"he who is not with me is against me"

That's not the president I'm quoting, it's Jesus. The passage I quoted yesterday, "he that is not against us is for us," reminded me of this other saying of Jesus that seems to say almost the opposite:

He who is not with me is against me,
and he who does not gather with me scatters. (Mt 12.30)

In the current political scene, words like these have been used to strike fear and squelch dissent. But in that realm, such a statement is ultimately untrue, in that there could certainly be opposition to certain bad decisions or political positions that is not "against" the president or the country but "for" them, for their good.

This statement is true, however, when Jesus speaks it. And it is not a contradiction of his words quoted yesterday. Both statements say the same thing: We are either with Jesus or against him. There is no neutral ground, no "undecided," and obviously no loyal opposition.

It seems important, though, to repeat yesterday's observation that Jesus' way of seeing who is "with him" is different from our usual way. We see families and political parties, pledges of allegiance and membership vows, alliances and official affiliations. But Jesus sees himself united with "whoever does the will of God." If God is acting through us, we are with him then, no matter what our church membership status. And if we are resisting God's work (even just resisting God's attempts to use us), then we are against him, no matter much we profess Jesus' name.

"You will know them by their fruits. Not every one who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven." (Mt 7.20-21)