A Message to Preachers
Thursday, March 3, 2016
Preachers & Presidential Politics When It Is Convenient For Them
1 Corinthians 14:8 (NKJV) For if the trumpet makes an uncertain sound, who will prepare for battle?
The term evangelical is clear as mud today. What I once presupposed was that “evangelicals” all believed John 14:6“Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.”
During a 1970’s presidential campaign many evangelical preachers thought they had one of their own running for office. A candidate used the term “Born Again” in a Playboy article. This man still teaches Sunday School. This one term President's tribe or affiliate of a Protestant faith definitely refutes in practice any inerrancy or infallibility claims of the Bible. Next the evangelicals supported the man who would defeat that "evangelical" former president. The winning candidate was divorced and rarely attended church when he was president. Next we had a conservative who attended a liturgical and mostly self described liberal affiliate of Protestant Christianity. He was defeated by a member of the largest conservative evangelical denomination in America. Some members of this conservative denomination tried to throw their fellow denominational member and presidential election winner out but their own theology kept them from it (church autonomy). He was followed by a conservative who talked evangelical talk but was a member of a “opened minded” church denomination with which his statements of faith rarely coincided with his denomination’s leaders. The current president has been often questioned if he were even a Christian or of a middle-eastern faith. No, this president declared he was a Christian. The current president said when running that he was grounded in the historic faith at his local church. His pastor was then found by the media to preach messages with theology far from the historic faith that declared Jesus Christ as Lord. Later the president could not recall some explosive and racially charged sermons that were far from the orthodox Christian faith recorded by his pastor. A president would not be the first American to drift off during sermons and miss a preached message, or miss church for a round of golf.
In the previous election the evangelical community as a majority tried to elect a man that was not evangelical. This candidate was not even part of the historic Christian faith. “Close enough” was the message we received from many conservative evangelical leaders. They were willing to twist and compromise theology to get their official guy elected. It did not work out.
Now influential evangelical ministers and theologians are throwing accusations and endorsements all over the place. The leading Democrat is a self-described liberal who credits her mainline denomination with teaching her society changing policies. Her denomination’s heritage used to boast of their genesis that they were “born in revival!” Yet some who will support her claim to be “evangelical”. The muddy lens is thickening.
The conservative “evangelicals” are now swooping to attack a populist front runner. Why? Does this candidate have a record of serial allegations of sexual assaults on women like a recent former president had while married and in office? No. Does this candidate plan to further fund Planned Parenthood and use our taxes to fund the abortions of innocent children like the current president? No. Evangelical conservative big-wigs are coming out and going for his throat. This man cannot be tolerated. What are the accusations? The leading Republican candidate is rude. He has a history of brashness. This cannot be tolerated by any of our “evangelical” church spokespeople.
A Message to Preachers
During the Christmas season this verse is often used and forgotten for the rest of the year. Isaiah 9:6” For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; And the GOVERNMENT will rest on His shoulders; And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.” Do you really believe Christ can deal with the government?
Salvation is by grace and not works. Politics are by works. The people vote for people they can identify with. The church today cannot even identify what an evangelical is. Preacher your task seems pretty simple. Preach the gospel clearly and stop making uncertain sounds with your trumpet of direction for your people. If the church people do not know that an evangeical is one who brings the gospel then we have a big problem. We now have to ask what is the gospel the church is bringing? Confused people will cause confused voters. How do you bring the gospel which is what an "evangel" is? How do you serve the Christian faith? When in doubt preach the only lifesaving faith through the life death, burial resurrection and one day return of Jesus Christ. A good place to start is John 14:6 that says “Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.”
Preacher, If you want to change the culture then help change your people. In a time of panic in His day the preacher Jesus gave a message. Mark 1:14-15 “Now after John was put in prison, Jesus came to Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, 15 and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel.”