In his letter to the Galatians, St Paul writes “God forbid that I should boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.” (Galatians 6:14). Thus, what he is truly saying is that “it is by the cross of the Lord that the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.” So, that then begs the question, why by the cross? Why does he not rather say on the cross?
What Paul means here is that the cross itself is the main standard and the criterion of truth. It means that, on the cross, we should crucify our human ideas, our philosophical views, our political agendas, and that we should then measure each of these ideas by the cross to determine if they are truth or fallacy.
See, far too often, we begin with our own ideas, our own politics, our own philosophies, and then search the Scriptures trying to find verses that can justify them. Rather, we should begin with the Scriptures and see the truths that are contained therein, and then when an idea comes to mind, we can properly evaluate them by the cross to determine the truth of it. Rather than beginning with a particular political party, or a particular conviction, begin with the words of our Lord and see what He says about a topic before we try to stretch a verse across our own ideology.
The hardest part about doing this the correct way, is that there are lifetimes of studies that would need to be done in order to properly apply Biblical truth to all manner of topics. So we, in our pride, rather than bowing to the knowledge of two thousand years of those who have dedicated their lives to the study of those Scriptures, adopt this mentality of being able to unravel the greatest mysteries of all of humankind in a few hours, and adopt every principle that we find to be the truth.
Let us instead measure everything that comes to our mind by this criterion given to us by the cross, and the teachings passed down to us over millennia by the Church, and we will at once see the difference between the truth and the lies, what and who we should and should not vote for, what we should and should not support. This is the message of the Church itself!
The Church should not meddle in civil affairs. It should never interfere in political, economic, or social processes, but rather it holds out the divine criterion of the cross for all to use as their judgment. In the West, the term “Christian” has grown to represent nothing more than a political demographic; but the Church can never become that. It is for that very reason that so many flee the Church, because they are treated as anathema if they have differing political views as others in their congregation. The pro-life Christian who supports gun control and immigration is considered a heretic in most of our American churches, because they support stances that are opposed to one of the two major political parties. It’s as though we have allowed and accepted the idol of political leaders into the Church, much as the Romans declared the emperor to be a god.
May we never again vote for Baal just because Baal is less wicked than Satan, but instead order our lives in the manner that the Lord has set before us. We worship the risen Christ, whoever sits in the White House is neither the savior, nor the anti-Christ; our job is to obey (1 Peter 2, Romans 13) and to pray for their wisdom and discernment, always remembering that there is nothing that they can do to us that we can not overcome, through the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Christ is risen!