About Jesus - Steve (Stephen) Sweetman
raised in the 1950/60's by Christian parents who assisted in planting our
years after attending Bible college in upstate New York
in the mid 1970's my wife and I moved to Vienna, Virginia, a Washington
suburb. Sorry dad, but it
didn't take me long before I was baptized into American style politics.
It's difficult to avoid in DC.
south to Richmond, Virginia, known back then, but probably not now, as the Capital of the Confederate
South. I became situated
geographically right between the two main leaders of the emerging
Conservative Christian Right. Jerry
Falwell, president of Liberty
was in Lynchburg. Pat Robertson, founder of
the Christian Broadcasting Network was in Virginia Beach. With their influence and our
visits to both sites, how could I not have been immersed into their brand
of political conservatism?
where I joined the fight to defend America
from the left-leaning Democrats, all along hoping to restore the nation to
what I then believed was America's Christian roots. I became a
canvassing coordinator for our local Republican congressional candidate in
the 1982 mid-term election. Of
course, being Canadian I couldn't vote, but who cared?
The battle needed soldiers, and nationality didn't matter.
our return to Canada
in 1984, I joined the now defunct Christian Heritage Party.
In 1987 my political path encountered what I believe was a divinely
placed political pothole. I
had the privilege to ask Ern Baxter, a well-respected Bible teacher, what
he thought about Pat Robertson's run for the American presidency.
His one-sentence answer was politically profound.
He told me that if Pat Robertson becomes president of the United States
he will have demoted himself from being a preacher of the gospel.
That did it for me. Matthew
28:19 and 20 became clearer to me than ever.
After Jesus said that He was the ultimate universal authority, He
commanded His disciples, including us, by saying:
go and make disciples of all nations [Greek ethnicities], baptizing them
in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and
teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am
with you always, to the very end of the age."
didn't command us to baptize a nation, making it a disciple.
A nation can't be a disciple. He
commanded us to make people from all ethnicities His disciples. We
do that via the life-changing power of the proclaimed gospel, something
political activism can never do.
are in October, 2023, seeing what I never imagined when I joined the fight
in 1980. Here we are, a long
way from President Bush's 1990 aspiration of a "kinder gentler
America." Here we are
with a fractured Republican party, twenty two days of a broken congress, a
divided America, a chopped up Canada, and sad to say, an Evangelical
church that appears to have lost its divine calling.
Here we are, at the opposite end of the political spectrum in which
many of us were raised. Where
do we go from here? With
humble and genuine repentance we search for the Biblical balance between
two political extremes, and as we do, we obey Jesus' command by making
disciples for Him from all ethnicities.