Los Angeles became the first city in the United States to be designated as a sanctuary city. This 1979 decision was designed to prevent police from inquiring about the immigration status of arrestees. Today, there are 36 other United State cities that have adopted this policy. In recent years, churches in border states have been recruited to hide and protect illegal immigrants. From time to time, I see cable news exclusives of local pastors defending their position. This is where religion and politics mix.
But the Jews incited the devout, prominent women and the leading men of the city, and instigated persecution against Paul and Barnabas, and drove them forcibly out of their district, Acts 13:50.
During the first century, Jewish leaders were fearful of the Jesus movement. As more Jews converted to Christianity, influence and political power was being lost. Thus, high priests, Pharisees, Sadducees and zealots sought whatever means necessary to stop any other Jews from turning their back on their Jewish heritage. According to Luke, Jewish leaders used prominent, powerful and wealthy individuals to drive Christian leaders from their district. This is where religious obsessions cloud minds and judgment.
If anyone thinks he is religious and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart, this person’s religion is worthless, James 1:26.
An earthly brother of Jesus makes an interesting observation in the passage above. Religion and politics can and will mix from time to time, but if your tongue leads you astray, religion is worthless. Jesus uses an analogy of a city on a hill in his Sermon on the Mount. Christians are suppose to stand out, like a city with bright lights in the dark. Actions, behavior and words reflect what is inside of your heart. Unfortunately, the pressure of religion and politics may result in compromise, temptation or unexpected words. When religion and politics and a fall from grace ensues, may conviction bring you back to the place where God desires.
by Jay Mankus