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Sunday, June 27, 2010

When Politicians Court the Church

It has been said that politics is really a compound word. "Poly" means many. "Tics" are blood sucking insects. Therefore, politicians are many blood sucking insects. That was intended to be a joke but no one laughs anymore. It makes sense.

I went to a meeting several months ago hosted by politicians for pastors. Essentially they claimed that their party would bring back the values that we preachers espoused. They also claimed that the reason the nation is in such a sorry shape is because the preachers haven't preached the Word. They claim we have to get out there and tell the people who they should vote for. (They didn't actually say that last part but it is easy to connect the dots.)

I admit I felt guilty for a little while. I came back the next day and sat at a table with someone who contributes to this party. She fully connected the dots. It was amazing. Scales fell from my eyes and I remembered that we preachers had put this party in control before. We told people that they must vote for the party of morality. We put them in power and they did nothing. They continued to play politics. They continued to grow government. They continued to allow abortions. They continued to work hard for re-election. They were just as immoral as the other party. They just weren't as honest about it.

I thought, "Isn't this the same argument used by convicted murderers? 'I wouldn't have been a murderer if I had better parents.'" Now, I know they want me to believe that the wrong party is in power. They want me to believe that we preachers are the reason for that. They want me to believe that their party will bring America back to prominence. They point to the Reagan years. Is it because preachers were preaching the Word that Reagan was elected? I really don't think so.

I am not letting preachers off the hook either. We must preach the Word.  We must do all that we can to make people into disciples of Jesus Christ. That is our mandate. However, politics is not the reason to do so. That is not our business.

There is not many steps between being the power behind the throne and a pawn of the throne. We cannot have two masters. We must serve our Lord before all else. Yes, we may preach the principles espoused by a certain party. However, we must not preach them because of that party but preach them because of our Lord. That party or any other may take them as their own but we are not to sell ourselves out to them. They are men and women with clay feet and will disappoint us. Our Lord never disappoints.

I know there are many people who would like for me to get involved in politics. I will not do so. This is not because I don't support certain politicians privately. I can do that. However, I can't bring that to church. That belongs to Caesar. I won't give him the church.

Matthew 22:21 (NIV)
21 "Caesar's," they replied. Then he said to them, "Give to Caesar what is Caesar's, and to God what is God's."

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