Our nation is at a place politically like I cannot remember in my lifetime: extreme partisanship. Oh, I'm not saying it hasn't always existed -- but I think more so now than I can ever remember. But there is a new twist now. Both parties want to be the WWJD party. Each has selected its two or three issues that they think they are being more like Jesus about. For Republicans, it's key issues are abortion, homosexual rights and displays of the 10 commandments. For Democrats, it's concern for the poor and health care.
I am reminded of an old Bob Dylan song entitled, "With God on Our Side." It was a commentary on war, and how both sides always think they are on the righteous side. That seems to be where we as a nation are politically.
So, WWJD? As I consider His life, He lived in a day in which politics was heated. The Jews were incensed at the Romans' occupation of their land, levying of taxes, lack of morals and attempts to control their religion (sounds fairly familiar, doesn't it?). The Romans were just as bull-headed in imposing their rule. The situation was becoming volatile . Within just a few years after Jesus' resurrection, it erupted into open rebellion and revolution.
This would have been a perfect time for Jesus to make a divine statement on politics, yet He virtually remained silent. Pretty much what comes to my mind is that He said to pay your taxes. Paul came along and said to honor the emperor (yeah, the one who would have him killed) and to live a submissive lifestyle.
Why such a passive response? Because we are citizens of another kingdom. And when we become too caught up in the pursuits of worldly kingdoms, we have little left to give to the eternal one. The kingdom of God is not advanced so much by weaving it into the fabric of any earthly kingdom as it is advanced through its uniqueness -- its counter-cultural priorities.
I am not saying we must take David Lipscomb's view and totally remove ourselves from worldly politics. But perhaps he was onto something. Our kingdom IS NOT of this world. And I think THAT is the answer to WWJD.