During these last 2,000 years, sometimes we as Church have witnessed well to our freedom for Jesus and from Jupiter the god of politics. Sometimes we have spoken of Jesus while witnessing well to Jupiter as his frightfully misguided slaves. We have prayed to Jesus while serving Jupiter in two major ways.
First, we have served Jupiter by making unholy alliances with rulers. We have done this by providing theological justification for rulers to exploit the people under their control and to crush their political opponents. We have also done this whenever we have provided theological justification for violent opposition to rulers.
Second, we the Church have served Jupiter, the god of politics, by allowing our Christian organizations to become powerful. Letting that happen has had destructive consequences. People have only been able to gain and maintain positions of leadership in congregations and denominations by using power. Leaders also have felt justified in using violence to enforce conformity to the beliefs and practices they understood as most useful to themselves. Various inquisitions are the most notorious examples of this.
Even so, throughout our history, we the Church have also had a minority tradition of radiant witness to Jesus rather than to Jupiter. The Anabaptists of the 1500s, for example, firmly believed that political rulers, even if they understood themselves as witnesses to Jesus, served Jupiter by using coercion to compel conformity to their beliefs about Jesus.
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