Sticky: Discussing Politics from the Pulpit isn’t Christian?
Last week, during fellowship time, I stumbled across someone who had been attending Grace Gospel Fellowship (the Church I gladly call home) for 20 years, who in conversation with me said he/she doesn’t like it when Pastor John Kirkwood talks about politics, and that he/she prefers it when the pastor focuses solely on the Bible.
A similar sentiment was expressed recently by someone who contacted Grace Gospel Fellowship via the website:
“Can I attend a church that doesn’t give their personal beliefs on political issues. Just teach the bible according to the gospel of grace, that is it, nothing more and nothing less. I don’t need to hear about socialism, democrats or republicans. Please JUST STOP!!!!! It makes me not want to even listen anything you all say.”
(Yet, I bet this person could have listened to Bill Hybels’ December 5 message and judged THAT as apolitical).
I’ve also heard this expressed in a sermon given by a pastor at a Church I formerly attended. He began by discussing Chinese Christian missionaries to Israel who advise other Christians not to pray against China’s communist dictatorship because persecution causes the Church to flourish. Immediately my mind went to the concept of doing evil that good may result, expressed by Paul as anathema in Romans 3:8. I thought of the prayer that delivered Peter from the jailer’s cell. I thought of God’s anger at his people when He wanted to set them free, but instead they wished to return to slavery in Egypt; apparently longing for the “community” that they shared making bricks for the Egyptian Pharaoh. While I was still pondering these things, the pastor continued, “I tire of Christians railing against the Obama administration. This attitude is not compatible with the character of Jesus Christ.”
These are not isolated instances of this kind of stinkin’ thinkin’ (as my mom would say). Indeed, this strain of thought is rampant in the Church, and is continually reinforced from pulpits across the land.
So what can we say to these things? What good is studying the Bible if one’s study doesn’t result in an impact in the real world? God isn’t interested in religion. He is interested in real life.
Consider that over 80% of the Old Testament deals with nations, kings, and peoples; and judges them all as either good or evil. (Remember Ahab, Jezebel, Manasseh, Pharaoh, and Jeroboam?) In essence, all it does is speak about politics. In the New Testament, consider that the fascist Pharisees and the socialist Sadducees were as much political leaders as religious leaders. They, not to mention the puppet King Herod (disdainfully referred to by Jesus as “that fox”), elicited Jesus’ harshest words. (For those of you who claim you just want to study the Bible, have you read Matthew 23?).
I tire of suffering “Christian” fools who refuse to acknowledge evil when it is right in front of them or who live with their heads either so far under the ground, or so high in the clouds that they pretend that nothing in the news or in the political arena can ever affect them.
I tire of suffering “Christian” fools who consider it their duty to criticize pastors like John Kirkwood and other Christians who are exposing evil rather than to support and join them in the struggle.
It’s a good thing the Founding Fathers didn’t feel that politics had no place in THEIR Christianity. Do the anti-politics Christians know that during the Revolutionary War preachers preached from the pulpit with their military gear under their robes? That after they preached they went out to fight for freedom against the tyranny of King George? That they considered it their Christian duty to do so? No, they sit there sanctimoniously and ungratefully benefiting from the blood the Founders spilled. I tire of suffering these “Christian” fools who do not wake each day thankful that God placed them in this free and prosperous nation where they can preach the gospel freely and send missionaries all around the world however they choose. But instead of celebrating the blessings of God, and recognizing the sacrifice of all those who secured those blessings; these “Christians” pretend that they somehow live outside this country- in some mythical, heavenly one.
I suppose it would be wrong, according to these anti-politics Christians, to speak out against the Antichrist, since he is a political leader. I suppose they will have no problem taking the mark of the beast, so as not to offend the other Christians in line with political talk. But, since God is sovereign, he’ll surely miraculously deliver them from having to make that difficult choice, right?