The political tension in the United States Of America (USA), as the presidential election gets under way, has reverberated around the world. Christians of every colour and stripe, and from all countries of the world, have been particularly affected by the frenzy of the American election. Believers are being manipulated and arm-twisted by some ministers of the gospel to become involved in a partisan way. Most Evangelicals have thrown their hats (and maybe their hearts too?) into the political fray, and have now made themselves the religious wing of the Republican Party. I’ve heard not a few Evangelical leaders preach from the pulpit to condemn any Christian voting for the Democratic Party. A vote for the Democratic Party is considered by these Evangelical leaders to be a vote against God and against Christianity! According to these ministers of Christ, the very survival of Christianity is on the ballot, and that only the Republican Party can save Christianity. This post seeks to examine the issues at stake in the US Presidential elections, with respect to the Church’s partisan support of political parties and their agenda, and the implications of such for the great commission. We shall also examine the role of political power in the accomplishment of the great commission.
Let me summarise the issues at stake in the US Presidential elections that have Evangelicals all around the world in prayer and fasting mode for Mr Donald Trump’s reelection. Trump is viewed as the defender and saviour of Christianity, and the last man standing between America (and maybe the world?) and hell. Two policy thrusts of Trump’s party make Evangelicals believe voting for Trump’s opponent, Mr Joe Biden, is voting against Christ: the pro-life and anti-homosexual policies of the Republican Party (the Party of Mr Trump). Before I continue, let me quickly state here that the Bible is unequivocal about abortion and homosexuality being sinful. God condemns both practices and every Christian should condemn them too. I’ve written articles on this blog in condemnation of both abortion and homosexuality. So, my position is clear on both issues that energise Evangelicals’ wholesale support of Trump: I condemn both induced abortion and homosexuality as sinful.
Now, having shown that I share the same views with the bulk of Evangelicals on the issues of abortion and homosexuality, I want to show from the Bible why supporting Trump wholesale as the face, defender and saviour of Christianity is both dangerous and unbiblical, and can actually work against the mandate of Christianity. First, let me state that Christianity has only one Saviour, and his name is Jesus Christ, not Donald Trump! The Church is the Church of Jesus Christ, and he has promised to build it in such a way that not even the gates of hell can prevail against it! Christ does not depend on any man to defend his Church! He’s her defender and protector-in-chief. He died to redeem her, and he ever lives to protect her and her interests. Make no mistake about that!
Matthew 16:18 And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it.
Romans 5:8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
Romans 5:9 Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him.
Romans 5:10 For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.
Ephesians 5:23 For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body.
Ephesians 5:24 Therefore, just as the church is subject to Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything.
Ephesians 5:25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her,
Ephesians 5:26 that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word,
Ephesians 5:27 that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish.
Ephesians 5:28 So husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself.
Ephesians 5:29 For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as the Lord does the church.
Ephesians 5:30 For we are members of His body, of His flesh and of His bones.
Ephesians 5:31 “For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.”
Ephesians 5:32 This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and the church.
Ephesians 5:33 Nevertheless let each one of you in particular so love his own wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.
From its inception in the face of total opposition and relentless persecution, the early Christians relied and depended entirely on God for protection and preservation of the faith. Encircled almost completely by both violent Paganism and hateful and malicious Judaism, Christianity had to depend entirely on her Lord and Saviour to survive! And true to his Word, the Church miraculously survived centuries of attacks and threats to its existence, to become the most dominant religious faith on earth today. No man will take the glory except the Lord alone! He alone is our all-sufficiency! So, the Church does not need any man to defend her, much less Donald Trump! If someone is protecting and defending another here, it’s actually the Church that’s defending and protecting Trump’s presidency, and not the other way round! It’s Trump who needs the Church to be reelected. Without the vote of Evangelicals, Trump is doomed! And he knows it! That’s why he schemes and virtually arm-twists Evangelicals to support him unquestionably. Now, I’m neither advocating for nor against Trump. I’m just trying to show that the Church of Jesus Christ doesn’t need Trump, or any man for that matter, to protect and defend her. She’s well protected and defended by her Lord and Master. In the history of the Church, it was during moments of backsliding and loss of faith in God that the Church relied on men to protect and defend her interests. And those have been the low and shameful moments in Church history, when men rose up to be patrons of the Church, as well as her controller and manipulator. He who pays the piper dictates the tune! It was not for nothing that the Church later fought to separate Church from State control. Once you make a man the patron of the Church and tie the fate of the Church to the State, it’s only a matter of time before the defender becomes the persecutor. The Church’s history is replete with such moments. But, do we ever learn from history?
Back to the twin evils of abortion and homosexuality. As evil as these two sins are, they are not the unpardonable sin! Legislating against them and banning them from the land, as desirable as that is, does not save those involved in those sins, nor does it prevent their practice. If you legislate against sins, you only drive them underground. The Old Testament is a perfect reminder of how the Law couldn’t prevent men from sinning, nor could it save them! In most of the third world countries for instance, abortion and homosexuality are forbidden by law, but both practices flourish dangerously underground, with those who condemn them in the day being their patrons at night! The goal of the Church is to save men and deliver them from sins, not to legislate against sins and make hypocrites out of men or compel people to serve God by force. We’re to save men by the power of the Holy Spirit, not by the wisdom of men, and definitely not by legislation! The Law could not save men in the Old Testament, and it cannot save men in the New! That’s why Grace and Truth came through Jesus Christ to save men, following the failure of the Law to do so! Souls are saved by the preaching of the word in the power and demonstration of the Holy Spirit.
1 Corinthians 2:1 And I, brethren, when I came to you, did not come with excellence of speech or of wisdom declaring to you the testimony of God.
1 Corinthians 2:2 For I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified.
1 Corinthians 2:3 I was with you in weakness, in fear, and in much trembling.
1 Corinthians 2:4 And my speech and my preaching were not with persuasive words of human wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power,
1 Corinthians 2:5 that your faith should not be in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.
2 Timothy 4:1 I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom;
2 Timothy 4:2 Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.
2 Timothy 4:3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;
2 Timothy 4:4 And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.
2 Timothy 4:5 But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry.
Besides the fact that abortion and homosexuality are not the unpardonable sins, other sins are not less grievous than these two. Hatred, sowing seeds of discord among brethren, pride, mass murders occasioned by lack of sensible gun control, adultery, sexual assault, lying, scheming, manipulations, lack of love and empathy, which have all been supported or manifested by Mr Trump, are no less evil that the two sins he seeks to prevent by legislation and judicial support. We may categorise sins according to how we choose to cherry pick them, but God doesn’t! There’s no big or small sin, for all sins are deadly! We should not strain at abortion and homosexuality, while swallowing adultery, rape, hatred, division, strife, lies, injustice, discrimination, xenophobia, and mass murder of those already born and living!
Proverbs 6:16 These six things the Lord hates,
Yes, seven are an abomination to Him:
Proverbs 6:17 A proud look,
A lying tongue,
Hands that shed innocent blood,
Proverbs 6:18 A heart that devises wicked plans,
Feet that are swift in running to evil,
Proverbs 6:19 A false witness who speaks lies,
And one who sows discord among brethren.
Zechariah 7:8 Then the word of the Lord came to Zechariah, saying,
Zechariah 7:9 “Thus says the Lord of hosts:
‘Execute true justice,
Show mercy and compassion
Everyone to his brother.
Zechariah 7:10 Do not oppress the widow or the fatherless,
The alien or the poor.
Let none of you plan evil in his heart
Against his brother.’
Zechariah 7:11 “But they refused to heed, shrugged their shoulders, and stopped their ears so that they could not hear.
Zechariah 7:12 Yes, they made their hearts like flint, refusing to hear the law and the words which the Lord of hosts had sent by His Spirit through the former prophets. Thus great wrath came from the Lord of hosts.
How then should the Church relate with those in government, seeing we are not to rely on them to defend the faith, but on God alone whose faith it is, and whose obligation it is to defend the faith? We’re enjoined to pray for those in authority that we may have a peaceful environment to preach the gospel and practise our faith. And where government infringes on our rights to practise our faith freely, we’re to both pray against those government policies and speak truth to power! The Church is to stand politically neutral, as the moral compass of the nation, to point men and women of all creeds, colour, and political and economic philosophies to the cross of Christ. We’re to be free from philosophical and political entanglements of men, so that we can be considered neutral enough to earn their trust and attention, which are essential ingredients for effective evangelism. When the Church is seen as partisan, through wholesale support of a political party (for whatever reasons), it loses its right to be considered an impartial voice for God. Its fate and the fate of the gospel it preaches become tied to the fate of the party it supports at the polls. Enemies of such parties automatically become enemies of the Church! Such a Church loses the independence it needs to have among men, to be able to reach all for Christ! Jesus Christ kept himself free from all men and from all groups, so that he could freely minister to all, both Jews, Samaritans, publicans, Gentiles, Pharisees, Saduccees, Herodians, etc. He was then free to condemn sin in all, because he was not beholden to any group. Paul made himself servants of all men in order to be able to win some for Christ. We should be very careful not to foreclose the opportunities to minister to people of some political philosophies, because of our support for a particular party. Don’t tie yourself to the fate of politicians whose goals are obviously not the same with those of the Church! Don’t be unequally yoked together with unbelievers! Politicians seek only to win the next election and fulfil their personal agenda. They don’t care one bit about the Church’s vision and mission! Don’t be deceived! People will pretend to be friends of the Church just to get our votes. Let’s guard our integrity as the Church of Christ! Let’s not lose sight of our vision and mission! We do not need political power, or even favourable laws, to win men to Christ! What we need is the power of God to convert men’s hearts, and the homosexual will hate his sins and turn to God. If a woman becomes converted, she will not abort her child. America and the rest of the world need a revival to cleanse the land of sins, not a political revolution!
1 Timothy 2:1 Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men,
1 Timothy 2:2 for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence.
1 Timothy 2:3 For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior,
1 Timothy 2:4 who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.
John 2:23 Now when He was in Jerusalem at the Passover, during the feast, many believed in His name when they saw the signs which He did.
John 2:24 But Jesus did not commit Himself to them, because He knew all men,
John 2:25 and had no need that anyone should testify of man, for He knew what was in man.
1 Corinthians 9:19 For though I am free from all men, I have made myself a servant to all, that I might win the more;
1 Corinthians 9:20 and to the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might win Jews; to those who are under the law, as under the law, that I might win those who are under the law;
1 Corinthians 9:21 to those who are without law, as without law (not being without law toward God, but under law toward Christ), that I might win those who are without law;
1 Corinthians 9:22 to the weak I became as weak, that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all men, that I might by all means save some.
1 Corinthians 9:23 Now this I do for the gospel’s sake, that I may be partaker of it with you.
1 Corinthians 6:9 Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites,
1 Corinthians 6:10 nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God.
1 Corinthians 6:11 And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God.
2 Chronicles 7:12 Then the Lord appeared to Solomon by night, and said to him: “I have heard your prayer, and have chosen this place for Myself as a house of sacrifice.
2 Chronicles 7:13 When I shut up heaven and there is no rain, or command the locusts to devour the land, or send pestilence among My people,
2 Chronicles 7:14 if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.
What then is our conclusion? Christians should resist every form of manipulations by their leaders to vote in any particular way. No political party is the voice of God, and no politician in particular is God’s representative on earth. People should pray and then vote, guided by the issues that concern them the most. The primary role of government is to provide the right, fair and equitable socio-economic conditions for people to peacefully pursue their life goals. No human government can be righteous, for all have sinned and fallen short of God’s glory. Only during the millennial reign of Christ will we experience God’s perfect righteousness in governance. We cannot therefore expect any human government, in a non-theocratic society, to provide the platform and basis for righteousness. Your vote for a human government is not an endorsement of its righteousness or lack of it. It’s simply a statement of who you feel is better positioned to address the socio-economic issues that matter the most to you, in the pursuit of your life goals. It’s not a referendum on your salvation or Christianity or your spiritual views. Let no man therefore threaten you with eternal consequences for your vote. There are none! Your eternal destination is contingent on your faith in Christ alone, not on anything else, including how and who you vote for. Our votes will not change our nation (or the world) to become what God wants it to be. It will not cause God’s will to be done on earth. What will change the world are our prayers and the preaching of the gospel in the power and demonstration of the Holy Spirit! It’s only a heaven sent revival that will produce the godly society we crave for, not political revolution!