In recent weeks I have seen a comparison between Jezebel (arguably the most evil Character in Scripture aside from Satan) and Kamala Harris floating around. What follows is my best attempt to fairly, and scripturally examine this comparison, and the perspective we ought to have about looking up to political leaders in our world.
1. The individuals in question:
Key Historical Passages: 1 Kings 16:31; 18:4, 13; 19:1,2; 21:1-16
Jezebel is identified historically as the wife of Ahab who is given the following descriptor in 1 Kings 16:30, \”did evil in the sight of the Lord more than all who were before him.\”
Jezebel\’s father is identified by a Jewish Historian Josephus as likely having been a priest of Melqart and Astarte. Her father\’s name Eshbaal literally mean \”Ba\’al is alive\”.
Jezebel is recorded as being the authority figure who ordered and ensured the death of Prophets who had been called by God. These would have been local religious authorities similar to today\’s Pastors.
Jezebel threatened to kill Elijah, for killing priests of Ba\’al, one of the most prominent Prophets during the monarchy period of Ancient Israel\’s History.
Jezebel ordered the death of a vineyard owner because he refused to sell it to Ahab out of his fear of the Lord.
Jezebel is marked as being the figure who incited much of Ahab\’s evil actions separate from her own evil actions.
Key Thematic passage: Rev 2:20
By the time John of Patmos records his Revelation. Jezebel has become a name associated with the dangers of false religion and the leading astray of the people of God. This is likely the intended comparison being made by many conservative pastors and theologians.
I will not be naive and say that the racist undertone that also arose in American culture has no role in some of the comments and comparisons made. I will however be dismissing such elements from my analysis simply because race ought to have no role in any theological discussion or comparison. The earliest theological giants were African, St. Augustine, St. Athanasius, and many others. I care not for the color of skin though I am not blind to it, I care only for the lessons and teachings of God in the holy scriptures and in the grand tradition of dutiful teaching of Sound Doctrine.
Religious Tradition: American Baptist
Policy History: Nothing overly concerning in comparison to other Democratic Candidates
After having read a general overview of Harris\’ involvement with politics and reviewing the tenets of the American Baptist convention. I will offer the following thoughts as a conclusion regarding the comparison before moving on to a discussion of the perspective which Christians must attempt to maintain in there viewing of political leaders as role models.
Quite honestly…. there is no comparison to be made. While in some regards I know that I disagree with certain aspects of Kamala Harris\’ denomination and her choices of policy support. There is very little which instills a confidence that a comparison between her and Jezebel is warranted. With that being said, I would like to offer the following warning. We must be careful when listening to any source of authority other than scripture, for if anything contradicts scripture in it\’s allowance of Christian behavior or denial of God\’s commands then we must set that instruction from the world aside and maintain our obedience to the Command of God as being given in the Holy Scriptures.
Regarding political leaders:
I offer this critique and perspective to both sides of the political divide. Christians are submitted to God, not politics, politics is where we as Christians endeavor to bring about God\’s will for all people through our practice of civic responsibility. In our submission to God we must remember that all people are fallen, and that it is in our very human nature to draw closer to the teachings which instill us with comfort than the teachings that challenge us. When we look at political leaders we must not compare them to one another but to the edicts and commands of God given in Scripture, by doing so we educate ourselves on the sins which we are voting into office and we must prayerfully do so.