When Political Alliances Don’t Cut It

“Ephraim is like a dove, easily deceived and senseless—now calling to Egypt, now turning to Assyria.” – Hosea 7:11

These words were uttered at a time when the Israel of the Old Testament was in a fragile place. They had pretty much tossed out the covenant that God had made with them. They were in a bad way, sandwiched between the competing interests of the regional superpowers of the day. However instead of seeking the God’s help, they chose instead to to shore up their tenuous position by making political alliances. Hosea’s statement is an incisive evaluation of the folly of a nation that has ignored the deal they made with God, and instead staked their future on cosying up to whichever superpower.

It seems to me that there are a lot of similarities between Hosea’s assessment here, and what I have observed recently, both here, and more starkly, in the U.S. Christians apparently have hopped on the bandwagon of political influence. I remember any number of conversations, media releases and Facebook posts (from the left as well as the right) opposing this or that political party, and urging us to vote for this group because that choice would be in our best interests.

I’ve got no objection to being better informed, or to hearing various opinions. The problem is, I have the feeling that we might be doing exactly what Ephraim was accused of doing here. Seeking protection from political alliances, sometimes at the cost of our identity as the called-out people of God, citizens of a different kingdom who rely on the protection of our King.

Naturally we should speak out on behalf of our kingdom’s values and ideals. But for me it has begun to feel like we are staking our safety, our future, and perhaps even our status on forging political alliances in an attempt to influence policy, and compromising those values in the process. Are we guilty of finding security and solace in playing the same political game that everyone else plays?

More recently I’ve observed a number of notable Christians align themselves with Donald Trump’s presidential campaign. The apparent rationale is that whatever Trump’s shortcomings ‘Hillary Clinton is worse’. I heard the same sort of argument during the election here in Australia, and I don’t think that’s a reason that stacks up. It feels more like Christians seeking support and protection from politics rather than their Creator.

I wonder whether we need to heed the warning of these words. Israel ignored them and it didn’t end well for the nation. In the end no alliance would save them from the might of the Babylonian empire.

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About andy63

Auditorium/Facilities Manager at Kennedy Baptist College. Family man, Dockers Supporter, NFL and NBA tragic who loves the Red Bull Air Race and a good meal. A Christian who is grateful for grace and forgiveness and the fact that Jesus is alive.

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