POLITICS, NATIONALISM AND THE CHRISTIAN LIFE

Dubois Beach blog

 

I’m still surprised by how often scripture directly challenges my seemingly normal and appropriate beliefs and practices. Recently, I have been encouraged to examine how I (and the church) relate to our nation and it’s leaders. My only standard for testing the validity of my beliefs is scripture…the refining furnace of God’s eternal word. Fortunately, the issues of nationalism and politics are addressed clearly and directly by both Jesus and Paul, leaving no room for legitimate, biblical debate. If Jesus and Paul say it, I believe it, even if it goes against EVERYTHING I have been taught and practiced for decades. May God be true…and every man a liar. Romans 3:4

I adore the United States and would never want to live anywhere else (except maybe Costa Rica). I was a huge supporter of Republican presidents from Reagan to George W. Bush, and I greatly enjoyed studying and debating public policy. However, a few years back, as I was studying the Scriptures relentlessly, preparing to embark on my new career as a street minister, I began to notice clear and unambiguous statements about God’s perspective on this dying world versus the one to come, where we will rule and reign with Jesus Christ, in paradise…forever. While we are taught to fervently pray for our leaders, we are never taught, either directly or by example, to take part in politics or become entangled in governmental affairs.

When I examine the quotations of Jesus that can be applied to issues of nationalism and politics, one thing becomes clear – His kingdom is not of this world, therefore, neither is mine.

In the verse below, some of his followers wanted to make Jesus their king. His actions in response to this, speak as loud as his words:

15 When Jesus therefore perceived that they would come and take him by force, to make him a king, he departed again into a mountain himself alone. John 6:15

While no explanation is given to us in John 6 (above) regarding why Jesus doesn’t want to reign as king on earth, the answer is provided for us later in the chapter:

36 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. John 18:36

Although we know that God is sovereign in all things, the gospels teach us exactly what our rebellion in the garden cost both us and him:

And the devil, taking him up into an high mountain, shewed unto him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time.And the devil said unto him, All this power will I give thee, and the glory of them: for that is delivered unto me; and to whomsoever I will I give it.If thou therefore wilt worship me, all shall be thine.And Jesus answered and said unto him, Get thee behind me, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve. Luke 4:5-8

Whether or not we want to accept the unambiguous truths stated above, this world is Satan’s due to our rebellion. We, through Adam, rejected the instructions of the God who made us and loved us, and instead chose to follow His enemy. Jesus can and does reach his hand down to help those that are His, but in terms of temporal authority, we see that, whomever is in charge, no matter what party, the doctrines of demons are propagated. For some it’s abortion, for others (like the current president) it is (among other things) the LBGTQ agenda, which he proudly and vigorously promotes. Many will ignore this fact, because the future of America is more important to them than the proliferation of the gospel, but the plain truth is, whether right, left or center, the Antichrist agenda is moving forward, and nothing can stop it. IT IS WRITTEN. His kingdom is not of this world….

When we examine Paul’s life, we do not see any attempt by him to influence or even be involved with any type of temporal power structure. He preached the gospel to them, but he wanted no part of the man-made systems they represented. Paul made it clear: he lived for an eternal kingdom, one whose builder and maker was God, and while he labored diligently for God while on earth, his hope, his treasure and his crown…were in heaven.

When I read Paul’s letters in the KJB, especially the pastoral epistles, it becomes clear that Paul is concerned about: sound doctrine, preaching the word, boldness, rebuking false teachers, and the blessed hope…the glorious return of Jesus Christ. What is glaringly absent, is any concern for the power structures of this world. In fact, when addressing Timothy, his beloved son in the faith, He says:

Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier. 2 Timothy 2:3-4

Paul is making the point that we as Christians are to view ourselves, not as propagators of a political agenda but as soldiers for Jesus Christ. He even states, as clearly as possible, that we are NOT to become entangled in the affairs of this life. What this means, among other things, is that we are not to invest our labor in the short term machinations of politics and government. Instead we are to fix our eyes and hearts on eternity. Paul knew well that a concern for the things of Earth, which will ultimately be destroyed (2 Peter 3), would only serve to pull him away from the gospel and away from the realities of an eternal heaven, and an eternal hell.

Many believe that Paul wrote Hebrews, but regardless of the author, we are told exactly what we are to focus our minds and hearts on:

 Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds. Hebrews 12:1-3

It is important to note that Paul didn’t teach us to ignore government entirely. In fact, he made it clear that we have a duty to sincerely pray for our leaders:

I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men;For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty.For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour;Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth. 1 Timothy 2:1-4

Interestingly, the purpose of these prayers isn’t so that we can control, manipulate or even take over the government. Rather, the goal is to allow us to live quite, peaceable lives, doing what his letters so powerfully exhort us to do – preach the word boldly, while caring for the weak, the lonely and the poor.

America is my dwelling place, and I am extremely grateful for our Constitution and the freedoms it allows…but it is not now and never will be my home. I…we, are sojourners on the earth. We are, as Paul says, strangers and pilgrims, as we move ever so slowly to an eternal city, one whose builder and maker is God. May we lay aside the cares of this rotting, malignant world, and fix our eyes on Jesus, and HIS glorious kingdom, where we will dwell with Him in joy and peace…forever.

 

EPILOGUE

I chose not to vote for president in the last election, and it has borne great fruit for Jesus Christ in my vocation as a street minister. I have had many people scream at me, assuming that I am a Trump guy, and asking me why I don’t go tell HIM about Jesus. I calmly smile, and tell them that I never have and never will vote for Trump. As a result, I have had several people who would never otherwise even consider the message of the cross for one second, listen to what I have to say, and even take strong gospel tracts. THAT is what truly matters…contending for the eternal souls of precious men and women. I’d trade one atheist taking a tract for my vote any day. This place will burn. May we render unto Cesar what is Cesar’s, but otherwise may we all focus our eyes and hearts on Jesus and our families.

While the founders of America knew that the Bible and Judeo-Christian values were the only basis for a truly civilized society, few if any, expressed a sincere belief in the actual gospel of Jesus Christ. Consequently, while America has had unprecedented peace on our shores, and became an unparalleled venue for the creation and development of technology and luxuries, evil has also flourished. While the true gospel has been spread throughout the world by the numerous technological platforms developed in the US, the false gospel has also been spread worldwide by the likes of TBN and other false Christian media. Furthermore, the technology that will be necessary for the Antichrist’s economic and communications systems would not be anywhere close to what they are today without American ingenuity and cash. This government that we love so much (when our guys are in charge) uses our patriotism against us (Patriot act, etc.), by creating the type of surveillance that will be needed in the end to control the world’s population. Satan is brilliant, and he is always working. He plays every angle, and he plays them well – from handsome televangelist to violent murderer. So let us turn from this dying, world and it’s wicked ways, and focus on  the glorious reality of eternity.

17 For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory;18 While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal. 2 Corinthians 4:17-18

Other posts by this Author:

Christianity, Capitalism and the Heart of a Believer

Unanswered Prayer: Why Our Prayers Are Not Always Answered

Piercing The Darkness: My Journey Carrying the Gospel Through The Florida Keys

 

Advertisements

10 thoughts on “POLITICS, NATIONALISM AND THE CHRISTIAN LIFE

  1. I love the Gospel words that I have just read, by:followingjesuschrist3.com Thank you very much. Just 1 question though…I thought it was Our Duty to Vote for Our President? 🙏🙌❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I don’t see that anywhere in the scriptures. It’s a very American thing. I don’t tell people not to vote, if asked I simply explain why I don’t and how it has led to the spreading of the gospel. For me, that’s it. I have no choice. I, in my particular vocation, cannot risk being discounted as an evangelist because of politics. Thanks for commenting.

      Like

    1. My theory is that they are both controlled by the same guy. Satan plays left then right then left then right. Racial hatred, anger and wickedness prosper no matter which party is in charge. The republicans tighten the noose of surveillance around our necks, build up the military that will ultimately be used to kill us, and fund the technology that will be used to enslave us all to the antichrist. The gay agenda grows under both parties. It’s all simply a well played game. Satan is brilliant and he stays busy. When Jesus said my kingdom is not if this world, America wasn’t excluded. The same is true when Satan said that all the kingdoms of the world had been given to him. It is an incredibly hard concept to grasp, but I believe it to be true.
      On another note, I had a friend tell me, after reading this article, that he had TWO people walk away from him while he was sharing the gospel, when they found out he was a republican. My point is, why risk losing a listener over something that will ultimately burn? Bless you my brother, and I enjoy your blog.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. The kingdom that all believers should be seeking is not of this world as you correctly point out. Christianity emphasizes the goal of eternal life but the focus of salvation then becomes “living in heaven” when in actuality Scripture describes the final state as dwelling in the New Jerusalem on the new earth – not in heaven
    Moreover, the goal of every genuine believer should be to obtain to a “better resurrection” (Heb 11:35). This verse is particularly significant as the women referred to here chose to embrace suffering in this life rather than obtain their release in order to obtain a better resurrection. What is the better resurrection? I think Paul elaborated on this when he described his own spiritual race in Phil 3:11 where he refers to the “exanastasis” variously translated as “out-resurrection.” Notably he wrote that it is something that he strived for but had not yet attained to. Like the Hebrew women, he links his suffering to obtaining the exanastasis (this NT word only occurs once here).
    If the “better resurrection” is the same as the “out-resurrection” and the Apostle Paul claimed that he had not yet obtained it, what does that tell us about our own lives? For the believer, the ultimate measure of suffering is martyrdom. Rev 20:4-6 refers to the “first resurrection” when those beheaded for Christ get to reign with Him during the Millennium. The reward for taking up our crosses and following Him, even to the point of death is co-reigning with Christ on earth for 1,000 years – not living eternally in heaven. Can we be certain that we have attained to it? If this be true, then it has implications for how we view (political) change in this world and what our reactions should be to it. In this world, we will have tribulation.

    Like

  3. Hi Ed. Thanks for this article. There have been many times that “3 Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.4 No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier. 2 Timothy 2:3-4” has been a good guide to me in being careful in what it is which absorbs my time and energies. And no, politics is not one of those. The thought was always “be very cautious about what you do get entangled with”.

    The comment about all the governments on earth being under the control of the devil was a good reminder that it is indeed so. Yet our sovereign God still uses them to accomplish His purposes. The Egyptian pharaoh at the time of Moses and the Babylonian empire come to mind. Evil as they were and under satan’s power, yet God accomplished His purposes through them.

    I think you are absolutely correct, it doesn’t matter one iota whether it’s The Left or The Right or The Middle who is “in power”. Wether it is preferable to vote for the lesser of two evils or not to vote at all I believe is an individual thing done as per the leading of the Holy Spirit whom God has given to true believers to guide (among many other things) them.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Praise the Lord for this excellent article! YES and AMEN! It reminds me of something I heard a preacher say years ago: “I’m neither right wing nor left wing: they’re both still wings on the same stinking bird!” He who has ears to hear, let him hear what the Spirit is saying: Revelation 18:4 – And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I love your wing comment. Brilliant! Thanks for taking the time to comment. This article has been a hard one for many of my friends to accept. We are bewitched by Satan’s sleight of hand. Everything we see…is a lie other that the word of God. May we turn to that eternal truth, every single day. https://followingjesuschrist3.com/2014/12/02/the-written-word-what-did-jesus-the-apostles-and-the-psalmists-say-about-the-written-word-of-god/

      Like

      1. Praise the Lord Jesus! All glory to Him; without Him I’m bankrupt; I’m just a beggar who can tell another beggar where to get living Bread! 🙂

        I read something many years ago that has put this subject of politics into perspective. I was reading the book of Daniel at the time, and decided to read Matthew Henry’s comments on that precious book of the Bible.

        Bro. Henry said something so striking. He noted that when prideful Nebuchadnezzar saw the image, which represented human government – he saw it as an image of man–which gratified his carnal mind.

        However, when God gave a parallel dream to His faithful servant,Daniel, He represented the kingdoms of the world to Daniel as they really are – and that is, as grotesque beasts. Selah.

        Let us hear what the Spirit is saying. God showed His true servant, Daniel, and through him – to the rest of God’s remnant – what every human government is in nature, and of what spirit each is; therefore, God has told us to come out from among them, be separate, and touch not the unclean thing; the Father will receive us, and we shall be His sons and daughters. Amen! Maranatha!

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Great article my brotha. Many American Christians have a hard time with this because many have worshipped the country (idolatry) or their political party more than Christ. You are correct, both the Dems and Reps are on the same team and are controlled by Satan. Satan used a strategy to get Christians in America more focused on politics than sharing the gospel of Christ and that is why many of our churches are spiritually dead in America.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s