of fundamental believers in paganism, and the harsh realities of their inhumanity.

It was this heathen political religion that the Apostles, and the earliest Christians, were up against. When they preached Christianity, it was unavoidably political, because religion unto itself is political. When two faiths are struggling for dominance, they are fighting not just for believers in their creed, but influence in the society, in the government, and in the foundation of civilization itself.

With all of this said, we can with great confidence declare that when St. Paul wrote that the pagan gods are “by nature no gods” (Galatians 4:8), he was attacking a political system; and when he spoke to the Athenians that God does not dwell “in temples made with hands” and is not worshiped “with men’s hands,” (Acts 17:24-25) he was attacking a political system.

St. Paul preaching to the Athenians

St. Paul preaching to the Athenians

When St. Paul was convincing the pagans to cease going to the temple of Diana in Ephesus, this too was political. This can be easily proven. When the temple of Diana in Ephesus was built in 550 B.C., it was done, like in Babel and in Mecca, to unite and collectivize the people of Asia Minor, to bring them under, in the words of Livy, “harmony and community of worship”. (21)

Temple of Diana

Temple of Diana

This unification under the temple was so political, that the tyrannical Roman king Servius even had a temple of Diana built in Italy, for he had wished to bring that same collectivism of the Ephesians to his subjects. (22)

Servius

Servius

To those who may object to my assertions, I will ask, that if St. Paul’s ministry against paganism was not political, why then did it threaten the Caesar Nero enough that he ordered for the beheading of the Saint? The same can be said for St. Peter.

When the Christians of Ephesus gathered their pagan books and “burned them before all men” (Acts 19:19), it was both an open declaration of defiance toward the heathen powers, and a political statement.

Ephesian Christians burning pagan books

Ephesian Christians burning pagan books

This defiance against tyrannical religions did not just originate on the advent of Christianity. It was always within the Church. Moses rejected the imperial cult of Pharaoh when he declared to the tyrant:

Let my people go, that they may serve me [God]. (Exodus 9:1)

Pharaoh wanted to be worshiped, he desired something that only belongs to God. Moses went against this belief, and so did Christ when He said, “Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s; and unto God the things that are God’s.”

Moses confronts Pharaoh

Moses confronts Pharaoh

Moses’ cause against the Pharaoh’s tyranny was actually against the religion of the Egyptian state, for when Moses did miracles the wizards were summoned, to illustrate the superiority of the gods of the government, one of which was the Pharaoh.

God is the King of kings, and the demons strive to take His throne, and therefore it was political when God declared that He will defeat the gods of Egypt, that is, the demons who affront His Kingdom:

For I will pass through the land of Egypt this night, and will smite all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast: and against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgement: I am the Lord. (Exodus 12:12)

Michael the Archangel defeating Satan the dragon

Michael the Archangel defeating Satan the dragon

Moses brought the people out of Egypt to serve God, and to serve God means following His laws, and not those of the Pharaoh, who wanted the whole world to abide by his commands. This desire of God, naturally, is political. The struggle between Moses and Pharaoh, was not entirely in between two persons, but more completely, between two different systems of law, and two systems of government.

When Pharaoh told Moses to sacrifice to God in Egypt, Moses responded that the Lord’s sacrificial system would be against the laws of Egypt:

It is not meet so to do; for we shall sacrifice the abomination of the Egyptians to the Lord our God: lo, shall we sacrifice the abomination of the Egyptians before their eyes, and will they not stone us? (Exodus 8:26)

Hence, the fight was between two entirely different systems of government. The Hebrews had to flee a land of a false and demonic hegemony, and leave to a another land where they could observe the Almighty’s holy rites.

This incompatibility of God’s laws to pagan laws, continued on, and still continues. The Roman historian Tacitus, writing on the history of Israel, describes the laws of Moses as completely the opposite to Roman law:

In order to draw the bond of union closer, and to establish his own authority, Moses gave a new form of worship, and a system of religious ceremonies, the reverse of every thing known to any other age or country. Whatever is held sacred by the Romans, with the Jews is profane: and what in other nations is unlawful and impure, with them is fully established. (23)

Modern statue of Tacitus

Modern statue of Tacitus

When Antiochus Epiphanes entered the Temple of Jerusalem, and saw a painting of a man riding on a donkey, said to be Moses, he expressed such hatred for God’s laws, and His prophet, that he sacrificed a large hog at the image of Moses and the holy altar, and not only this, he sprinkled the broth which came from the hog’s flesh on the sacred books. (24)

Why such hatred? Because Antiochus strived to replace God’s law with his own. The Law of Moses, then, is political.

Just as the Romans, the Egyptians, the Syrians, and other heathen empires hated the church in the time of ancient Israel, they did not cease with their violent abhorrence God’s law. Why? Every tyrant knows that to destroy the civilization which God’s laws establish, they must bring in a new law. And therefore, is our war political.

Those who cry out, in the name of freedom, arguing that Christianity should not be in politics, do so with the intention that their corrupt and heretical doctrines take precedent in the government.

This is all part of the grand scheme of the sinister forces amongst us, who wish for us to heed to celebrities and famed men of modern Christianity, while isolating the government from any Christian influence.

Government without Christianity is tyranny. Thus, this is the object of those conniving men who say that Christianity is free of politics. Cut away Christianity from government, and the heretics will take power and cut the Christians away from liberty. If we throw Christianity away from politics, then it creates a vacuum within the state to be filled by another religion.

Religion and politics are inseparable, remove the former from the latter, and a new creed must replace it. Cut Christianity away from politics, and the heretics, most definitely, like a brood of vultures gathering around a rotting and decaying corpse, will swiftly infiltrate the government, and as the predator birds lacerate the flesh of their victims before killing them, they will oppress the saints, and sever them away from life.

All of the wicked men of this earth, as though the spirits of the underworld have taken possession of their minds like a vicious torrent, want us to believe that Christianity is to be kept for the private life, and severed from politics.

Supporting these wolves, and the plan of their tyranny, are those pastors who propagate the grave error that neither Jesus nor His teachings, were political. These are those whose gospel is that of the careless and superficial Christians, whose doctrine is like an empty shell — nay– a white washed sepulcher, and whose will is so infirm that they would not lift a finger in an effort within the fray of light versus darkness. They teach Christianity, but they are empty of zealotry, and the teachings which come forth from their lips are as lukewarm as their hearts.

If you have the truth, then you are willing to fight for it. In this most holy fray, one must attack the destructive political systems which threaten the truth. Therefore, if one upholds Christianity, that is the Truth, one must become political.

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REFERENCES

(1) *Farley, The Naked Gospel*

(2) *In Suentonius, Julius, 4, trans. J.C. Rolfe*

(3) *Virgil, Aeneid, 4.300-303.*

(4) *Pliny, Natural History, 5.39, trans. H. Rackham, ed. Loeb*

(5) *Livy, 1.4, trans. B.O. Foster*

(6) *The Memorial of Symmachus, 10*

(7)*Libanius, Oration for the Temples*

(8)*A Relation of the Martyrdom of St. Ignatius, 3, trans. Wake*

(9) *Euseb. Eccles. Hist. 9.11*

(10) *Prudentius, A Reply to Address of Symmachus, 1.250, trans. H.J. Thomson, Loeb ed., vol. i, brackets mine*

(11) *Eusebius, Eccles. Hist. 2.6, trans. C.F. Cruse, brackets mine*

(12) *Eusebius, Eccles. Hist. 2.6*

(13) *See Theophilus, To Autolycus, 1.10*

(14) *Theophil., Autol., ch. xi, trans. Marcus Dodds.*

(15) *Celsus, On the True Doctrine, ch. x, p. 124, trans. R. Joseph Hoffman*

(16) *Celsus, On the True Doctrine, ch. x, pp. 119-120, ellipses mine*

(17) *Julian, Against the Christians, p. 56, in The Arguments of the Emperor Julian, p.56*

(18) *Theodoret. Eccles. Hist. 3.6-7*

(19) *Theodoret. Eccles. Hist. 3.8*

(20) *Theodoret. Eccles. Hist. 3.8*

(21) *Livy, i.xlv, trans. B.O. Foster.*

(22) *See Livy, i.xlv, trans. B.O. Foster.*

(23) *Tacitus, Histories, b. 5, trans. Murphy*

(24) *Diodorus, fragment of book 34*

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