WHEN CHURCH AND POLITICS COLLIDE
I know what some pastors say, I even remember saying it in the past. “I don’t want to talk about politics because I don’t want to turn anyone away from the Lord.” Those days are gone and I think even I was wrong at the time. Why mention political issues like abortion and freedom? Well, mainly because they are not political issues but spiritual issues. Our Constitution makes many so called political issues spiritual issues. We have seen the government this past months do the opposite of what they say about separating church and state. The government has put severe restrictions on the Church under the guise of “health care”. Needless to say there was validity in the so called pandemic and many people were affected and many died, however being a pastor for over thirty years and other ministry for more years than I will share, I have seen the Church go through many things and never did we shut down the Church or were shut down by the government. This is America and if we truly believe that the mission of the Church is to do what Jesus said, to heal the sick and save the sinner, then the Church must be open. The Church is even more essential than the hospital because we deal not just with the physical maladies of people but with their eternal soul. This past year with the shut down Church, there have been more suicides and murders that we have seen in a long time. This time has been horribly hard on our nation.
We visited a church a couple months ago in our community and the pastor’s whole sermon was on Titus 3:1 Remind them to be submissive to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready for every good work. Romans 13:1 Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God. 2 Therefore whoever resists the authority resists the ordinance of God, and those who resist will bring judgment on themselves. 3 For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to evil.
Right up front it looks like we have to obey rulers regardless of what they say but there is much more to the story. The pastor of the church we visited said that he had been getting so many emails etc, and that people had such differing opinions. Actually many pastors and church leaders had differing opinions. His was that we are to obey the leaders in the land no matter what they say except in preaching the Gospel. In other words, he never clarified if “preaching the Gospel” included being told what to do if it goes against God’s Word, the Bible. If what he said were true, that we had to obey everything the governing authorities said and that the Bible meant that, then there would be no America. America was founded by Christians who left England to be free. They decided that it was not God’s will to follow the government and the “state” church, or the Church of England to be exact, which has as its authority the Queen or King, whoever is reigning at the time. Christ’s Church should NEVER be run by a secular governing authority. The first people who came here from Europe did not come on a pleasure cruise and anyone who knows true American history would know that. They did not fight the Revolutionary War because they had nothing better to do. They fought for freedom which they believed was the right of every human being made in the image of God. If Romans meant what that pastor said, they would have stayed in England and never escaped to start a new life of freedom. The pulpits were the “news” of the day and the ministers were defenders of the Faith and Freedom.
Major General Peter von Muhlenberg – “The Fighting Parson” wrote,
“Reverend Sirs: When we contemplate the friendship and assistance our ancestors, the first settlers of this province (while overwhelmed with distress), received from the pious pastors of the churches of Christ, who, to enjoy the rights of conscience, fled with them into this land, then a savage wilderness, we find ourselves filled with the most grateful sensations. And we cannot but acknowledge the goodness of Heaven in constantly supplying us with preachers of the gospel, whose concern has been the temporal and spiritual happiness of this people…” Freedom was essential for the founding and beginning of America and the early pioneers were not going to give it up easily. My fear is that we have become so secularized that we do not know what the Bible truly teaches, the Bible upon which our Constitution is based.
What then do we do with these scriptures. Do we do nothing and let a Hitler or Stalin take over? You say that it is extreme. Well, I know personally people who lived under Hitler’s regime and know that it could happen again maybe even in America. In a land where there is less and less value of human life, including the life of the unborn children.
I believe that it is obvious that God wants us to have laws to live buy. After all, He gave the first laws through Moses. If we keep those ten laws then we will have freedom and peace. Unfortunately people do not keep them. The scripture says that authorities are appointed by God. Yes, but they are also human and do not always do what God says. It also says in scripture that we are to obey God rather than man. God’s Word always interprets God’s Word. We are to obey the laws as long as they are in accordance with God’s Word. Do some laws, like Roe vs. Wade need to be overturned, absolutely. How can we change laws? There are ways. I remember in San Diego many years ago the school system was in horrible shape mainly because of leadership. The Christians banded together and decided that they would have a voice. Many ran for school boards and were elected. Enough were elected to make a marked difference in that school system. That needs to happen again. Christians need to run for office in every strata of our society. The only danger that I should point out is that if elected, power is a terrible temptation and can corrupt even the most sincere. So, beware but don’t stop. Run for any office that you feel you can do a righteous job in. God can bless and prosper you and open a door if you truly seek Him and His will for our nation. God wants to bless the people of the United States of America but He cannot bless unrighteousness and cannot bless a nation that kills it’s next generation.
Please pray about your part. God can use you and He will and we can change our nation by the help of God.
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