13 Jan 2021

Four Commitments for Troubled Political Times

Author: Bobby Valentine | Filed under: American Empire, Baptism, Bobby's World, Church, Contemporary Ethics, Culture, Discipleship, Politics
Gallows at the Capital, January 6, 2020

Sunday in my lesson at Eastside, I attempted to navigate the minefield we find ourselves in the USA. I began by talking my own baptism and the confession it sealed and proclaimed, “I believe that Jesus is the Christ/Messiah.”

I confessed that I did not really understand what all that meant when I said “I do.” Over the years I have grown into a deeper understanding of what my confession really means. To say I believe that Jesus is the Christ is to say I believe that Jesus is the King and Caesar is not.

The four commitments that will see us through are rooted in our baptismal identity. While on Sunday we could spend hours debating all kinds of points, I believe these four commitments are simply beyond question for any one who has made the confession and were baptized into Messiah/King. It is not the case that these four commitments are “easy” to live. They are not but that is part of “cost of discipleship.” I summarized the four commitments with the letters JTPP (Jesus, Truth, Prayer, Peace).

#1) We are committed to the exclusive Kingship of Jesus. Nothing is beyond the purview of the one I confess to be King. Everything, everything, in our lives submits to his Kingship in our lives.

#2) We are committed to the Truth. Jesus stated clearly that he is “the Truth” (Jn 14.6). He tells Pilate, “for this reason I was born, and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. everyone on the side of truth listens to me” (Jn 18.37). In almost American form, Pilate huffs, “What is truth?” (Jn 18.38).

Our commitment to Truth is directly rooted in our confession that Jesus is the King. Truth is often unpopular, it is often painful, it is often the last thing we want to embrace, it is not equivalent to my opinion or what I was taught or what this or that favorite talking head said. Sometimes we do not know what the truth is. But one stunning truth we confess is that God loves the world and Jesus is not American or white.

But we are committed to finding the truth. Those who are “on the side of truth” will follow the King. Commitment to Truth well help us through.

#3) We are committed to Prayer. Our King himself is devoted to prayer. But Paul tells us to pray for those who are leaders (1 Timothy 2.1-2). Paul does not tell us to pray so that leader suddenly becomes a disciple. He tells us to pray “so that [the purpose!] WE [Christians] can live peaceful/calm lives in godliness.” Godliness … GodLIKEness. Our lives become a witness (a sacrifice perhaps) to the One who is our King. Psalm 72 is a great biblical prayer for those in authority.

#4) We are committed to Peace. Our King is the “Prince of Peace,” he came “preaching peace” and literally “put to death hostility” thus those who are baptized and call him “Christ/Messiah = King” then how can we be “in him” and not be what he is? That is why our King said, “Blessed are the Peacemakers, FOR they shall be called the children of God” (Matthew 5.9). God makes peace. Jesus makes peace. Those who are his disciples make peace.


Jesus. Truth. Prayer. Peace.

I personally believe if the Christians that live in the USA, were literally committed to these we not only would make it through but we would change our world.

Blessings Be Upon You.

One Response to “Four Commitments for Troubled Political Times”

  1. Phil Garner Says:

    good words, thank you for the insight and encouragement..

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