Politics And The Pulpit

Politics And The Pulpit
by Shane Idleman

Mass shootings, redefining marriage, killing innocent children, LGBT agendas infiltrating all aspects of life. What in the world is going on? I believe that the “pulpit” is partly to blame.

There is a very troubling trend in the evangelical church as a whole. We are in desperate need of “genuine” leadership, broken, humble people who are not “afraid” to admit that they need God; men who are more “worried” about prayer than about status and recognition; men who “petition” God rather than position themselves.

Today, the truth is often neglected, watered-down, or avoided altogether in the hope of not offending members and building a large audience. “Judgment” is never mentioned; “repentance” is never sought; and “sin” is often excused. We want to “build” a church rather than “break” a heart; be “politically” correct rather than “biblically” correct; “coddle and comfort” rather than “stir and convict.”

It says in I Timothy 1:15 “Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the worst,” yet, many avoid words such as “sin and repentance.” The good news about Christ can only be appreciated with the bad news as the backdrop.

“There are times when the saints must be fed, and there are times when the sinners must be warned” says C.H. Spurgeon. Preaching must be done with God-given authority to truly be effective. When we fail to proclaim God’s Word faithfully, we run the risk of “encouraging sin” and “perverting the words of the living God” (Jeremiah 23).

Pastors are to be pillars who support “truth” not champions of “silence.” God has given us a wonderful gift known as America. The government isn’t bad or good; her people “determine” success or failure. Why would God ordain our government and then not want us to steward His gift? Many have been guilty of not getting involved by saying, “We shouldn’t say or do anything political. All we need to do is preach the gospel.” Be careful . . . although the gospel is our primary focus, this shouldn’t be an excuse against action.

James A. Garfield, an ordained minister and twentieth President of the United States, said, “Now, more than ever before, the people are responsible for the character of their Congress. If that body be ignorant, reckless, and corrupt, it is because the people tolerate ignorance, recklessness, and corruption.” We are actually voting for principles, not people—all candidates are sinners.

In what direction will they lead our country?” is the question we should be asking. Even more importantly, what country will we leave for our children?

We don’t have to “abandon” our ethics or compromise our “principles” to be involved in politics—what good is “salt” left in the shaker, or a “light” that is hidden? Contextually, when Jesus referred to being the “salt and light,” He was referring to holy living at the “individual” level, but the overlapping “principle” applies to all areas of life.

“Politics” is not a bad word. In simple terms, politics refers to “governing or leading” a group of people. Politics won’t save America, but in order to implement “change” and help others, we must take “action;” hence the political process. Would you have remained “silent” in the 1800s over slavery? Of course not.

Politics that once “focused” largely on the economy, national security, and the deficit, now tackles important “moral” issues. These major issues have “enormous” implications; to remain silent actually makes a “statement” that we are not concerned enough. This is not just about the loss of jobs; it’s about the loss of morality.

We’re not just talking about “adding” millions of dollars to the national deficit; we’re talking about “aborting” millions of babies. We’re not only talking about “fluctuations” in the housing market; we’re talking about creating life simply to “destroy” it. This shift requires us to stay closely “involved.” Topics that are “too controversial” are often critically important; we can no longer “ignore” them.

Interestingly enough, the “stability” of America is one of the top concerns on the minds of many today. There was a time in recent history when America felt “secure” knowing that the most formidable enemies were abroad. Not so today. While we are concerned with “terrorist” attacks, and rightly so, there is a greater threat from “corruption” within. We, like the mighty Roman Empire that “collapsed” centuries ago, are “crumbling” from within.

There are people and groups who are strongly committed to the “destruction” of anything rooted in our nation’s Christian heritage. They attempt to be “one nation above God,” rather than “one nation under God.” Scripture identifies this as foolishness, self-exaltation, and arrogance—“the downfall of nations.”

There is a saying that one generation plants “trees” for the next generation. I’m concerned that instead of “planting”, we are removing and “destroying” the very covering that protects us. As a result, our “legacy” as a great and noble nation has all but been “forgotten.” For instance, most schools no longer teach students about the “spiritual” foundation that has guided America throughout her history.

Consequently, America’s “moral and religious” heritage is often deleted, grossly distorted, or revised altogether. Students often miss the critical connection between “America’s unparalleled greatness, her rise to world leadership, and the spiritual foundation that made it possible.” This should concern us. The ideas of the classroom in one generation will “create” the ideas of government within the next.

Today, our culture promotes “relativism”, and man does what is right in his “own” eyes. Again, according to Scripture, to his own “destruction.” God’s Word says to “confront, confess, and turn from our sins; relativism encourages us to ignore, overlook, and continue in them.” Although this position may seem radical or extreme, we are living in extremely critical times.

Make no mistake about it. We are witnessing the rapid “deterioration” of a nation right before our eyes. But there is hope: 2 Chronicles 7:14 calls out from the past with resounding clarity to America today: “if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”

There are times to “encourage, motivate, and uplift,” but there are also times to “confront, challenge, and contend” for what is right—that time is now.

Let it not be said of us today: “After that whole generation had been gathered to their ancestors, another generation grew up who knew neither the Lord nor what he had done for Israel.” (Judges 2:10). The day of the “silent” pastor who is more concerned about “nickels and noses” must end.

Are we pleasing God or men… are we cowards or watchmen?

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