Tuesday Musing of a Pastor – Can I see Jesus Thru Your Politics?
January 24, 2017
launch dinner of our Gen-Friend Ministry for ladies.
Can I See Jesus Thru Your Politics?
Perspective: Nascar is one of America’s most popular and widely televised sports. It is standard procedure for prayer to be offered before the races. People stand in respect while prayer is offered by a minister. Engines roar into life filling the air with throaty raspings like slow rolling thunder. Beer cans are popped. Not a little profanity follows. The race is on, tires screaming, crowds yelling, metal against metal, lights flashing, flags waving and sometimes horrific crashes. And prayer will be offered again next race.
Evangelicals were the extra push for electing President Obama.
Eight years later Evangelicals have had a change of heart and have elected President Trump.
President Obama was pro-abortion and pro-gay and rarely went to church if we trust the media to have given an honest report.
President Trump leans pro-life and is not as pro-gay – the jury is still out.
President Obama could not come to use the term “Islamic terrorists”.
President Trump used the term in his Inaugural Address.
President Obama was reluctant to put emphasis on the God of the Bible.
President Trump had a rabbi, Catholic priest, and four Protestants ministers participate in inaugural ceremonies – three of these defined as Pentecostals. No Koran was present for the ceremony.
There is a euphoria among many church-going people in America. There is the expectation that Christianity is once again becoming the dominant religion of America.
Yet, there are caveats. Trump will not drink alcoholic beverages but owns a winery.
His current marriage is a third.
He owns casinos.
We are a divided nation with irrational divides.
While writing this Musing there is a women’s march in Washington, DC, and other cities around the world to protest Trumpism. However, a women’s group whose leader voted against Trump is denied marching in today’s protest because the group she leads is pro-life.
Dare we be so mundane as to reflect on history? Who would suggest that we might learn something from history? Is each generation not entitled to determine its own destiny without debt to God or forebears?
Constantine was a soldier. His army proclaimed him as emperor. According to Wikipedia, “Constantine enacted many administrative, financial, social, and military reforms to strengthen the empire.” His leadership easily impacted a thousand years and maybe even until today.
Constantine served under Diocletian and saw the horrible persecution of Christians. When he became the ruler of the Roman Empire he was the first emperor to declare Christianity to be the state religion. He personally called, attended and even helped to officiate gatherings of Christians. He was instrumental in the formation of the Nicene Creed.
But not so quick. Constantine insisted on formalized religion, giving it art, elevating the ceremony of worship, providing tax money for robes of clergy and helping to build Christian churches. The Roman Catholic Church is a direct result of Emperor Constantine.
Constantine’s interpretation of Christianity and how it should be practiced divided believers…followers…Christians. The war was on. Those who formalized religion for a thousand years sought diligently to totally crush all semblance of Christianity that was not Roman Church. Militant efforts were employed to destroy persons, literature, and evidence that was not approved by the Roman Church, e.g., Foxe’s Book of Martyrs.
Martin Luther and the Protestant Reformation was not the first protest nor the last.
John Tyndale and countless others paid with their lives to say “No” to the Roman Church.
Let us be glad for all that is good. But if we will wrap our religion in the cloak of government we are fools. We betray our Lord. We betray reasonable history. We betray reason.
We are Christians who have denied ourselves and taken up our cross to follow Jesus. We need no crutch. We need not wait on politicians. We need not be like a yo-yo swinging on the vicissitudes of political elections.
We march on. We preach the Gospel, the full Gospel, in fear of God and Judgment Day.
We refuse to subvert our message. There is one Lord, one Hope, one Cross, one hell, one heaven. “Behold, all souls are mine,” (Ezekiel 18). “Every knee shall bow and every tongue confess” (Romans 14:11).
Respectfully, I submit that the church is strengthened under persecution.
Respectfully, I submit that this is a dangerous hour tempting us to believe that gentle winds are blowing. We are being encouraged to leave port. Biblically, the storm ahead will inevitably blow us in the direction of a world government with an anti-christ ruler. This world will not be a utopia without Jesus ruling.
There are good governments and bad governments. Righteous rulers bless a nation.
Wicked rulers corrupt a people. Government without Jesus as Lord is human, flawed and terminal.
Let us be careful to do what we were called to do: Follow Jesus who shall reign forever and ever (Isaiah 9:7). When the show is over let us be sure when we lift our eyes we only see Jesus and that we are unashamed of how we have lived our lives and preached the Gospel.
In these times may we refuse to allow social media, politics and public opinion to preempt our commitment to “Let us go that we may die with him [Jesus]” (John 11:16).
If your politics come first it is difficult for me to see Jesus in you.