About Jesus Steve Sweetman
My Journey Through The Ecclesiastical Maze
Conservative Christian Right
When we moved to the
While living in Northern
Virginia I got to visit the White House, Capital Hill, and many other
important places, including the building in which
I recall sitting in the
I clearly recall the day
President Reagan was shot. I
watched it all on TV while in bed after accidently poking
my left eye with a sharp metal stick at an Arlington, Virginia
flower shop where I worked. I bent over to pick something up from the
floor when the tallest of six metal sticks that were firmly planted into
a flower pot rammed it self into my eye.
Flowers were normally attached to these sticks and the pot of
flowers would be placed beside a gravestone.
I didn’t see this stick as I bent over.
I didn’t have time to close my eyes, and certainly didn’t
have time to slow the movement of my head to avoid the collision.
Within minutes my body was in shock and I could no longer stand
because of the piercing pain. I
don’t know how or why I didn’t lose
my eye, except that maybe Jesus figured I needed two bad eyes
instead of one bad eye. It’s
probably my strange sense of humour, but it seems funny to me that Jesus
hasn’t made my two bad eyes good, but He would prevent the loss of one
of my bad eyes. Not that it
means anything to anyone, but both Reagan and I were relegated to a bed
I learned a lot about the
religious heritage of the U. S.
in those days since
I got caught up in the
“Christian involvement in government” movement which has been a
topic of debate for centuries in the ecclesiastical maze.
Opinions range from no involvement at all in such a worldly
institution, to Christians having a responsibility to change society
through politics. Thus Pat
Robertson ran for president in 1988. I had followed his ministry since
the early 1970’s and even had the opportunity to sing and speak with
two of my friends on his upstate
In 1981 we moved south to
Ern Baxter was a
prominent Bible teacher in the Charismatic Movement.
After returning to Canada
I asked him what he thought about Pat Robertson running for president.
He said that he had no real problem with it as long as Robertson
understood that if he became president, he’d be demoting himself from
being a preacher of the gospel to being president of the United States
. I never quite thought
about it in those terms before. His
answer began to change my thinking on this issue towards a more balanced
I’m not opposed to
Christian involvement in government and politics.
Many of us live in democracies that allow us to promote our
Christian world view in the public arena, and I’m grateful for that.
Still, I’ve come to understand that all governments, including
our western democracies, are worldly and not Christian.
Some people seem to equate political democracy as being part of
Jesus, in Matthew 24:6
tells us that nations will rise up against other nations.
This is a result of the spiritual battle that is presently taking
place in the spiritual atmosphere around us.
This tells me that governments aren’t Christian.
Jesus then tells us in Matthew 24:14 that “the gospel of the
Kingdom” would be preached throughout
the world before the end of the age comes.
Note that Jesus doesn’t say the “gospel of salvation” would
be preached. The gospel that
will be preached at the end is
the gospel of the soon-coming
I’ve often thought that
if the apostle Paul wanted to change society through government, he
would have somehow found his way to
It’s clear to me that
we cannot Christianize our society by government becoming Christian.
That’s been tried and it doesn’t work.
The “Christianization of the
Supposedly there were
Christian candidates in the United Sates election of 2008, but from my
standpoint some of the things done, especially behind the scenes,
weren’t Christian. The
problem is that these candidates were
running in the kingdom of men where the rules are much different than in
Our government and our
society is presently moving away from any Christian consensus it might
have had. In this process
Christians and the church are beginning to feel the squeeze from a
humanistic society. I
foresee a day when churches will lose their government perks such as
their special tax status, and their pass on paying property taxes, but
that doesn’t’ bother me. I
think such a squeeze will benefit us in the long run, and might well
force us to live out church as it was meant to be lived.
Whatever happens in the
future, and lots will happen, we need our priorities right in this
matter. Jesus told us to
seek His kingdom first. (Matthew 6:33) That means our allegiance is
first to the