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    Wednesday, June 22, 2011

    Politics in Church

      As a young Pastor, I can confidently say that one of the most divisive things within the church in America are Politics.

      No matter what, this topic ignites fight after fight within the church and causes people to choose sides, all the while wounding their brothers and sisters in the process.

      It, to me is sad that so often in the church we choose our Political Party over our brother and sister in Christ.  The reality is one day political parties will be destroyed and there will only be God and our brothers and sisters.  Why would we choose anything that has a time limit on it over eternal things?

      I know I have had my own political blogs, one not so well received discussion about Osama Bin Laden and others about Obama.  On neither of those topics though did I claim sides, nor political parties I simply expressed what I felt and asked for dialogue, as I am attempting here.

      My opinion on politics in church is that it is a destroyer of community and unity within the body.  If we are believers in Christ, and are made new by the Spirit, it doesn't matter what your political background or party is.  I find it a sad testament to the church itself when people will judge your salvation based on which candidate you vote for or which political party you belong to.  I know this happens, because my salvation was judged by someone I deemed a friend when I told them I voted for Obama in the Presidential election.  Some of you may not like that even today.

      Here again, it may seem I am taking a "political side" but I am not, because all of my other votes in that certain election were for all Republicans so as the power wouldn't fully rest with one party.  Let's not rest here, because it could deter from my point.

      My point is that politics in the church are dangerous.  Dangerous because we simply can't contain our zealot hearts from backing up our beliefs with arguments.  If we were a place where understanding and love flowed, people could open up about who they voted for or what their political bent is.  As the American church is today however, one wouldn't dare for fear of being "labeled" and out casted.

     Some of you may wonder why I am bringing this up during a "political lull" where little political things are being done and spouted and my answer is because it's low tension season which will SOON swing into high tension season...

      In my heart, I truly believe we as the Body of Christ need to remain united more than ever in this tumultuous time.  I fear our political party has become more god to us than God himself, partiotism has covered over our vigor for the church and our campaigns for certain candidates have over shadowed our evangelism for Christ.

      Sure we have a duty to lead this country for Jesus and we desire the most "Christ-like" candidate to take the Presidency but we must stop fooling ourselves: we no longer live in a Christian nation.  Christ does not reign in the hearts of many in office.  The nation we desire to have we will never have until Christ returns.  God will bless this nation through us, his church as we serve this world through our love of one another and the lost and we've been lacking hoping out candidate and the country will do what we are supposed to do.

      The world around us has changed and we've been stuck thinking its the same.  If we truly believe the Scriptures, everything will get worse before it gets better as it pertains to world leaders.  This doesn't mean we stop praying for our leaders, it doesn't mean we stop voting and trying to get the best person in there it simply means we need to change our hope from the leaders of this world onto Christ.  It also means we need to be more active in the healing of this world rather than hoping our vote is enough.

      Let's stop the fighting over which party we belong to and start fighting for the Lord to reign in our hearts and live his love out through us.

     I may be off on this subject, so I desire some feedback. What do you think about Politics and church?  Is it safe?  Why do we attack one another?  I will be doing a radio show on this topic in a couple of weeks and would love some feedback and maybe some callers on the subject!  Thanks friends!

    Marv Nelson
    ACAC Student Ministries Pastor


    Jason Nelson said...

    there are some great insights on this topic in the book "Divided by Faith: Evangelical Religion and the Problem of Race in America"

    Hope all goes well on your show. I do not agree that politics should be "preached" from the pulpit... however, there are some that are called to petition government for what they believe to be right for society. I believe that it is unethical for that person, if also a minister, to publicly preach their agenda.

    Marv Nelson said...

    I despise the preaching of ones agenda as well Jay! I will definitely have to pick up the book though and read it thoughtfully. Thanks for your comments bro!

    David said...

    I think that God will hold us accountable for how we vote. I typically vote for who I think would be best for the office - political party does not matter to me. I tend to vote more Republican than Democrat because of my conservative moral and financial views. Our founding fathers (not sure which ones) said that we should prefer Christians for office. Our republic can ONLY work if God is at the center, you cannot legislate morality, that can only come from the heart and, I believe, only through a surrendered life to Jesus Christ. Does that mean non-Christians would be bad in government positions? Not necessarily but I would look at what beliefs guide them. I think that we ARE living in a Christian nation (despite what the President has said) – Our nation was founded on Christian principals and that is how we should continue to run it – unfortunately, we Christians have given up our positions of leadership and the moral decay has ensued. I too believe that we should pray for our leaders, especially those that do not know Jesus as their Savior. Without a God-breathed revival, our nation will not stand much longer. Do well on your show!

    Marv Nelson said...

    I agree that we still need to be involved in voting and prayer for the candidates and those in office. I do fear though that the system is so broken that in order to get far in politics, there has to be some sort of corruption within you. I could be wrong, but that is how I see it. You say that God will judge us for how we vote and I think to an extent this is true and this is worth wretling with for sure and wondering how our religion effects our votes. We however can't judge what God will and won't judge. Some would say God will judge those who vote for politicians who support abortion, others would say he judges those who vote for politicians who subvert and hurt the poor and the immigrant...that is NOT for us to judge, but for God. This is one of the things that causes so much heat: who will be judged? and for what? Only God knows...I don't know but I do know I pray and seek the Lord on all fronts of my politics. We should never allow our political view to swing or sway our relationship with Christ...which sometimes happens. Lastly, without God we can't see revival, I fully agree and pray that God can use us to change the world! Thanks David!