So Wayne Grudem has had to withdraw his support for Donald Trump in the 2016 US Presidential Election. The detail is here. A question I would raise is: why declare support for him in the first place? Accordingly, flowing on from Wayne Grudem’s example, in this piece I want to consider the issue of the endorsing of political parties and politicians by church Leaders. I mention the following:-
- For a church leader to indicate who to vote for can be divisive in a church. There are likely those who hold views which are politically diverse in the church. Church leaders are to be leaders in keeping the unity in Christ and advancing political causes can take away from this.
- Church leaders should be leading people to think and make decisions for themselves. Wise elders guide the church members in how to think through political issues. The danger with declaring allegiances is that you end up with church members who just do what their leaders do. Far better simply to present biblical reasoning and lead the people in thinking biblically about issues.
- Church leaders have to be ever vigilant in portraying what really matters to the people. Are we a people set to pleasing the Lord and living for His kingdom? Or are we primarily focused on the systems of this world? Are we godly or worldly? We need to remember that we belong to a kingdom which is not of this world. As our Saviour, Jesus, said, ‘My kingdom is not of this world. If it were, my servants would fight to prevent my arrest by the Jewish leaders. But now my kingdom is from another place’ (John 18:36)
- Big declarations like that which Wayne Grudem originally made on the Presidential Campaign can come back to haunt you. Skeletons can come out of cupboards. I feel the stature of Wayne Grudem has been diminished in many ways through this sorry episode.
- Our primary responsibility to the authorities is to be subject to them (see Romans 13:1) and to pray for them (see 1 Tim. 2:1-2). It is not to establish them.
You may not have been persuaded by my post of yesterday about not voting. So if you’re set on voting I now want to address the issues to consider in voting. One of my observations concerning the things I have seen put forward by Christians is that their reasoning, very often, is hardly distinguishable from that of unbelievers. So here are some questions I think you should be asking so as to decide whether you go for Brexit or Bremain:-
- Which will lead to the greatest honour for our Lord Jesus? (God’s purpose is to honour His Son; see Phil. 2:9-11)
- Which will provide the best environment for the gospel to spread and go forward? (We should long for the spread of the Word of God; see 2 Thess. 3:1)
- Which will most engender peace among nations? (We are called tbe those who work for peace; see Matt 5:9)
- Which will most likely lead to the countries having laws which are in line with God’s law? (Righteousness exalts a nation; see Prov. 14:34)
- Which will enhance justice; that is the punishment of evil and the rewarding of good? (God approves of this; see Rom. 13:1-5)
- Which is most likely to facilitate the progress of false religions? (False religions destroy lives; see 2 Pet. 2:1-3)
- Which will lead us to be able to bless strangers? God loves to bless the stranger; see the book of Ruth and Luk. 10:29-37)
- Which will lead to our hospitals and schools being brought to collapse so that many are harmed as regards to their health and education? We should love our neighbour ( see Rom 13:10)
- Which will lead to many having the blessing of jobs, homes and food? We should have concern for others; see Matt. 5:43-48)
- Which will limit corruption and bribery? These always lead to harm (see Hos. 4:1-3) and are involve lying which is hated by God (see Ex. 20:16)
- Which will lead to a destabilising of Britain and other nations? The gospel prospers when there is stability and it can spread and so the great commission is fulfilled ; see Matt. 28:18-20)/
- Which will lead to most glory for God. the Lord is set to honour His Name; see 1 Cor 10:31)
For more details on all this please see here (from 33.57 in particular).
Well, the month of the referendum has finally come, and there is still just over a week left to go to the actual event. One issue I hear very little off is that of not voting in the referendum. I feel it is something that the Christian should seriously consider. I have previously stated some of the arguments in this document for the 2015 General Election. However, I further wnat to engage with the issue given the impending referendum.
The accepted consensus among Christians appears to be that you must vote in any election because in doing so you are exercising a privilege (dare I say right) that God has ordained that you would have. Moreover I know that there are strong arguments for voting. It somewhat galls me, though, that Christians seem not to consider any countervailing arguments that would present the case for not participating in the voting process.
Pilgrims. The whole godly predisposition for Christians to be strangers and pilgrims on this earth is not considered at all. Let us consider the implications of this Scripture concerning Abraham that By faith he made his home in the promised land like a stranger in a foreign country; he lived in tents, as did Isaac and Jacob, who were heirs with him of the same promise. For he was looking forward to the city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God (Heb. 11:9-10). Further we read that All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance, admitting that they were foreigners and strangers on earth (Heb. 11:13). It does seem more in line with the pilgrims and strangers ethos that we refrain from getting involved in the voting process. After all this is not our home, we have another home.
Entanglement. Paul says to Timothy Join with me in suffering, like a good soldier of Christ Jesus. No one serving as a soldier gets entangled in civilian affairs, but rather tries to please his commanding officer (2 Tim. 2:3-4). Although it can be argued that this particularly applies to Timothy as regards his pastoral calling surely there is a principle for all Christians here. Entanglement in civilian affairs seems to accurately reflect so much of what is going on in the Christian community concerning the referendum at the moment. There seems something not right (dare I say unseemly) about that.
Looking At Jesus. Let us consider this Scripture Another disciple said to him, ‘Lord, first let me go and bury my father.’ But Jesus told him, ‘Follow me, and let the dead bury their own dead.’ (Matt. 8:21-22). The full meaning of our Lord’s retort here is perhaps hard to establish. However, it does seem to strike a strong note against being overly concerned with resolving issues appertaining to the affairs of this world. It is sobering to ponder upon how much mental energy is being devoted to deliberating upon how to vote in the referendum. If only people were so concerned about deliberating about how they can help other Christians grow in Christ and how they can reach the lost masses around us.
So I want to urge towards some thinking here. I think there is a strong argument for not voting in the referendum (and elections generally).
It is interesting to ponder upon the latter-day cultural imperialism that the we are seeing advancing in respect of Africa in particular. Here is one commentary on how pressure is being put on African countries to embrace the gay rights agenda. The scenario runs along the lines that if you don’t change your views you will not get our financial aid. However, if you do adopt our position on issues like same-sex marriage then you will get more aid.
Is this not cultural imperialism? Imperialism being the acquisition by a government of other governments or territories, or of economic or cultural power over other nations or territories, often by force. The force here is that of money. Imperialism is driven by a sense of arrogance. It thrives on the spirit that we are better than you and you need to learn from us. Hence the pressure being leveraged against the African nations has an imperialistic drive behind it. “We will use the power of our money to force you to be like us” is the message given. And the sub-text, in the message from the arrogant West is that you will be far-better off if you are like us.
Surely this is very distasteful.
Here is an article relating to the forthcoming General Election