Everything is political.
We live in the age of political craziness.
Today, when you ask Americans which institutions are “pushing people apart,” they will list political parties as the most divisive.
Politics has swayed the way major companies advertise.
Companies like Gillette and Nike are doing what once would have been unthinkable — linking their brands with politics. They didn’t have a choice.
Do we have a choice? Yes, we do.
Politics and the church
Politics have invaded the churches in America. Should this be happening?
On July 4, 1776, the United States Declaration of Independence was issued.
According to History.com, the United States Was Called The United Colonies Until September 9, 1776. On September 9, 1776, the Continental Congress formally changed their new nation’s name to the “United States of America,” rather than the “United Colonies.
The founding fathers were church-going men; some, such as Jefferson, Franklin, and Washington, were Deists. Some historians have referred to the United States as a “Protestant nation” with a Calvinist heritage. The United States was founded with a rich Christian heritage.
It cannot be emphasized too strongly or too often that this great nation was founded, not by religionists, but by Christians; not on religions, but on the Gospel of Jesus Christ!
America was founded by Christians. The Founding Fathers’ sole desire was to establish a nation where worship was a free choice. The intention of separating the church and the state was not to create a government without God. Separation of church and state was to protect the government from controlling the worship of the people.
“Separation of church and state” is a legal principle in the United States, which is related to, but not found within, the First Amendment to the United States Constitution, in the Bill of Rights. The First Amendment reads: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…”The principle is paraphrased from Thomas Jefferson’s “separation between Church & State.” It has been used to express the understanding of this amendment’s intent and function, which allows freedom of religion. It is generally traced to a January 1, 1802 letter by Thomas Jefferson, addressed to the Danbury Baptist Association in Connecticut and published in a Massachusetts newspaper.
The purpose of separating the church and the state was for the freedom of worship and establishing the government would not form a state religion for United States’ citizens.
Times have changed
While our government has not chosen a specific faith, they strongly influence the Christian church in America. The Founding Fathers got it right in 1776. They separated the state from the church. As we fast forward to 2020, the Christian church today is affected by government and politics.
It is time for Pastors and leaders to examine how politics shape the Gospel of Christ and biblical Christianity. Yes, the church and the government can intersect and work together. But we must admit the values of both Democrats and Republicans are not in unity with the biblical church.
Where it started
There are a few references to when the government became more involved in the evangelical church.
Derek Thompson, a writer at The Atlantic, reported:
According to Christian Smith, a sociology and religion professor at the University of Notre Dame, America’s nonreligious lurch has mostly been the result of three historical events: the association of the Republican Party with the Christian right end of the Cold War, and 9/11.
Is it OK to be associated with a political party? Yes absolutely. Have churches become politically partisan? Yes.
Has the Gospel become secondary in church services? In some churches, Yes. Political views and Gospel views have tenets that intersect, but they also points of separation. Have we placed more trust in the United States government than the Trinity?
Some members of the Christian church have intermingled their Patriotism with their Christianity. This is distracting to the purpose of the church.
The cross of Jesus Christ is not wrapped up in the American Flag.
Ed Stetzer said:
In a sense, Christians are dual citizens — of the Kingdom and of the nation where they live. I live in a country that is not without fault, but I am proud to be a citizen of that nation. I teach my children to be proud of their nation — not unaware of its challenges — and patriotic citizens.
Yet, I think that Christians in need to be careful about mixing their faith and worship with Patriotism and nationalism.
Like Ed Stetzer, I am thankful for the freedom in our nation. But that cannot compare to our freedom in Christ. It’s is OK to love and celebrate our country.
We must be careful when our worship for God is equal to our Patriotism.
Christians are pioneers
“Therefore, submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord’s sake, whether to the king as supreme.” (I Peter 2:13, NKJV)
There is a place of submission and honor to our government and our political leaders. We are to respect authority.
I love our country. I vote regularly. I am not a racist. I am a committed God-fearing Christian. I do not believe in conspiracies. I am also far from perfect, and I fail.
Christians live for others. We live to glorify God. Believers live to share their love for God and their faith with others.
Christians are pilgrims-passing through the earth and heaven is our home.
These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off were assured of them, embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims. (Hebrews 11:13, NKJV)
Are you a patriot or a pioneer (pilgrim)?
You might be more of a patriot than a pioneer if:
- You fight more for your rights than you do for righteousness.
- You fight more for prayer in school that prays for your kids.
- You fight more for the Flag than you do against racism.
- You fight more for one color than you do against the devil.
- You have more knowledge about the government than the Bible.
- You fight moreover a Red Elephant or a Blue Donkey than you do for a slain lamb.
Did you pass the test? Patriot or pioneer?
If you came out patriot, make the adjustment.
Politics are divisive
Politics has divided church members for decades. Christians should not allow a political view to limit the fellowship or unity of believers. But it happens.
Democrats and Republicans should worship together. The division is not of God. Is God happy that we have allowed politics and political views to divide churches and believers? I don’t think so. Even though, I am not qualified to answer for God.
Is our life reduced down to politics? I would hope not.
“But if life is reduced to politics — if that’s as good as it gets — we can never open ourselves to a sense of transcendence, regardless of how it is understood. A life defined by politics as its highest end is a truncated life. While I might be wrong, I have transcendent hope that this is not as good as it gets.”
The focus of believers
Believers are to seek things above and not the things of the earth. The church and the believers must return to the pure Gospel. Believers are not to trust in government to meet their needs.
For unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given; And the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.( Isaiah 9:6, NKJV)
It’s time for the church to focus on worship and the Lordship of Christ.
Christians are to be identified with Christ — not a political party or the color of our skin.
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