I recently posted on Facebook a short statement about my feelings regarding the Bible and Jesus. To me it was a straight forward, simple statement about God being the supreme affection in my life. The statement read, “The Bible is my constitution and Jesus is my king.” But what I thought was a simple statement turned into a bit of an online controversy by people who interpreted what I said as something vastly different than what I was thinking.
This brought me back to my missions background where I learned that people don’t always understand our meaning because everyone interprets what they hear through a set of preconceived ideas about the world and their experience in the world. While my statement, to me, was about the Bible and Jesus being the ultimate authority in life, a few people had some very contrary meaning to what I meant. Some did it just to be jerks. I didn’t react, remembering what Proverbs says about, “Answer a fool according to his folly and you will be like him.” But look at what a few people had to say about my statement:
You want religion in government? I hear the Middle East is nice this time of year.
You never watch television because actors are acting which is the same as “bearing false witness,” which is one of the Ten Commandments. You don’t really abide by the Bible after all, do you?
The legislature that writes your laws isn’t constrained by the Bible.
In the same post, responding to an article about presidential candidate Ben Carson, I wrote, “The cross waves higher than the flag.” (which is a lyrical quote from Steve Camp’s song, Justice). Here was the response:
If your cross is wavy, it’s not a well-made cross.
Now, I’ve no doubt that that was one of those “fool” quotes, so I left it alone. But here’s the gist of what I saw. What one thing means to you (or me) doesn’t necessarily mean the same thing to someone else. So, if we want people to understand what we mean we have to spell it out so that our meaning is clear.
My statement was a political statement, but only in the context that Jesus and the Bible have greater authority than the constitution or any president. Our rights and liberties come from God, not from an admittedly political masterpiece like the constitution. Even America’s founders recognized this.
Presidential candidates, no matter how good they may be, or those elected into office, do not deserve our supreme affection. Neither do our laws. Our supreme affection must be Jesus Christ and his word must be the highest authority for how we live our lives in every respect. What else could this mean when we read, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.” Jesus may have said, “Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s and give to God what is God’s,” but his political statement was secondary to his main point, which was, give your entire life to God. You are, after all, created in his image and for his good pleasure.
Just as the constitution is designed to guide our national political life, so too the Bible is designed to guide the entirety of our lives in every detail, in every respect, including the political. Ultimately, Jesus is our king, means that he has the highest authority. Jesus himself said this in Matthew 28, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.” So, we have a choice. We can live like this truth is exactly what it is presented to mean and give the entirety of our lives to Jesus, or we can redefine his easily understood statement to relegate Jesus in our lives to a lesser position than he deserves. And if we do that what are we doing other than assuming that our authority to place him there is greater than his? The Bible calls that rebellion.
Jesus deserves our supreme loyalty and affection. So, the Bible is my constitution and Jesus is my king.