Politics In The Church
And I’m NOT talking about 2 deacons being grumpy at the pastor!
Before I even write on politics we must have a proper understanding of God’s role in government.
Jesus Christ. . . the Ruler of the kings of the earth. . . Revelation 1:5
This verse and many others like it make one thing very clear.
God is the One who is in control.
If you ask me why bad and terrible things happen, I confess that I will hide behind Isaiah 55:8 & 9.
So that prompts the next question:
If God is truly in control, then what is our interaction with the devil, the evil one?
I will discipline myself to NOT talk about how Spiritual Warfare has been so blatantly “marketed.” If you are interested in my short post on that subject, CLICK HERE.
Our interaction with the evil one though, is much more narrow than HE WANTS you to think. And the location of our battle with him is NOT OUT YONDER, but rather, in our minds (2 Corinthians 10:5).
The devil is messing with our minds, folks:
And one of the proofs that he is successful, is the division in the Body of Christ.
But let me speak out of the other side of my mouth. MANY OF US DO NOT NEED THE DEVIL. We are divisive all on our own.
Friends, we are the problem. Not the world!
I have put together a BIPARTISAN VOTERS PRAYER GUIDE to help us. You can download it as a .PDF by CLICKING HERE. It comes from a BRILLIANT sermon from 1656, and it is a MUST-READ for 2020.
These daily prayers can be found on our Instagram, Twitter and Facebook pages.
There is a Political Disconnect in Our Churches, and it is not complicated:
We are letting OUR POLITICS DIRECT OUR THINKING instead of the word of God.
So, like last week’s post on RACISM, (CLICK HERE for last week’s post) let me give you a few anecdotes centered around three ways of handling POLITICS IN THE CHURCH:
The Right Way
The Wrong Way
The Typical Way
THE RIGHT WAY
With whom are you struggling? Before you answer, look at Ephesians 6:12a, For our battle is not against flesh and blood. . . The people on the other side of the aisle ARE NOT YOUR ENEMY.
I’ll never forget the pastor friend of mine who led a weekly prayer meeting and used to pray against the president EVERY SINGLE WEEK, until one day he read Romans 13:1, Everyone must submit to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except from God, and those that exist are instituted by God.
The next week he said, ” God put this president in office. He is not my enemy, regardless of whether I agree with him or not.” And so he started praying differently for him.
THE WRONG WAY
Praying for the death of a president, from Psalm 109:8 or ANY SCRIPTURAL PASSAGE is wrong, but unfortunately it is not uncommon. And in the last ten years I have seen this way too often. Let me tell you JUST ONE of the things that is wrong with that kind of a prayer.
Besides Roman 13:1 above, you have verse 2 following, which says, So then, the one who resists the authority is opposing God’s command, and those who oppose it will bring judgment on themselves.
But you say to yourself, “Okay, but I’m not so mean as to pray death to anyone, Mark.”
Well, try this:
When I say to you that GOD’S TENT is big enough to handle people that baptize differently than you, how quickly do you agree?
Probably very quickly.
When I say to you that GOD’S TENT is big enough to handle people that pray differently than you, how quickly do you agree?
Again, probably very quickly, right?
Now consider those two time frames above. How quickly did you agree?
Here’s the money question:
When I say to you that GOD’S TENT is big enough to handle people that VOTE differently than you, do you agree just as quickly?
Most people do not. They agree, but not very quickly.
THE TYPICAL WAY
Let me ask you, “Are your political prayers selfish or selfless?”
Selfish Prayers are the typical way we handle politics. Let me give you an example. 1 Timothy 2:2 says, [Pray] for kings and all those who are in authority, so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity.
And you probably say, “Well, what’s wrong with that, Mark?”
Here’s why I call it selfish. We pray that God would, “Put the right people in office so that we can live a tranquil and quiet life, free of problems.”
Friends, the PROBLEM with that prayer is that it DOES NOT WORK in countries like Syria, Iran, etc. And that kind of a prayer is CONTRARY to God’s will, if His plans are to discipline us, as a church.
Now, let me be the first to tell you, that I do not know God’s mind. I do not know His plans.
But friends, as I look around I find myself PRAYING OFTEN that God would show us mercy.
Friends, the meaning behind 1 Timothy 2:2 above, is that it is our praying, communing with the Father, that brings you a tranquil and quiet life. The tranquility and quiet do not come BECAUSE OF the results, but IN SPITE OF the results.
That is the evil one’s distortion and deception, and the reason I claim that the battle is in our minds, not out yonder!
Remember who was leading Rome when Paul wrote most of his letters. It was Nero, whom we are told by tradition, would eventually cut off Paul’s head (sorry for the visual).
Let me end with a quote from Ronnie Floyd. (Email on 10/10/2018)
A divided church cannot call a divided nation to unity.
CLICK HERE for the BiPartison Voter Prayer Guide.