The Idolatry of Politics

Had I been a journalist there, I should, I am sure, have spent my time hanging about King Herod’s palace, following the comings and goings of Pilate, trying to find out what was afoot in the Sanhedrin; the cameras would’ve been set up in Caesarea, not in Galilee, still less on Golgotha. -Malcolm Muggeridge

In politics, each day brings new tactics and positioning, one party continually seeking the upper hand. The cable shows drone on with repetitive talk and fabricated outrage to fill their time slots. People on message boards anxiously and angrily debate the appointment of a cabinet member, a person who will in 30 years time be as forgotten as someone from the Carter administration’s cabinet. They debate speeches that will be forgotten next week.

This hyper-focus on politics, this idolatry, has certainly increased with the rise of the internet. People blog day and night with a consistency as puzzling as it is tiresome. One transitory topic blows away, like a wisp of paper, and the caravan rolls on to the next one.

For many people, politics seems like an outlet to overcome their boredom and inaction, to connect with something larger than their lives. But what would happen if we gained everything sought from it? Perhaps it would improve our lives, but it wouldn’t bring ultimate joy to us or others. Politics isn’t capable of it (Psalm 146:3-4). There’s no salvation in it. Elections are part of God’s plan, but so are our everyday lives down to the minute details. Something that happened in your home today may be more important in eternity than the sum of what happened today in the halls of Congress, just as the faithful decisions of Abra(ha)m of Ur resound more thoroughly today than those of all the Mesopotamian rulers combined. Perhaps we are indeed missing Golgotha by focusing on Herod.

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