I would like you to be free from concern. An unpolitical man is concerned about the Lord’s affairs — how he can please the Lord. But a political man is concerned about the affairs of this world — how he can serve his country — and his interests are divided. An unpolitical woman is concerned about the Lord’s affairs: Her aim is to be devoted to the Lord in both body and spirit. But a political woman is concerned about the affairs of this world — how she can serve her country. I am saying this for your own good, not to restrict you, but that you may live in a right way in undivided devotion to the Lord.This is a powerful passage. This pericope isn't about patriotism and politics, but about marriage. It is one of those passages that the American church has done away with completely. They've killed it; expunged it from the Bible. They want nothing to do with it. They value family above all else. It is the most godly thing you can do. Family is an idol.
Yet there are many fellowships in this country that refuse to hire a pastor who isn't married. They look down on anyone who would serve in the church body who doesn't have a family.
Family is placed even above patriotism. The duty to your family is before the nation. (There are some ultra-nationalistic people who claim duty to country comes first, but in general, the family comes first.) This is why I even went back to talking about family before I went into patriotism.
If the family is the highest priority for Christians, even above our duty to the nation, how much more does this passage apply when you put it in context of politics? Or employment? Or any lesser thing?
Yet I assume phrasing this passage in this way may be even more scandalous for many.
Before this passage, Paul instructed,
What I mean, brothers and sisters, is that the time is short. From now on those who have wives should live as if they do not; those who mourn, as if they did not; those who are happy, as if they were not; those who buy something, as if it were not theirs to keep; those who use the things of the world, as if not engrossed in them. For this world in its present form is passing away.I added emphasis here, for Paul is opening this whole teaching up to anything we have in this world. To let go of our attachments to this world.
We're very much attached to our national politics. Our government. Our money ... Isn't that why we have protests against taxation? We want to hold onto our money. Some are calling for revolution, because they're willing to fight and kill to hold onto the treasures they've built up in this world.
From now on those who have national identity should live as if they do not.