Center for Biblical Theology and Eschatology
The Church And Politics
by Joe Terrell
During the last two presidential elections, we have seen a growth in the power of what has been named "the religious right." The conservative, religious element has sought to band itself together in order to exert a strong influence in the political world. Churches have set up voter registration tables in their buildings, there is a newsletter sent out with each candidate scored according to his stand on certain conservative issues, and now we have a man who was a popular preacher running for the office of president. Is such political activity proper for the church? Is the job of the church to set a political agenda and lobby the government to pass appropriate laws? Is the hope of revival in this country to be found in a "christian" president who will enact "christian" laws?
- "And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.
- He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned."
The church was given one command when Christ left: preach the gospel! Do we trust the power of the gospel so little that we believe it needs the help of the United States Government? Sadly, "preachers" use the name of Christ in their political speeches more than they do in their preaching. The apostles and preachers of the first century were used of God to establish the truth of Christ by the simple preaching of the gospel - with no help from any fleshly power. Government was against them, established religion was against them, and the intellectual community was against them. But none of these adversaries accomplished anything in the destruction of the church of Christ. The church did not suffer at the hands of government until the government became its "friend" under the Roman Emperor, Constantine. When "christianity" became accepted and sanctioned by the government, the world was cast into a thousand years of darkness: spiritual, political and intellectual darkness. The moment that we attempt to help God by coupling our efforts with His, He removes His power for He will not share His glory with another: including the governments of men.
- "And he said unto them, Render therefore unto Caesar the things which be Caesar's, and unto God the things which be God's."
Scriptures and history have taught us that when the church and government are wed, personal freedoms and the gospel are lost. Let us, as believers in the Lord Jesus Christ, pray for our leaders, as our Lord has commanded us, and preach Christ to a world of lost men and women. As private citizens of the United States: we may lobby for good and just laws and vote our personal consciences. But, we must be sure to keep our preaching and our politicizing separate!
[End - 2008]
Joe Terrell is pastor of Grace Community Church located at 1616 18th Street, Rock Valley, IA 51247, a community that arose out of the desire of several families to have a place where they could worship in peace and good conscience. Their web page is located at http://www.rvgrace.com/