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Clearview Today / Abidan Shah
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May 30, 2023 9:00 am


Clearview Today / Abidan Shah

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May 30, 2023 9:00 am

In this show, Dr. Shah talks about the importance of Christians in politics and what role we are supposed to play in our government.

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Welcome back, everyone. Today is Tuesday, May the 30th. I'm Ryan Hill.

I'm John Galantis. You're listening to Clearview Today with Dr. Abbadon Shah, the daily show that engages mind and heart for the gospel of Jesus Christ. You can visit us online at If you have any questions for Dr. Shah or suggestions for new topics, send us a text at 252-582-5028 or email us at contact at That's right. You guys can always help us keep this conversation going by supporting the show, sharing it online, leaving us a good review on iTunes, Spotify, and where you get your podcasting content from.

We're going to leave a link in the description so you can do just that. And today's verse of the day is coming to us from Psalm 103. Starting in verse 17 and 18, it says, But the mercy of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear him and his righteousness to children's children, to such as keep his covenant to those who remember his commandments to do them. This picture of the faithfulness of God across generations is such an encouragement. It was especially powerful in that context, in the context of God's people. They would often use language like the God of our forefathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, the God of Jacob. This emphasis on God being faithful throughout history, throughout generations, across generational lines, was paramount to what they believe.

Yes. Well, that's something that God has asked us to do. He's asking us in his word to share his love and his righteousness with generations that come after us.

And you're like, well, how do I do that? Well, you remember what he's promised to you. You obey what he's called you to do so that future generations can look to you as an example, and they're going to know the graciousness of God through your life lived out as a testament to him. And if I could add to that, take the time to actually talk to your kids about what God has done, who God is, and how we should be thankful to him for the many blessings that we have. Don't just assume that your kids know that they're going to pick it up from your life. Yes, set them that example, but also take the time to sit down and say those words to them. Communicate that to your kids. Communicate that to your teenagers, even your adult children.

Have those conversations with them. I'm not having a good day. Today's not fine. We just talked about how God's been faithful across generations. He has been faithful, but God has also placed some people in my life that need to get griped about today.

Oh, no. Let's go to the gripe vine. The gripe vine. I'm going to be feasting on some gripes today. Some juicy, sweet gripes right from the vine. These are adults who refer to food as yummy.

That was not where I was expecting this to go. You have a problem with the word yummy or adults using the word yummy? I don't love the word yummy, but I especially don't love when an adult... Now, if an adult is talking to a kid, whatever. Hold on.

I'm just going to have some of this yummy coffee. Yeah, I don't like that. If you're talking to me, I wouldn't like that.

It happens a lot with women in text messages. They'll be like, your wife will do it a lot. Nicole will do it a lot. I think Ellie will do it, but not in person. They'll be talking. Elizabeth will stand up and she'll be talking to the congregation at large and be like, hey, we've got a women's event.

You guys come out. We're going to have some dancing. We're going to do some videos. We'll do some raffling. There's going to be some yummy food right there. Right there.

Instant needs to be corrected. What word should she sub in? We're going to have some food. It's going to taste like socks. No, it's not going to taste like socks. We're going to pull out of the gutter and it's going to taste... We're going to have some good food. We're going to have some homemade food. I would take vittles over yummy.

Really? Vittles. We're going to have some vittles. It's not fun.

You don't see it on flyers. We're going to have yummy snack or yummy food. It's... What is yummy? What is yummy? Is it sweet?

Is it penny? It's delicious. It's yummy. It just tastes good. It's good tasting food. It's yummy. What if I go there and what if I go... It's so broad.

It's so nondescript. What if I go there and I taste the food, I don't like it. I'm like, this is not yummy. Then you're... That makes you a liar.

You're a liar for that, unfortunately. Yeah. You could say we're going to have some food or some homemade food, but it puts me in a head space when I'm talking to an adult that I don't love. That I don't love.

That's fine. You don't have to like the word yummy. I talked to Elizabeth about it and she said she's not going to stop. Yeah. She's... She's just going to call her food yummy. Yeah.

It's something that I've seen mainly women do. Here's the thing. She's probably, now that she knows it's going to annoy you, she's probably going to go out of her way to call your food yummy. I think if a man...

If she serves you, she's going to be like, here, John, I made you some yummy spaghetti. Yeah. Yeah. That would annoy me, but I think if a man did it... It is a little weird for a guy to do it. I think if a man did it, it might have to be a fight. It might have to be like fisticuffs.

I don't know. I don't want to go that far. We might have to get into an altercation. I think if like a police officer came up to me and was like, why don't you come on down to the station? We're going to have some yummy food. I think I might have to be like, officer, I'm not going to fight officer.

I won't do that. Next time we have peanut butter burgers, I'm going to call him yummy. I think Mike Stockwell did call him yummy. These are yummy burgers. These are yummy burgers. Does that sound right to you?

A yummy burger? It is kid nomenclature. You're absolutely right. All right.

That's my gripe. Do you guys use the word yummy? Let us know. Send a text to 252-582-5028. We're going to get Dr. Shot for the rest of our episode, but you can also follow all of our content on social media, or you can check us out online at We'll be back after this. Hey, everyone.

My name's Elly. 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 Clearview today. The Bible paints an extraordinary picture of who we are as a church body. The mission of Clearview 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 Clearview 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 Clearview 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 Clearview 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 If you have any questions or suggestions for new topics, send us a text at 252-582-5028.

That's right. And if today is your first time ever joining us here on the Clear View Today Show, we want to make you feel welcome, let you know exactly who's talking to you. Dr. Abbadan Shah is a PhD in New Testament textual criticism, a professor at Carolina University, author, full-time pastor, and the host of today's show.

You can find all of his work on his website. That's And before we get started, Dr. Shah, inquiring minds want to know, there's a plague, an epidemic of people, adults, I should say, who are referring to their food as yummy. If an adult is talking to you and they refer to your food, their food as yummy, what is your reaction? I mean, like when you go to the Japanese restaurants and talk about the yum, yum sauce, yum, yum sauce. I've seen adults, like old enough to be my grandparents, can I have the yum, yum sauce? Yup. Yup. Give me some of that yum, yum sauce. It just makes you feel silly.

Yeah. The first time that it happened, it was one of my secretaries, and she's older than me, and she's like, can I have the yum, yum sauce? I said, Sue, I don't know what to call it.

I just wanted to be yummy in my tummy. I'm sure it didn't originate with that name, but you actually buy it in the store now as yum, yum sauce. That's the name of the label. I'm like, I'm sure this is not what it was originally called.

I think Dr. Shah's with me. When an adult refers to their food as yummy, it's uncomfortable. It's a little weird. It's a little weird. I think it must have started with the people who own those Japanese restaurants like these people want. They call it the yum, yum sauce. Might as well.

Might as well. Just lean into it, I guess. It's going to be yumbly in their tumbling. Clever marketing.

Yumbly in their tumbling. Well, on today's episode, just coming off of Memorial Day, I know we had the chance on yesterday's episode to discuss Memorial Day, you preached a sermon a little while ago and it was profoundly impactful, not just from me, but for a lot of people. We heard from many people in the days and weeks that followed, and this idea of how our faith impacts our interaction with politics. Where do those two worlds meet? Do they meet?

What is the interaction between the two, or should there be any at all? I think a lot of people have that kind of either gray area or confusion as to how our faith and our religion should impact politics. Right. And we need a constant reshift, especially where we are, where every single moment, almost like waves at the sea, you know, when you go to the ocean and if there's a real storm brewing, you know, and you get in the water, those waves keep knocking you down and throwing you further away, or they keep dragging you further out. And so you have to constantly look back and see where your people are sitting or where the, you know, where your picnic basket is or whatever it is to make sure. And many times, what do you find?

You find your way out there, you know, you started out here, but now you're out there. And so we need a constant reshift to come back to those biblical values and the foundations of our nation. Why is it that we believe that we are one nation under God?

Why is it that we believe that in God we trust should be the motto of our nation, right? You know, it's one of the things that I've noticed about you and your work specifically in New Testament textual criticism is that you're sort of trained to see those big paradigm shifts. Like you've got this movement where we're trying to find the original text, and now we're starting to shift away from that. And so really the only thing that's fixing it isn't going to be to come and reinvent the wheel or find some new crazy methodology, it's to get back to what made the field work in the first place. Right. Right. So you don't go and find some new crazy ideology or whatever to run the country on.

It's those Judeo-Christian values that we had in the beginning that was making it work all this time. Let me clarify that a little bit. Whether it's textual criticism or our nation's direction, you do go back to the foundation, but you apply it in a fresh and new way to the new context in which you live. For example, in our nation, okay, me included, you have a very diverse ethnic group that is in our nation today than it was 200 years ago, 100 years ago, or even 50 years ago. So what can you do about that? What do you do with people coming from all over the world? Well, either you can hate everybody, but that doesn't do anything, right?

All it's going to do is they hate you back and they don't accept the foundational values you stand for. So how about we take another approach, which is teach other people what made this nation great. That's right.

Remind them the reason why their parents or their grandparents left their home country and came here. Right. Absolutely. And if they still realize it's far, far more effective in winning people and maintaining those old values than it is to hate people, right, it's not going to happen. I mean, we're too down that exit ramp, right, to back up now. So here's my suggestion. Teach people how awesome it is to welcome people, but do it in a way that you don't compromise that this nation was built upon Judeo-Christian values.

I love that balance that you bring, because you hold up the foundation like, this is where we were founded. These are the values that matter. This is what we need to go back to.

And yet we need to apply them where we are today, not try to apply them where we were decades ago. Yeah. What's the use? Those people are gone. Exactly.

I think bringing people into that vision and helping them see, like you said, helping them to see why this nation was great. Not just because there's people out there who are like, the government should just mandate Christianity. They should just make it that's the official national religion. That's what it's going to be.

That'd be great. I mean, unfortunately, the government has changed radically. If anything, it's, I mean, and I do believe there are a lot of godly Christian people behind the scenes. Thank God for that.

In politics, there are, and I'm grateful. But at the same time, you know, it's a lot of things have changed. So it's imperative that we are wise in how we proceed in maintaining those values. Just like textual criticism.

Jon brought up that issue. Yes, I go back to the foundational principles that textual criticism is based on the fact that the words in the Bible do matter and that you need to go back to the original text because the text is inerrant. Inerrancy is a corollary of the doctrine of inspiration, because we believe that God's word is inspired by God, you know, God breathed.

So it is without error because God doesn't make errors, mistakes. And so it is imperative that you find every single word that God spoke. And so compare manuscripts. Use the science of textual criticism to go back and find out what is original text. But having said that, apply it to our context. Our context is different. What is the context today? Well, you have a lot of technology now involved in textual criticism. You have a lot of people who have new ideas about how scribal errors were made and all that. So you use all those things, but then you apply it to a new context, right? So foundation hasn't changed, but the context is changing.

Same thing here. So there are views people have about the relationship between government and Christianity. And I would say about six of them, one of them you named already.

They're not very helpful. Well, I mean, that's the thing is that people, I think people just think in their minds like if I just mandate this or if this is just what we're going to declare that we do, then everyone just kind of has to fall in line. And I mean, I guess on paper it sounds good, but how are you going to do that? How are you going to force people to accept Jesus?

In theory that works. But I mean, yeah, you brought it up right there. How do you force people to accept Jesus? It's got to be, it's got to be a choice.

It's got to be, you know, you can't, you can't mandate faith in Christ. On the surface, it seems like it would be a good idea, but it just doesn't work that way. Well, we killed our own when that was going on. That's very true.

The Protestants versus the Catholics, I mean, you know, it was never a good situation or the reformed and the Anabaptist people were killed and burned at the stake. That's true. That's very true. So it's not a good, good idea to mandate Christianity.

Yeah. And when, and you know, I know people bring up a lot of time that Jesus said, you know, give to Caesar what Caesar's and give to God's what is God's. Do you think people take that and say, see, Jesus knew that church and government should be separate completely. Do they try to misuse that argument?

But I think we're going to, I want to bring them one by one, but you'll see later on that that's not what he was really implying. So definitely the government should mandate Christianity is not a wise view. It never works. You cannot make people follow Jesus Christ, but neither should government control religion. I mean, think about countries like Islam, Islamic countries where Islam is the government sponsored or endorsed faith.

How is that working out? It's not mandating, but at the same time, you know, government controlling that religion is not helpful either. How exactly do they, how does the government control the religion in that, in that sense?

Like how, how do you mean exactly? Well, think about it. China.

Okay. Is a great example. They have churches, we call them underground churches, not necessarily like they're sitting under the ground, but they are people who are like a little hush hush about it. I don't think the Chinese government is as foolish to think that there are not churches there. They do. As long as you don't cause trouble, we'll leave you alone.

The moment you get too big, we'll take care of you. But government, there are government sponsored churches in China. A few years ago, there was a big deal. They were taking down the crosses from these churches. But these are government sponsored. So government gives them a list of core doctrines.

This is what you observe. I see. I mean, the government sort of lays out the foundation of what they can and can't do or what they can and can't believe or preach or say. Right. As long as you don't threaten the agenda of the state, we back you up.

So the bishop may get to go and visit the head of state and have dinner with him. It's all good. Lots of pictures of shaking hands and arms around. Where your place is. Yeah.

You know your place. So, I mean, I don't know. You want to call that Christianity? Of course not. Yeah. That's true.

So not a good view at all. Neither is the view that government and Christianity should not mix. So this is the one that I feel like I hear the most often. Like they should be completely separate. I know.

Worlds should not interact at all. I feel like this is the one that is most often pushed as the... But you know what's funny, though, is I typically, some Christians, but I typically don't hear, I typically hear non-Christians using this. Some Christians, I think, say it a lot, but it's typically people who want Christianity to stay in its own lane.

Yeah. Keep the crosses out of veterans' memorials. Keep your Ten Commandments out of the school or the courthouse. We don't need that. That's mixing, you know, faith and, you know, the public square.

You can't do that. And so what do you do? You know? Well, I mean, where does that... Why keep it out? What is it? I guess it's just a values thing.

I guess it's just not pressing your values on me. Where did it originate? Where did this, I guess, keeping these two worlds separate, where did it come from? Well, I mean, you know, in America, let's talk about the American context where the First Amendment says that Congress should make no law respecting an establishment of religion. So they said, there you go.

You know, you should keep those two things separate. Or Jefferson, you know, wrote to those Baptists, you know, we call them the Danbury Baptists, and he told them that there's going to be a wall of separation between church and state. Now, guess who he's talking to? The Baptist.

Why? Because the state religion is the Anglican church. And just across the border in Virginia, because we live in North Carolina, for those who may not know, we're like 30 minutes from the border of Virginia, right? And they would, in Virginia, they would chop the hands, that's happened, of some of the Baptist preachers. Wow. They were whipped. They were thrown into prison.

And so think about this. This is not that long ago, before the Revolutionary War. So you're talking about 1720s, 30s, this was happening, 40s, 50s.

This practice, it seems like, I mean, almost medieval. Yeah. It was only 250 years ago.

Horrible torture. It was just a couple hundred. A couple hundred years ago. Yeah. That is insane. Right here on American soil, too.

Yeah. We're like, we're Baptists, we're Southern Baptists. Go back to the 1750s, you had people like John Leland, who was a Baptist who was fighting, not necessarily he was Southern Baptist, because Southern Baptists didn't come about until, you know, the Civil War, 1860s. But someone like John Leland was fighting for the freedom of the Baptists in these colonies. And there was a big issue between him and James Madison, because he was going to run for, I believe, the Continental Congress. And so Madison appealed to him and said, look, let me run. You're popular, but let me run. And I promise you that I will fight for all faiths. I will fight for all denominations.

So you don't have to worry about that. And there's a tree somewhere there, close to that area near Washington, where they met, or near Charlottesville, I believe. And they sat there, they talked for a long time, and they stood up, shook hands, and Leland said, OK, I'll throw my vote behind you and fight for us. And he did.

Madison did keep his vow. You know, his promise. So that's where all this kind of junk comes about. Yeah. How do you feel about the view that a lot of Christians take, where they think the government is evil?

You know what I mean? And as Christians, we shouldn't have any part in that, because that represents the world, or that represents the evil behind it. Yeah, I feel like that's the flip side of the previous one. Like the previous one, we talked about non-Christians thinking that Christianity should have no part. But this one is more like Christians saying, the government is evil.

We are totally separate. It's almost like they agree. It's almost like they agree, but for the wrong reasons. Right. Yeah.

And that one aggravates me probably a lot, because having grown up in India, where you're not the majority, you're a minority, and you have to constantly fight for your rights. And I want to warn American Christians that that's where we are now. If not, we're headed there, where you'll have to fight for your rights. So I know it looks great, and feels good, and godly to be like, well, we have to go through persecution, brother.

It's great when you're not going through persecution. That's right. That's right.

When you're comfortable, and you're safe, and you feel like you're being persecuted, but you're really not. Yeah. Exactly. Yeah.

Not many people you find, like a Peter and a Paul in the New Testament, who are rejoicing in the face of persecution. Right. Right.

Most of the time, that's not the posture of people. Right. I mean, Peter and Paul did. But most times, Christians were, you know, like, I believe it was Tertullian who said that, you know, the blood of the martyrs is the seed of the church.

That's not true. Yeah. The blood of the martyrs could be the end of the church. Yeah.

That's true. Go to some of these places where they got persecuted and martyrs so much that it sort of wiped out Christianity. Yeah.

There was no underground church. Like for every person who's like inspired by the martyrs and is going to stand up, there's like a hundred or so more people who are like, ah, I don't want that. That's not for me.

I don't want that. Yeah. Yeah. So, so much better to have a balance there.

And that's what I want to recommend to people, you know, have some kind of a balance. Yeah. And government is evil and Christians should not have part.

All you got to do is read Romans 13 or 1 Peter 2, where it talks about, you know, he is God's minister to you for good. Or for this is the will of God that by doing good, even put to silence the ignorance of foolish men. I mean, so he's, you know, government is not described as being evil. Yeah. Yeah.

No, of course there are evil governments and there's another view that I want to clarify and quickly put to the side is that, which is, which gets very popular, which is Christians should only focus on reaching the lost. Yeah. That's true.

I've heard that, you know, very spiritual, but it's very naive. It's a cop-out. It is.

It's a cop-out. It's like, I can't even tackle this problem. So I'm not even going to try. We, let's just focus on what's really important. Right.

Like I can decide what's important for Christianity. This world is not our home. Yeah. That's right. Yeah. And then I agree. It's not our home, but you know, fight for the right to preach the gospel.

Like imagine Daniel, imagine Daniel being like, I don't get Babylon, whatever man. It's not my home. Let it burn. Yeah. Let it burn. Let it burn in the darkness, in the exile. And in the process, they made a fantastic impact for the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Right. And when we come to our series on prophecy next year, I will talk about the seventeenth week of Daniel, which is very important in understanding prophecy, which many people don't do. They just jump right into Revelation or whatever, Matthew 24, but seventeenth week of Daniel is a, is a key to understanding how prophecy is laid out and it's a little complicated.

It has some issues, but that's where you begin. But anyways, just to say he was the top man in Babylon and neither is the view, you know, I just want to clarify this one too, that Christians should only focus on government as if government can solve all our problems. No, they can't, you know, look back. So the balanced view is Christians should have a significant influence on government. Significant influence on government. Maybe some of our own young people should be running for office. Significant influence on government means we should have such a presence that people who are in politics, they may not be Christians, but they will say, Hey, we have this, this are, you know, our people are made up of believers, are Christians and they have a voice and this is what they're asking for. We better answer them.

We better do something for them. I think you talked about this on the show before, how it was all the horrendous things that were going on during the Roman empire. And it was only when Christians got involved and got people involved in politics that all that stuff was able to change. Yeah.

It's an old tradition. I mean, think about Joseph. Esther, you know, think about Daniel. Think about Paul. They all spoke up, spoke out and, and they were able to make a significant influence.

And then the early Christians, I mean, just think about all the laws they've passed against infanticide, child abandonment, abortion. Some of the gladiatorial games, like when we went to Turkey, you see, you know, some of the games. Hey, great. I love boxing all those.

That's no problem. They're, you know, animals fighting humans to death. You know, these are, these slaves are meant to die. Christians passed some of those laws. Then there were laws against pedophilia, laws against polygamy. Sati, you know, the, the, the, the Indian practice of throwing the woman, the widow on the fire and the funeral pyre, you know, they stopped it. Christians said, you can't do that. Well, that's our tradition. Well, not that traditional for that woman who has, who's screaming and fighting for her life as she's burning. How could people do that?

I'm not talking about two or three. Millions who burned on the fire. That's horrible.

How can you do that? Horrific practices. And then, and then Christianity steps in and is like, we're not trying to destroy your culture. We're trying to protect the lives that God has called valuable. We're trying to, we're trying to protect those who had the image of God in them.

Well, that's the kind of thing that we can do if we, if Christians will, you know, commit themselves to having that significant influence on the government and understanding the value of having a voice and making God's voice heard in the government and in politics. We are to be the salt of the earth. We are to be the light of the world.

A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works and glorify your father in heaven. That's Matthew five from the Beatitudes. That's what we're trying to be. Let our light shine and season the culture with the salt and you are the salt because we want to win people to the, to the gospel of Jesus Christ. That's right. So important for us. If you guys have questions or suggestions for new topics, or you want to know how to get involved in your local political sphere, let us know by sending us a text at two five two five eight two five zero two eight, or you can reach out to us at

You can partner with us financially on that same website. Every gift that you give goes to equipping believers to stand up, let their voices be heard and impact the nations of the gospel of Jesus Christ. That's right. Just want to end on a quote from A.W. Tozier. Jesus calls us to his rest and meekness is his method.

The meek man cares not at all who is greater than he for he has long ago decided that the esteem of the world is not worth the effort. Amen. So good. Love you guys. We'll see you tomorrow on Clear Read Today.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-05-30 10:09:03 / 2023-05-30 10:22:48 / 14

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