Political Idolatry and Mocking Your Mission Field

By Jordan Standridge. Reposted from The Cripplegate, November 15, 2016. (HT: Zeteo 316.)

We were warned. I feel like it was over and over again. Pastor after pastor told us that if politics becomes an idol in our heart that those who don’t agree with us will slowly become the enemy. We were told that when we put our hopes and trust in the one who sits in the Oval Office and into avoiding persecution and holding on to religious freedom then when people speak out with opposing views from us we will despise them and treat them like an enemy.

And yet despite the warning, many of us in the church have raised the idol. Many in the church have worshipped at the feet of this idol and are simply overjoyed that this idol seems to have produced results. And the mocking has begun. My Facebook is filled with comments about snowflakes, hypocrites and lefties who supposedly are so evil and so despicable that they need to be ridiculed for their tears. The problem is that these snowflakes we’re mocking are my mission field. I talk to so many of them on a weekly basis. Despite Scripture’s warnings about letting no unwholesome words out of our mouths, and only using words that are able to build others up (Eph. 4:29), we think that because some wanted to push abortion and gay marriage that we’re allowed to speak of them any way we choose.

Far too many people have lost their eternal perspective. Although being thankful for religious freedom and lower taxes is not wrong, when we mock those in opposition we show that we have exchanged treasure in heaven for some chump change on earth. (Matt. 6:19)

There are many hurting unbelievers. Whether it’s warranted or not. Millions are heartbroken over the election results. They have put their hope in Hillary Clinton, and here they are with their hopes shattered. Many are scared because of the color of their skin. I get that so many of them are being lied to by the media, but that doesn’t change the fact that they are actually hurting. I also don’t deny that many millennials are gullible, hate God, His word and are driven by a desire to do away with God. But the answer for the Christian isn’t to put our hope in a republican White House while mocking them. It must be in bringing them the hope we have in our eternal state. We have a great opportunity to bring the Gospel to people who seemed to have everything going their way only weeks ago but now are depressed, violent and even suicidal. It is time to act like ambassadors and to plead with them to repent and follow Christ (2 Cor 5:20). They will not change their mind by being mocked. The only way they will be changed is if God in His incredible mercy grants them repentance leading to the truth (2 Timothy 2:25) and shows them that presidents and governments can’t bring true happiness. Only Jesus can. And the beauty of it is that God did that with you and if he hadn’t you might be rioting in the street or who knows what.

At the same time there are many Christians hurting as well. Some of us may think that they are wrong, others may think there’s a lot of truth behind their concerns. And the answer to them isn’t telling them to grow up and shut up. They are not unruly. They don’t need to be admonished. Most of them are fainthearted and need to be encouraged (1 Thes. 5:14). We must prove to them that we want them to be a part of our churches and that they matter more than our tax exempt status and definitely more than our bank accounts. Reach out to them, they may look a little different than you or may speak with an accent. Make an effort to greet them at church, have conversations with them, have them over for dinner.

Ultimately I get an incredible sense that we feel like that the average republican is better off than the average democrat. But an important truth that could be escaping us right now is that a republican who doesn’t know Jesus will spend eternity suffering in hell as much as a democrat who doesn’t know him. Just because the average Republican didn’t protest Obama the way the average Democrat has protested Trump does not mean that their hearts are any less wicked. The idol of politics may cause us to identify as a Republican rather than as a citizen of Heaven. Every non-Christian is the mission field, but when politics becomes an idol suddenly those who disagree with us become the enemy and those who agree with us, despite the fact that they might be just as lost as the others, don’t get evangelized as well.

I pray that Trump has a wonderful presidency. I pray he gets saved and starts pleasing Christ with his life. I’m thankful that we have a Vice President that loves telling people about Christ, and who seems like he’ll be making a lot of important decisions. It’s ok to be thankful for those things. What’s not okay is that our mission field becomes our enemy. And if that has happened over the last few months, I pray that we repent and start treating them as Paul would, like people who will spend eternity in heaven or hell.

Photo by David Everett Strickler on Unsplash.


Jordan is the pastoral associate of evangelism at Immanuel Bible Church in Springfield, VA. He has a wife named Jenny and 4 children, Davide, Matteo, Nico and Gabriella.

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TylerR's picture

Editor

Yes, a thousand times over. This is precisely the point I made about the Christian Right's gleeful response to Justice Ginsburg's death, in my article "On Hating Unbelievers."

Tyler is a pastor in Olympia, WA and works in State government. He's the author of the book What's It Mean to Be a Baptist?

Mark_Smith's picture

Here's the thing Tyler. I read your blog. I didn't think those quotes were bad at all. They were fact. RBG did promote a lot of things that are not holy and moral. Fact.

She was not a politician either. She was supposed to be an impartial judge. That is part of the problem. She had an agenda. If you like her agenda, she was a heroine. If you didn't, she did a lot of damage.

I oppose vehemently her political position. Do I "hate" her. No. Do I respect her? For a few things, but not most of them. Was she a nice person? I have no idea.

 

Mark_Smith's picture

Tyler, you had a rough pastorship in Indiana (or was it Illinois). You moved to Washington state, and you are doing well there now.

It is often said Jesus was a friend of sinners. True. He ate with them and do some socializing with them. But who were they? Did he eat and spend lots of time loving on people that despised him? Or did he befriend people who knew they were sinners in need of redemption? They just needed to know who to turn to for salvation.

I on the other hand work at a university. It is straight-up rough honestly. The opposition to Christianity is overt and obvious. This is not casual indifference. It is deadly opposition and, in a way, persecution. If you tell a faculty member you are a Christian, you are done. You are blacklisted. No one talks to you. They scoff at your comments in faculty meetings. You try to talk to them in the hallway and they ignore you. The faculty senate meetings are the worst. When I do speak up, I get eye rolls and then ignored, like I never spoke. All faculty events are alcohol fests. I seriously pray for all them as I think of them, but there is no fellowship or chace to talk. Then student interactions are little better. You just know if one student complains that you even hinted at sharing Christ with them your career is over...

Switch to politics. Are there crazy Republicans who claim to be Christians who are total fools? Lots of them. Are there decent Democrat citizens? Sure. But the party people and the national level (and most state level) politicians and staff... they are just like the faculty. They aren't interested in your worldview or your God or your religion. They are in a war to defeat you.

TylerR's picture

Editor

It sounds very bad where you are. Everyone at my State agency (manager and above) knows I'm a conservative Christian. They're polite. This is a very PC culture; not as rude and overt as what you describe. HR is always watching. My experience is that you need to be very wise and crafty. I've only spoken out once in public against the woke madness. People know where I stand.

You are in a very, very tough spot. Our culture is going south so very fast. 

Tyler is a pastor in Olympia, WA and works in State government. He's the author of the book What's It Mean to Be a Baptist?

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