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Christianity and Politics

Clearview Today / Abidan Shah
The Truth Network Radio
February 28, 2023 9:00 am

Christianity and Politics

Clearview Today / Abidan Shah

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February 28, 2023 9:00 am

In this show, Dr. Shah discusses the importance of Christians being involved in politics and making our voices heard. 

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30 Days to a New Beginning:

Financial Symphony
John Stillman

Welcome back, everyone. Today is Tuesday, February the 28th. I'm Ryan Hill.

I'm John Galantis. And you're listening to Clearview Today with Dr. Abbadan Shah, the daily show that engages mind and heart for the gospel of Jesus Christ. You can visit us online at Or if you have any questions or suggestions for future episodes, send us a text at 252-582-5028. You can also email us at contact at

That's right. You guys can help us keep this conversation going by supporting this podcast, sharing it online, leaving us a good review on iTunes, Spotify, anywhere you get your podcasting content from. We're going to leave a link in the description of this podcast so you can do just that. Also, we're available on YouTube now. Did you know that? That's exciting.

They don't just give any old schmo a YouTube channel either. So we really... Any old so and so. That's how you know we're on the up and up. As they say, we're moving on up. Moving on up. To the east side. Hey, hey, to the deluxe apartment in the sky. Hit it, David. Hey, we're moving on up. Moving on up. To the east side.

Oh, he's not going to do it. Finally got a piece of the pie. That was fun.

Yeah, it was fun. Subscribe to our YouTube channel. You can hear more little ditties like that. But for right now, I think it's time to hit them with the verse of the day. The verse of the day comes from Romans chapter 12 verse 9. Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil.

Cling to what is good. You know, a lot of people don't like that, that Paul is telling us to hate something. But genuine love means that we do hate evil. We run from it. We shun it. It's not something that we're to tolerate or we're to assimilate into our Christian lives and learn how to deal with it.

We hate it. God hates sin. That's how powerfully he feels about it.

And he wants us to feel as strongly about evil things and about a sin as he does. Yeah, that's absolutely true. The opposite of love isn't hate. The opposite of love is apathy. Right.

It's not caring. That's right. So if we love, then we are going to have to hate the things that God hates. That's right.

Hate is, it may be a corruption of love, but it's still part of what it means to love and to feel something like that. Right. Yeah.

So I've noticed something about myself. Yeah. Sometimes after we put the kids in bed or even just after like a long day, Elizabeth and I will sit on the couch and we'll be scrolling on social media, you know, just take some time for ourselves, sort of just put your brain on pause and just sort of consume.

Not a great thing, but it's just kind of a way to, you know, catch a breath a little bit. So I've really gotten into cooking videos on TikTok. Yeah. I really enjoy it. I really love to watch the recipes that people put together and I've started saving them like with the understanding, like, oh, I'm going to save this. One day I'm going to make this. I'm going to make this. Yeah.

Knowing full well I'm not going to. I've made a couple. They're difficult. Oh, and they're not difficult, but they make it look so easy in TikTok. Well, and most of the time it's just different than what you're used to. Like, I don't know if you and Ellie are this way, but we have like some go-to meals that we can sort of just go on autopilot and just boom, boom, boom, crank out dinner.

But this is like, this is new and I've got to think about it and I'm doing things that I haven't done before. Elizabeth's made a couple of them and they turned out really well. But I like that. I've also been into like, um, oversimplified. You ever watch oversimplified on YouTube? Like the history, he's like a history guy, but he like has like cartoons and stuff. Oh, like, like it goes through, yeah, it like goes through like historical wars and stuff, but with like little cartoons, they show them in a lot of like classes and stuff. There's, there's one, there's one account that I've found on TikTok.

I'm not, I'm not following them, but I found a couple of her videos and she's a history teacher, but she teaches the history lesson like Gen Z. Oh, no you don't. She's like, she's like, and the czar of Russia could not even. Yeah, I saw, he literally couldn't even. Yeah, it was funny. And he was like, no cap, I'm about to abdicate. And they were like, do it. Say less, fam.

Yeah. But if you guys have any questions you'd like to have answered on the show, send us a text to 252-582-5028 or you can visit us online at We're going to get Dr. Shah and we'll be right back. Hey everyone, my name's Ellie. And I'm David. We want to take a minute and let you know how we can actually serve you as you're listening to Clear View Today. The Bible paints an extraordinary picture of who we are as a church body. The mission of Clear View Church is to lead all people into a life-changing, ever-growing relationship with Jesus Christ. A huge part of leading people is praying for them. A big reason that Christians have unanswered prayers in their life is because they're not praying.

You know, 1 John 5 15 says, and if we know that he hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of him. If you're listening to the Clear View Today Show, we want to know how we can pray for you as well. There's a number of ways that you can get in touch with us at Clear View and share your prayer requests, but the best way is by texting us at 252-582-5028. You can also send us an email at prayer at or you can download the Clear View app on iTunes or Google Play.

You know, on that app, there's a dedicated prayer wall that helps us to get to know what's going on in your life, how we can pray for you, and how we can take any necessary steps to get you moving in the right direction. Thanks for listening. Now let's get back to the show. Welcome back to Clear View Today with Dr. Abbadan Shah, the daily show that engages mind and heart for the gospel of Jesus Christ.

You can visit us online at, or if you have any questions or suggestions for future episodes, send us a text at 252-582-5028. Dr. Shah, welcome back to the studio. It's good to be here. How are you guys? Doing well.

Doing very well. It's a good day. I had a good hearty breakfast this morning. A hearty breakfast? I had a half a bagel, and then I got full and stopped. I wouldn't call that a hearty breakfast. It was hearty for me.

That's a sad breakfast. Well, if you guys are new to the show, you've never joined us before, we want to welcome you, let you know who's talking to you today. Dr. Abbadan Shah is a PhD in New Testament textual criticism, professor at Carolina University, author, full-time pastor, and the host of today's episode.

You can find all his work on his website. That's That's right. And we began a conversation on the 27th on Constantine's birthday.

Or in layman's terms, yesterday. Yes. True. Sorry. I knew you were trying to set it up. Yeah. I don't undermine you no more.

That's okay. So, we began a conversation on his birthday, talking about his influence, his legacy in bringing Christianity out of persecution and to the forefront, and kind of the impact that he had. And the conversation began to take on a larger role of the role of Christianity in politics. A lot of times we hear about, like, you can't mix those two worlds, they exist separately. But we talked yesterday about how not only can they mix, but they should, and why that's important. Dr. Shah, do you want to continue that conversation today? Just kind of what we as Christians should do, how we should operate in the political arena.

Absolutely. To go back to the whole Constantine thing, just for a few moments. Constantine is looked upon differently by different people. Some people will look at him as this man really ruined authentic, real, genuine Christianity that was given by the Lord Jesus Christ. Then there are those people who come along and say, no, that's not true.

You know, Constantine may have had his faults, but there are some benefits there. And I choose to kind of go with the second group, because having come from a non-Christian country, I've seen what happens when wrong people are in power or those who are anti-Christian are in power. I mean, you know, in the 80s, I remember certain politicians making the claims that once they are done with taking care of the Muslims, they're coming after the Christians. I mean, that's how they very boldly said it.

And guess what? That day is no longer coming that they already came. And they did go after the Christians and still are. I appreciate the nomenclature that you used there, because we typically think that it's just non-Christians in power, but it's a step further than that. It's anti-Christians. We tend to put our heads in the sand on that a little bit. Yeah. And so it's naive on the part of Christians or the idealists or the academics who tend to claim like, you know, hey, now, you know, we got to keep these two things separate.

Give you a personal illustration. I was at the ETS. ETS is the Evangelical Theological Society meeting, the annual meeting. I've gone to a bunch of them, but not every single one of them. But I went to one back.

I want to say 2013. And at this particular one, you know, we had a great time. On the way back, I was riding with two of the guys, both are PhD candidates at the time.

Today they have PhDs, but I do too. But we were just talking, and they were so vehement against any kind of Christian involvement in politics. How can you even talk about that? It's so degenerate. Do you not know the hypocrisy? Do you not know that all sides are the same, on and on? And I was like, listening to all this, and I finally spoke up and I said, I just don't agree with you.

And let me tell you why. You're living in a Christian-influenced culture, a world that has been deeply impacted by Judeo-Christian values. And you're saying these things, not realizing the ramifications of not having Judeo-Christian values as the foundation of this world, because you wouldn't even have the voice that you have right now.

The fact that you are even talking against the government would not be allowed. Christianity gives you the freedom on so many levels to speak your mind. The freedom, we talk about the freedom of the press, the freedom of religion, all this, this is all coming because of Christianity. So immediately, you know, they threw up the, you know, well, do you know what Christians did when they were in power? Do you know what the inquisitions, do you know the persecution, do you know the burning at the stakes?

I said, of course I do. Are you going to take only those sections where Christians messed up and make it as normative for all life everywhere throughout history? I said, have you been in countries where Christians are burned? Have you been in countries where Christians are persecuted, their daughters are raped?

You know, their sons are locked up and you can never find them? Have you been in churches where you don't just sit there and complain about, oh, too much light, oh, the noise is too much. You should be worried about gunmen outside, like in Pakistan, blew up the church, right? I mean, or Egypt, some of the things that happen. That's what it's like when Christianity is not in power.

So, yes, there have been those who abused their power, but there also has been a lot of freedom that came. And Constantine was one of those who, you know, in no ways was he perfect. You know, today you can see certain politicians who speak out for Christianity, but if you immediately put them up as, hey, that's the person I need to be like in my Christian walk.

I'll be the first to tell you, don't do that. In fact, even those people will tell you, don't be like me. I am a Christian, but I'm a work in progress, but don't be like me in every aspect of life. So, Constantine was just like that. I mean, you can bring him back today and you will see he'll fit right in, you know, trying to, you know, make his moves and trying to, you know, play politics and all that just to get certain things passed. Yeah, he will do the same things.

He did it back then, you know, when the whole Aryan controversy happened. All of a sudden, Constantine was large and in charge. Let me get all the bishops together and let's sit down and talk. I'm a bishop too now. You know, I'm the bishop of his empire. I'm the overseer. So, in a way, I'm a bishop.

That's what he said. He's like, really, Constantine? You're a bishop now? He's like, yeah. Yeah. Yeah, why not? Sure. Yeah, I'm a bishop.

I can be in this conversation. I understand what y'all are discussing, this Aryan stuff. Yeah, I get it. Was he the emperor at that point? He's the one who called the meeting. The Council of Nicaea, 325. Nicaea is not very far from Istanbul, right? Or Constantinople at the time.

Yeah, not very far. So, could anybody have spoken up and told the emperor, you're not a bishop? Or are they like, okay, I guess he's a bishop. I mean, that's the emperor.

He's the emperor now. You may not go home from the meeting. Right. You may go somewhere else. That's like catapulted out of the window.

I'm sorry, I threw off your groove. Yeah. He comes in, he's like, I'm a bishop. And then everyone's like, I mean, he's a bishop. He's a bishop.

He's like, is someone under the table? He's not a bishop. Hey, he's a bishop. He's a bishop. All right. Yeah. Do you want to live? Yeah, then he's a bishop.

You like your head being attached to your shoulders? He's a bishop. He stands up. We do find that Constantine is indeed a bishop. He's like, this is correct.

Yeah, yeah. So, the Aryan controversy, he was there. And he ran the meeting by himself, really. Wow.

Yeah, he was the runner of the meeting. Wow. Now, would I have suggested that? No. I wish he hadn't done that. But okay.

What are you going to do? Yeah, he did. Yeah. We have to live with it, and we have to deal with it. One thing is, those traits in anyone else, in any other arena, would be like, wow, they're who they are. They're so authentic. They're so genuine.

I really feel like they wear their heart on their sleeve. But apply that to a Christian in politics, and they'd be like, hypocrite. See right there? See you mess up? When the whole time, they're like, I never claimed to be a perfect person. I never claimed to be the paragon of morality.

I'm just trying to live out what I believe in the political arena. Yeah. I like to look at it this way. Well, 325 CE, right, Christian era, they're meeting for this big decision. Well, what would they do in 225 CE? You couldn't meet like that. How about 305?

How about 315? Well, that's when they had the edict of Milan. So you have some freedom. Now you have a council. You have a creed.

I mean, you have all these things. Don't forget that. Right. And there is always that view or that idea out there that Christians and government just shouldn't mix at all. But it's a view that's used by people who either hate Christianity, like you said in the beginning, they're anti-Christian, or like you said yesterday, it's Christians who don't understand how good they actually have it, how they're living in a lap of luxury based on what was going on in either other parts of the world or just in different periods of history, like you're talking about in the Roman Empire. If you're Christian and you're saying that, then you really don't understand the ramifications of not having Christianity in power in charge.

Yeah. Here's what I think. When biblical Christianity is in power, everybody should have freedom. And most times it does.

When it's not in power, Christians are persecuted. That's pretty much how it works. And so it's imperative that we do that. And our nation, by the way, this is where we're kind of sort of turning towards. Our nation had this mindset, like even when it comes to our president, first president, George Washington, when it came time for him to take the oath of office, at the end of the oath, they say, so help me God. And in fact, George Washington, his inauguration took place in New York City, which was sort of the nation's capital for the first year of the new government, by the way, not Washington, DC. I mean, you know, obviously it's not called Washington, DC, it's after him. So the newspaper reported that on the morning of the inauguration, church bells will ring at nine o'clock so people can go to church and pray for the new government.

That's what they did. And so just as proclaimed at noon, as they were making their way to the federal hall, they realized they did not have a Bible and the parade marshal had to sort of run and find one. He didn't. He's like, here's the Bible.

And they made their way to the balcony of the federal hall, which is kind of overlooking the wall street. And Washington placed his left hand on the Bible and raised his right hand, this way, and took the oath. And at the end of the oath, he said this, he said, so help me, God, leaned over and kissed the Bible.

Beautiful. So that's sort of where we get the idea of so help me, God. That's a great picture of leadership and devotion to the Bible and the biblical values of the nation was founded on.

Absolutely. And as he went back in the federal hall and he gave his inaugural address, I mean, first one, right? He said, no people, he said this, he said, no people can be bound to acknowledge and adore the invisible hand, which conducts the affairs of men more than those of the United States.

So, you know, he was really saying we wouldn't exist without this nation. And then they went down the street to St. Paul's church for a special service. And it was not a Sunday, by the way, this was just a Thursday, but they had a special service on this inaugural day. Wow.

You know, how awesome is that? The politics and support from the church and that religious influence so closely intertwined and nobody batted an eye, they were like, yes, of course we should be praying for our leader. Yes, of course we will have a special service afterwards.

And I mean, today you're going to encounter so much pushback. Yeah. They'll say that this was never a Christian nation. It wasn't founded on Judeo-Christian principles. It was always, it was a ruse that came later. Right.

Yeah. And if you know anything about George Washington and other founding fathers, they're purposely distanced themselves from, you know, claiming loyalty to any particular denomination. Even though he may have been an Anglican or whatever, he never said, hey, that's my religion now.

No, he would purposely distance himself. And I think it was a sacrificial thing for them to do that because there were Baptists in the land. There were, you know, soon Methodists would be coming into the land. So they wanted to make sure everybody was a welcome Quakers, whoever you are, welcome, you know, whatever you want to follow, you can. So they made sure none of that would become the state religion.

They were against that. Yeah. Christians, but against state religion. How awesome is that?

Yeah. If people are listening and they're like, okay, I understand that as a Christian, it's my responsibility to be involved in politics in some capacity. Maybe I'm not running for office, but I need to, I need to have my faith be an influence in the political world. What are some ways that you would encourage people to do that? What are some, what are some first steps or I guess inroads for people to impact politics with their faith?

Well, first I would say, just understand how people typically look at this subject. Wayne Grudem has done an incredible job in his book called Politics According to the Bible. Does some people, you know, think government should force people to follow Christianity? I would say absolutely not. That's not how we work. When you look at history, it was never a good thing when any government tried to dictate the faith of a person. So let's not do that. Right.

Okay. A history of Europe shows that how terrible the conflict was between Catholics and Protestants, between the reformed and the Anabaptists. By the way, the reformed, you know, did not act right. Many times, the Anabaptists, some of those sectarian groups were not acting right either.

They had some weird wacky beliefs. But anyways, thousands were persecuted and burned at the stakes. So dictating someone's faith is not biblical Christianity, so don't do that. Jesus sort of set the boundary, right? When he said, give to Caesar what is Caesar's and give to God what is God's.

Keep those things sort of separate. You cannot force someone to have faith in Jesus. Then there are people who believe government is evil and Christians should have no part in it.

And I would disagree with that view as well. Just know that behind every government is Satan, who is busy causing wars and destructions. Behind Hitler was Satan, who caused him to exterminate Jewish people and capture Europe.

And so, yeah, we understand that. But then, if you say all government is evil, how about the Allied forces? They were also government.

Was Satan behind them too? I mean, think for a moment, you know, that's not true. So we should be careful how we say that. So of course, saying that government should not force people, no, don't do that. Government is evil and Christians should have no part in it.

That's not true. Romans 13, 3 says, for rulers are not a terror to good works, but to evil. Do you want to be afraid of the authority, unafraid of the authority? Do what is good and you will have praise for the same.

That's right. For he is God's minister to you for good. But if you do evil, be afraid for he does not bear the sword in vain, for he is God's messenger and avenger to execute wrath on him who practices evil. Some people say, oh, well, Christians should only focus on reaching the lost. And I disagree. Think about in the Old Testament, Daniel, who impacted Babylon and the Medo-Persian empire involved in politics, Esther, who saved her people involved in politics, John the Baptist spoke against, you know, Herod Antipas and some of the things he was doing. Then there are people who say Christians and government should not mix at all. Again, I disagree with that view as well. You know, this is a view that we've been discussing so far. I would say the legitimate view is Christians should have a significant influence on the government. I gave a long answer, but I hope that helps understand that. Yeah, because I mean, you've got to think the impact that you have as a citizen, let's just say, even if we're not talking about Christianity at all, the impact that you have on a citizen, it's a trap to think that I don't have any impact.

I'm just one person. That's why a lot of people are against voting is they think, or not against voting, but they're like, I'm not going to bother because I don't have it. But I mean, just look at the impact that even the local church has on the government.

On your local elections, your local goings on of your community, your local church has significant impact of it. And if you have values, if you believe truly that your nation is founded on Judeo-Christian values, then being part of that local church and being part of that body is not only good, it's necessary. Right. Yeah, it becomes your responsibility, your duty. That's what you should be privileged to do as a believer.

That's right. Raise your kids to maybe even run for politics, run for the office, whatever office that may be, whether it's local, state, national, they should ask God if this is something he wants them to do. Now, a great passage that has always encouraged me in understanding how can Christians significantly influence the government is Deuteronomy chapter one, verse nine, because this is Moses's final address or farewell address to the people of Israel. He couldn't go into the promised land, right? He blew it back then when he struck the rock instead of speaking to the rock. So God told him, you're not going, but you can see it. So from Mount Pisgah, he sees that. But when it came to his final word, he said this, can I read it?

Yeah, please. Chapter one, verse nine, and I spoke to you at that time saying, I alone am not able to bear you. The Lord your God has multiplied you and here you are today as the stars of heaven in multitude. May the Lord God of your fathers make you a thousand times more numerous than you are and bless you as he has promised you.

How can I alone bear your problems and your burdens and your complaints? Choose wise, understanding and knowledgeable men from among your tribes and I will make them heads over you. So the real secret in exercising significant influence on the government is to find wise, understanding and knowledgeable people.

Wise, the word is hokmah. In this context, it means skills in civil and military affairs. So people who are running for office and I'm talking about, of course, national, but also you can look down on state and local, they should have significant skills, not just popularity. With regards to civil affairs, you know, the president cannot ignore the tremendous unemployment rate and mounting debt crisis facing our nation.

We've got to do something about that. Many Americans are struggling with jobs, children, grandchildren know that we are doing everything possible to prepare for a better tomorrow. All these things requires a wise person.

Understanding the word is bina in Hebrew, which means discernment. Our president should have a sense of discernment about how jobs are created. You know, what do we do with national security?

You know, we're being attacked whether the borders are open in the south or people are coming this way from every direction who have ulterior motives. Come on, we've got to do something, have a sense of discernment. Knowledgeable, the word in the Hebrew is yaduim. It carries the meaning of respect, which means this. Our country has been and continues to be the force for good in this world and we need a president who will inspire respect and admiration both here and abroad. So when it comes to exercising significant control, wisdom, understanding, knowledge, right? Wisdom in the sense of skill, understanding in the sense of discernment and knowledge in the sense of respect. And then I believe, pray for those people, you know, don't sit there and be judging them all the time.

Pray for them and say, God, guide this person, help them to lead our nation in the right direction. Amen. Absolutely. What a great discussion. If you guys have questions about what we talked about today or something that maybe it jogged a thought for you or something you'd like to share, send us a text to 252-582-5028.

You can visit us online at and you can support us financially on that same website. We are so thankful for all of you who partner with us in reaching as many people as possible with the gospel of Jesus Christ. Amen. We have a question coming in from a Harold B. What are you reading right now? Oh, wow.

What am I reading right now? I assume he means outside of the Bible. Yeah.

I don't think he meant this literal, this literal second. Yeah. Yeah. I'm reading a book on Asia Minor. Ooh. Very cool. It's a book, I wish I had thought about that, the name of the title eludes me, but I'm reading the book on Asia Minor.

By the way, as you know, I'm always reading some books, so I'm reading a book on Asia Minor to strengthen my understanding of the Hittite culture, the Hurrians, the various different Anatolian people that came through there, but I'm also reading a book on generational communication. Nice. Yeah.

How in my preaching, I can preach to different levels, different generations in the audience. Maybe we'll talk a little more about that tomorrow. Of course. I could do that.

I could do that. Like boomers and Xers and millennials and zoomers. How what I'm saying, the message hasn't changed, but how can I say things that will appeal to them and more than just, you know, hip stuff. I'm not talking about using language that is like, oh, cool beans or something. Not like that. Yeah. So I'm reading that book. Oh, several other books.

Very cool. Someone in the room, I'm not going to say who, was making a furiously quick list of things to add to their cart in Barnes and Noble. Was it David?

It might have been David. OK. We love you guys. We'll see you tomorrow on Clearview Today. We'll see you tomorrow.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-02-28 10:13:29 / 2023-02-28 10:26:33 / 13

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