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Devotional - "biblical Truth And The Problems With The Christian- Political Arguments"

Discussion in 'Thoughts for Today' started by anthony wade, Oct 26, 2012.

  1. Now the word of the Lord came to Jonah the son of Amittai, saying, “Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and cry out against it; for their wickedness has come up before Me.” – Jonah 1: 1-2 (NKJV)

    There are several underpinnings within the Christian-political arguments that are simply inaccurate, poorly thought out theologically and unfortunately too widely accepted. We hear about them sporadically until it comes time Election season. Then apparently well intended and thoughtful Christians lose their collective minds. The seemingly cast aside the Bible in their pursuit of what they have deemed as the “righteous” choice, even though the Bible makes it clear that none are righteous. I think this year God arranged for this contest to show the complete idiocy of mixing Christianity and politics as we now have Pastors and Christian leaders insisting that to be a good Christian you must vote for a candidate who is not even a Christian. Satan must be laughing.

    One of the typical lines of reasoning presented which we will deal with today is the notion that theUnited Stateswas founded as a Christian nation and has turned its back on God. The reasoning continues that it is up to Christians to collectively vote into office people who hold our values, so that legislatively, we can turn the nation back to God. I have heard this twisted rationale from Franklin Graham, James Dobson and Pat Robertson, among many. This rationale has many holes in it. Let us start with the myth about the founding fathers of this country. Yes it is true that the majority of them were indeed from various sects of Christianity. Of course the world was vastly different then. The majority of the people who founded this country were in fact escaping religious persecution during the tensions that followed the Protestant Reformation. The notion that they intended to then set up a form of government that excluded different belief systems simply does not pass the smell test. Some of the founding fathers, including Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson were Deists who believed that God did not intervene in the world and left everything up to the laws of nature. John Adams ended up a Universalist. It is true that many of them were traditional Protestant, Episcopalian or Catholic but they all worked together despite their differences in their beliefs. So, was this country founded by men who believed in A God? Absolutely but not necessarily the same God that we believe in and their views differed widely. Were they more moralistic than what we have today? Absolutely but the time was radically different. I seriously doubt men who escaped such religious persecution would advocate for a governmental system where one set of religious beliefs are legislated against all others. Remember, being right does not give us the right. Jesus spelled out our role in relation to the world:

    “You are the salt of the earth. But what good is salt if it has lost its flavor? Can you make it salty again? It will be thrown out and trampled underfoot as worthless. “You are the light of the world—like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden.No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house.In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father. – Matthew 5: 13-16 (NLT)

    Salt preserves. Light penetrates darkness. What are we preserving when Christians stand at gay pride parades with signs that say “God hates fags.” How are we penetrating the darkness by insisting people accept our morality before they accept our Savior?

    The next problem with this Americana rationale is this notion that the country has turned its back on God. This notion is founded in some deeper misunderstandings but the global issue should be realized first. This country was never with God to be able to have turned its back. I have even heard the absolute ridiculousness of this country having once been under covenant with God. That is simply not true. The church is under covenant with God, not the United States. Remember, to be “with God” you need to have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. So in order for this argument to be sound, the country at one point must have all been born again only to have “turned their back” on God. That is simply untrue. Then some will shout – “what about the Pledge of Allegiance!” The truth is that the portion that says “under God” was not added to the pledge until the 1950’s during the “red scare” portion of our history. Oh, and it was written by a socialist minister; God does have a great sense of humor! What about “In God We Trust? It was added as a national motto during the same period of communist unrest during the 1950s. The actual national motto is E pluribus unum – “out of many, one.” Yes it is true that the courts ruled that prayers could not be recited at public schools but we either believe in the underpinnings of this country or we do not. The first amendment does not apply only to Christians. It seems sometimes that the very people who hide behind the first amendment to defend their faith are the first ones to cast it aside when it deals with any other religion. More importantly than the worldly argument however is the Spiritual one. I have heard this decision as leading to God being “cast out of schools.” Really? Is that what happened in the Spiritual realm? God needed the prayers of fifth graders in order to enter a school? Are we seriously suggesting that this court decision stripped away the rights of Christian parents to pray with their children for their schools? Does God get to the school doors and cannot get in? As bad as Columbine was, I believe God was there that day and lessened what could have been a larger tragedy. How big is the God we serve? He can’t handle a local school board? Or even a court decision? This of course is ridiculous.

    “I am the Lord, the God of all the peoples of the world. Is anything too hard for me? – Jeremiah 32: 27 (NLT)

    The problem of course is that we live in what has always been a sinful country. I say always because every country is sinful because every person is sinful. The notion that you can have a righteous country is not biblically supported. Even God’s chosen people would never last in their righteousness. If you read the Old Testament they are out of the will of God more than 75% of the time and God used more sinful countries to execute judgment upon them. That is the larger point beloved. At the heart of the Americana rationale is the distorted notion of who needs to repent. As always, the church is outwardly focused when it should be inwardly focused:

    Then if my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and restore their land. – 2Chronicles 7: 14 (NLT)

    This of course is a favorite verse of the typical Christian-political operative. The problem is they seem to misapply it all the time. The people who are called by the name of God are Christians! We hear all the time that in order to restore the land we need to put God back in the schools, prayer at football games or the baby Jesus back in the town square. Nonsense! The land is restored according to this verse when the church behaves again like the church! Take a good look around this country and see the sad and sorry state of the church. The largest churches are selling earthly prosperity and riches. Others are nothing more than carnal self-help and motivational workshops disguised as houses of worship. You have entire denominations enamored with revival and leadership instead of repentance and following Christ. Theories of church growth insist that it is somehow upon the pastor to insure the growth of the church and not God. The Gospel is deemed as not relevant enough to reach the next generation as secularism is so rampant in the body of Christ you can barely tell the difference anymore between the church and the world. Dear God forgive US. We are the ones that need to humble ourselves and stop trying to shove a moral code we do not even adhere to down the collective throats of people we are charged with bringing the Gospel of Jesus Christ to. We are the ones that are supposed to pray, not the glee club at PS 54. We are the ones that are supposed to repent and turn from our wicked ways. This is the design of God beloved! When the church behaves like the church, people will want to know about this Jesus we love and serve. THAT is how the land is restored. When the church serves however as the morality police to a world that still thinks the things of God are foolishness – there can be no restoration in the land.

    The next portion of this poorly thought out rational is the notion that there is a candidate that somehow supports our beliefs. Maybe there was 100 years ago, but not in the current iteration of politics. Most people would probably say that George Bush was the closest president we have had to an evangelical but he does not even come close to our beliefs as he thinks all religions serve the same God. He is essentially, ecumenical. As for the alleged “Christian” leadership – they exposed themselves in 2008 as being nothing but political operatives disguised as Christian leaders. During the GOP primaries it came down to John McCain and Mike Huckabee. McCain of course was one of the Keating Five from the Savings and Loan crisis of the late 1980 and divorced his first wife so he could marry a girl 25 years younger than him. Never mind that he delivered the divorce papers when she was still hospitalized after a horrific car accident. Huckabee was a former Baptist pastor. There can be no question that Huckabee stood closest to “our values” yet every Christian-political leader publicly backed McCain. That is all you need to know. It is not about God, it is about politics.

    Don’t put your confidence in powerful people; there is no help for you there. When they breathe their last, they return to the earth, and all their plans die with them. – Psalm 146: 3-4 (NLT)

    There is no confidence for a Christian in either candidate for president. One practices a very liberal form of Christianity and the other is not Christian at all. More importantly however, neither of them has to share our values because we serve the God who created the universe! This brings us to the final flaw in this political rational. The notion that this country can be truly revived and repent is absolutely true. The notion that it can ever happen through the legislative process or governing is simply untrue. Realize that is the bill of goods we are being sold. That if we would just get together and vote for the Mormon candidate, that he will somehow govern the country back into repentance. Never mind that he fundamentally disagrees with all of our core doctrines as Christians! The reality beloved is that the nature of battle we are losing is not carnal, it is Spiritual.

    Don’t let anyone capture you with empty philosophies and high-sounding nonsense that come from human thinking and from the spiritual powersof this world, rather than from Christ. – Colossians 2: 8 (NLT)

    I use this verse to highlight what I think we always overlook. There are spiritual powers controlling this world. The Bible says the lord of the earth is Satan – he leads the spiritual powers. Think of everything he has managed to convince the world of. Abortion is an economic issue and gay marriage is a civil rights issue. We come along and think that we can point to verses in a book they do not believe in and tell them they are wrong. Further than that, we actually think we can force them to accept what we believe at legislative gunpoint. Then we wonder why they have no interest in God. The truth of the matter is we are Jonah and this country is Nineveh. In the days of Jonah, Nineveh was the capital city of the Assyrian Empire. They were ruthless in their warfare and decadent in their lifestyle. Sound familiar? Does God tell Jonah to run for office? Does he tell him to forge an alliance with the king or the opposition? No! He tells him to deliver a message to the people. That message is repent, for the kingdom of God is at hand. Centuries later Jesus would find himself in the middle of another society that had become more political than Spiritual. The Pharisees were more worried about their power than their God. Did Jesus secretly support the Sadducees against them? Did He run for office Himself? No, He preached to them repent, for the kingdom of God is at hand. Jesus did not have to scream it at people. He did not have to try and force His beliefs onto anyone. His message was delivered with love and gentleness. Jonah must have managed to convey his message effectively as well because Nineveh did actually repent and God spared them. Eventually they would return to their wicked ways and God would destroy them but for this moment in time, God relented.

    God can also relent with the United States. Not because we somehow have turned our back on him as a country but rather because we have always given Him our back and our collective sin has risen with each passing decade. Make no mistake about it however, it begins with the church. We are the opposing warriors standing in the gap against the spiritual powers of this world. Instead whining about God not being in schools, we should be praying for our children to be salt and light to the other children. Instead of crying about political issues we should be preaching about the kingdom of God. People should see the grace and mercy of God within us not the judgment and condemnation of Christianity. Instead of thinking we need to turn to a man, any man, to solve the spiritual problems we are facing, we should be on our faces seeking God to do what only God can do. This is a spiritual war we are in and it will not be won at the voting polls or the ballot boxes. It will be won in our churches and at our altars. Likewise, it cannot be lost at the voting booths or ballot boxes. It can only be lost when the church stops being the church.

    Should we vote? Absolutely because it is a civic responsibility. Is the collective soul of our country at stake based upon who we vote for? Absolutely not. The Book of Daniel assures us that God sets up all kings and rulers. God will use whoever wins for His plan and His glory. We should seek God, listen, and vote as we feel led. When we get home however, that is where the real work will begin. The work of Jonah. The work of Christ. Repent for the kingdom of God is at hand. The problems this country faces are spiritual in nature and neither Barack Obama nor Mitt Romney will be able to solve them. To all the Christian leaders who fancy themselves as political operatives I beseech you to put away your talking points. Put away your bogus voter guides. Put away your anonymous YouTube videos and misguided Facebook posts. Pick up your Bibles again and get back to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Get back to what God has called you to do. That is how the nation is depending on you.

    Reverend Anthony Wade – October 26, 2012
    Theo Fane likes this.

  2. Hello, Rev. Wade!

    You're right, American Christianity is definitely too political. I think your analysis is spot-on! It won't be what the poeple want to hear, it won't tickle their ears, and it will leave a bad taste in their mouths. The authentic Gospel of Christ can be a very bitter pill to swallow. Thank you for such wisdom! :D
  3. Thank you sir! I know it is not well received by many but I am not trying to please man but God. I did a piece on Halloween yesterday that I am sure made more people unhappy, lol. The Bible is a two edged sword, it is meant to cut. Thanks again.

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