This episode is titled, Some of America’s Pastors are Waving the Wrong Flags
In recent decades, religion — particularly Christianity, has become entwined with the American political system. With the rise of the Moral Majority under the leadership of Jerry Falwell Sr. and other leaders such as E.V. Hill and D. James Kennedy speaking out boldly on political and social issues, politicians came to realize that the “faith vote” was very important. At first, this applied mostly to conservatives and the Republican party. But, soon, Democrats caught on and they have made increasing efforts to reach out to pastors and church-going voters as well.
Both the Republican National Convention last week and the Democratic National Convention this week featured several pastors and preachers speaking on behalf of and in support of presidential candidates and their party’s respective platforms. Both campaigns are relying heavily on Christian ministers to serve as surrogates in the media and to their congregations. Both sides wish to be seen as having a corner on the Christian vote.
The debate over who Christian voters should support in this election has been hot and heavy in recent months, even more so than usual. But we won’t get into that here. The fact that so many pastors are aligning themselves so closely and so publicly with a political candidate is particularly troubling, especially when we consider the fact that we’ve seen this story before. Over the past two election seasons, pastors who have supported candidates on both sides of the aisle have been burned by lying politicians who have expressed support for positions that the Bible, these pastors, and the church strongly support only to go back on their word and their promises made to these pastors and millions of voting Christians. Case in point, President Obama’s chief advisor David Axelrod said that President Obama willfully lied to pastors and Christians when he was candidate Obama when he said that he believed marriage was only between a man and a woman before he got elected. David Axelrod said that was a deliberate lie and that he did not evolve. Obama believed in homosexual marriage all along. Therefore he lied to the white evangelical community, the black church, Hispanic Christians, the Catholic Church and everyone else.
When Jesus was here, He shunned politics. He never expressed support for the Roman occupation or for Jewish hopes of independence. He came with a completely different agenda — establishing the kingdom of God in the hearts of people on earth. We who are called to follow in His footsteps ought to be doing the same.
America does not need pastors who are concerned with trying to make sure a particular candidate wins the next election. We don’t need pastors waving the Republican flag or the Democratic flag. We need pastors waving the blood-stained christian flag. As Christians, we must detach ourselves from thinking of any political leader as a mini-Messiah. Our hopes should not be attached to them, but to Jesus. He is the answer for America’s problems. Pastors need to be more concerned about bringing people under the rule and authority of Jesus Christ by inviting them into His spiritual kingdom. God’s people can “make America great again” from the inside out if we return to a Biblical, Christ-like lifestyle. No political candidate can make that happen.
In closing, let me leave you with a Scripture and a quote to think about.
John 18:33-36 says, “Then Pilate entered into the judgment hall again, and called Jesus, and said unto him, Art thou the King of the Jews? Jesus answered him, Sayest thou this thing of thyself, or did others tell it thee of me? Pilate answered, Am I a Jew? Thine own nation and the chief priests have delivered thee unto me: what hast thou done? Jesus answered, My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence.”
Dr. Tony Evans said, ‘There are biblical positions on every issue, but no party fully represents all God’s views consistently on all God’s issues. My concern is that we’ve so aligned ourselves with the parties of this world that we’re missing the kingdom of God. The proof of that is that we’ve let political parties divide the kingdom of God. While Christians sometimes vote for one party and sometimes vote for another party, they’re obligated ultimately to neither party, because they belong to another kingdom. We should never let party divisions interfere with the unity of the church, causing the church to lose its influence in the culture.’
In light of what we have discussed today, I want to remind you that in our ever-changing world, there is one Person who never changes. That person is Jesus Christ. The Bible says that He is “the same yesterday, today, and forever.” He is not subject to the whims of society or popular opinion. He has an unchanging, eternal love for you. If you do not know Him as your Savior, I encourage you to get to know Him today. John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will. Romans 10:13 says, “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
Thank you for listening to this Torch Leadership Cross in Culture Podcast.
Visit us online at www.torchleadershipfoundation.com
Until we meet again, remember to keep Christ first in our ever-changing culture.