Thursday, May 1, 2014

Christianity and Politics

There is a problem in evangelical Christianity in America.

We have become too intertwined in American politics.  Outsiders, at times, view Republicans and Christians as the same thing. 

Let me give two examples of how evangelical Christians have recently been too intertwined in politics.

1. Sarah Palin (former Republican vice presidential candidate and loved by many evangelical Christians) said:
"Well, if I were in charge, they would know that waterboarding is how we baptize terrorists."

The comparison of the Christian idea of baptizing with a method of torture should sicken every single Christian, but since many Christians have forgotten the Gospel and instead look to the State to save them they cheer. Those who disagree with this concept may be labeled pacifists or liberals. Instead of torturing people maybe we should be praying for the salvation of their souls.  As Joe Carter said in his blog post on this issue: "If we are to preserve our own humanity we must not forget that our enemy differs from us in degree, not in kind. Like us, our enemies need to accept Jesus and to be baptized by water and the Spirit. "

2. Liberty University allowing a Mormon, Glen Beck, to speak in Convocation.
Glen Beck is a well-known political commentator and Mormon. Mormons deny the truth of the Gospel of grace and instead supplant it with a false gospel of works. They deny the essential deity of Jesus, and thus deny the essentials of what it means to be Christian. Yet Liberty University, in putting the politics ahead of the Gospel, gave him a platform to speak his heresy. And Liberty University only has positive things to say about his convocation message. When Beck says "gospel" he does not mean the good news that Jesus Christ kept the law for us, then died taking our punishment upon himself. This is a major oversight by Liberty University and is just further evidence of politics being considered more important than the Gospel.

What should we do then, as Christians?

1. Repent of conflating gospel and politics.
There is no problem with Christians being involved in politics, but politics should never be considered the end game of Christians. A government run by Christians would still have problems, and until we have a government run by Christ (when he returns and sets up his eternal kingdom) we will have problems. No one will ever be saved from eternal damnation by a good government, but only by Jesus. Christians thinking they can make moral people by using the government are deluded, and even if they could make people moral it would not accomplish anything other then sending outward morally people to hell.

2. Repent of legalism.
Adding moral stipulations to the Bible is wrong. Saying that good Christians should vote in a certain way is a form of legalism. The Bible does not specifically say how a Christian should vote, and Christians may end up landing on different positions politically. This does not make one Christian better than another. When the Bible is silent on an issue, like it ultimately is on so many issues, we can not make our personal decision "law" for other Christians to follow. To take this a step further, it is also not a moral imperative for a Christian to vote at all!

3. Stop thinking of America as a special or Christian nation.
The kingdom of God is not of this world, and America is not a Christian nation.  It never has been, and never will be, because there is no such thing.  America is not promised prosperity if it turns to Christ, and is not promised destruction if it does not. God has not made a covenant with America, and America does not replace Israel. 

4. Focus on the propagation of the Gospel, not a political movement.
Let us tell our nation, and our world of the good news of Jesus' sacrifice instead of spending so much time focused on politics. Let us never stop spreading this Good News. Let us fulfill the great commission of Mathew 28 by making disciples, and helping others grow in the gospel of Jesus Christ.

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