The news streamers have had a field day with the battle royale between Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump and World System potentate Francis I. Trump has said he wants a wall to slow the excessive flow of immigrants coming into the U.S, while Francis says walls are not for Christians, presumably because Christians are supposed to be about being kind and welcoming and hospitable and all that. I mean, after all, he is "Pontifex Maximus", he is Supreme Bridgebuilder. How magnanimous of him to say all that.
Both have since scaled back their vitriol, Trump because he knows so many voters adore the Pope, Francis because it is unbecoming of the World's most celebrated pastoral-oriented individual.
So what's the end game with all of this?
As it is no one will get it, except for the few who take Scripture seriously. For one thing, walls are not bad things. Everyone has some kind of blockade around their home to keep unfavorable individuals from getting in -- fences, gates, locked doors, even walls. When the Pope speaks of bridges -- "Hey, we should have bridges instead!" is the generally expressed idea -- that's good too, for the purpose for which they are intended. Seems to me many bridges have toll booths allowing only qualified ones to cross -- those who are paying the toll.
And bridges and walls, no matter who pays, still incur a cost of some kind. Construct a bridge for anyone to cross, no toll required? That's very kind of you! But you still utilizing resources having a steep price to make it.
So many layers of this conflict can be highlighted, and many pundits are doing that certainly. The one that never gets attention is the distinction between the Kingdom and the World. It is always the World that gets all the press, but that's because there is no Kingdom-sensitive press with enough airplay for people to see what's what with Christ. There just isn't.
What about churches? Sorry, they're mostly given over to Rome. One of the most pronounced indications of this truth is from the first three words that appeared in my morning's Los Angeles Times. Here they are for you, you can see them.
Evangelicals should be the ones who have the most cogent understanding of Scripture and what it says about God and what He is about. But they don't because they're too beholden to Rome. That's the essence of their identity crisis. That's why the article speaks about their abject bewilderment about who they'd like to vote for. One politician seeking Caesar's job is not a whole lot different from another one.
They've been hypnotically entranced to engage in Rome's affairs, by the deep politics operatives within it who inject their minds and hearts with the idea that some Christian-sounding guy is going to rescue our world by forcing people to not sin, and he'll just have to do it better than some not-as-Christian sounding guy. What's just as insane most of that indoctrination comes from operatives who live and work right around the corner from them -- kindly, smiley college professors who deftly spew humanist dogma with virtual impunity.
This is because evangelicals refuse to take Scripture seriously.
They simply do not know what is says and what it means.
When an evangelical casts a vote in a civil election, he is demonstrating that he has one foot in the World and one in his own world of pithy sayings about Jesus. He is being double-minded. When his church is fully on board with a 501c3 tax-exempt non-profit status, all the evangelicals with him are doing the same thing.
What do the lost and dying people around them see? Hypocrites who have a major identity crisis when it comes to rigorously formal involvement in a civil election. It is aggravated right after they include in their double-mindedness one of two mantras: One, "The Pope is a great guy I like him he does nice things oh my look how he held that baby in St. Peter's Square he's so wonderful even though I'm not Catholic," or two, "The Pope is evil and the Catholic Church is rotten and we should all be working hard to bring it all down." I hear both of these sentiments all the time. Never do I hear the one that is the most accurate.
Rome is indeed the home of an anti-Christ, but Scripture says many people with smart-sounding words will always be out and about pretending to be Jesus. Jesus instead insisted that we let them do what they do, but believe on Him. Rome's divinely authorized task is to manage the sin of those who refuse to come to Christ for complete freedom from that sin. It is indeed the focal point of World System governance -- dictating what all World System institutions must do, including, yes, the U.S. federal government about which many get caught up in the whirlwind of who should be running it. Doesn't matter, who the U.S. president is, Rome will do its business here anyway. Doesn't matter who you pick or what you feel about it, delighted or enraged, Rome will do its thing as it has for centuries.
If you are indeed a follower of Christ who lets His words reign in your soul, the response to Rome is not to embrace it or revile it, but accept it. Then get out, worship God in Spirit and in Truth, and touch people's lives from the Kingdom.
Not only must you stop voting in its elections, but stop paying tribute to its institutions. As much as you've already voted for Jesus, also give the wealth of His gifts in you to Him. He is your Lord, not Caesar. Yes! Do give to Caesar what is owed to him, but as double-minded people evangelicals send all of it to Caesar! Think about what the Kingdom could do with the financial resources we'd have if it didn't go to Caesar in tribute payments we don't owe.
Take immigration, for instance. Ever notice how the issue never gets resolved? Politicians avoid it like the plague. After the wall or bridges tussle, the discourse goes back into mindless drivel and schnazzy grandstanding to get votes while saying nothing.
What's the real answer? If the System U.S.-proper truly meant business about its way to fix it, either it would put an electric fence on the border with signs every where that said in Spanish, "Touch this and you die," or it would take over Mexico, root out all the drug cartels, and infuse it with all the rich industrial capital it has. Letting everyone past open borders to enter the geographic U.S.-proper wouldn't be much different.
What is the Kingdom option? It is to use the wealth of the financial resources not being handed to Rome to instead establish Kingdom institutions -- 501c3-free churches and ministries, wow, what a concept! -- to welcome any migrant and process their relocation to homes with devout Christ followers who'd take them in and labor enthusiastically to assimilate them -- into the Kingdom. Kingdom institutions could also do this exact thing... in Mexico -- wow, what a concept! -- working to build the Kingdom in and around a wholly Catholic population. What would happen if Christ and His healing and salvation were so overwhelmingly manifest that Catholics wherever they are -- U.S, Mexico, Central America -- would leave Rome altogether and find wholeness and richness and beauty and glory in the Kingdom.
But yeah, it would involve evangelicals getting the hell out of Rome, not being double-minded with this foolish identity crisis they have, and ministering with the full power of God to those wounded and dying in the middle of Rome.
Think about it. Many Christian-sensitive pundits sneer at the Pope's "No walls!" remarks by pointing out that he has high walls all around Vatican City. The irony is that this makes no difference whatsoever, because if you don't have Christ ruling your heart, you are by default...
Right smack in the middle of Rome anyway -- yes, right there in the middle of the Vatican, on the Pope's altar, being basted and roasted as the choice cutlet he and his guests will enjoy for dinner.
How about leaving that place, and doing real ministry of God's love and grace and power from His place?
Wow. What a concept.