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Should Christians Be Involved In Politics? - Part 1

Discerning The Times / Brian Thomas
The Truth Network Radio
February 11, 2023 12:30 pm

Should Christians Be Involved In Politics? - Part 1

Discerning The Times / Brian Thomas

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February 11, 2023 12:30 pm

Following a recent Bible study, someone brought to my attention that, in their opinion, we “talk about politics too much for a Bible study”. Should Christians engage in politics? Join us for this hot button discussion. 

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Blessings to Israel presents Discerning the Times, a program committed to encouraging you to view current events through the lens of the Bible.

Now, in honor of the one and only true God, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, please join us for today's program. So that means now we're supposed to be viewing everything through the lens of Scripture. Not some things, but everything is supposed to be viewed through the lens of Scripture. If there's any part of your life that Scripture is not your dominant manual, meaning if there's any part of your life that Scripture doesn't take priority, that the Word of God doesn't take priority, then you are not committed to God. Oh, Pastor James, that's very hard to say.

No, that's what the Bible teaches. Welcome to the program. My name is Brian Thomas. So glad to be with you once again this week. And let me remind you that your eternal state is far more important than your current state. And folks, if you've never received Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, I want to encourage you today to come to Jesus.

He's already paid the price for sins, and that is the only way by which you can have eternal life. And so I encourage you today, profess Him as your Lord and Savior, confess your sins, and you too can be welcomed into the kingdom. So once again, folks, it is so great to be with you. We are beginning this week a series on question and answer.

So we'll be doing this for a few episodes. And I want to bring in now my co-host, Dr. Bruce Logan. Doc, it's good to speak with you. And what are your thoughts about the opening clip, which was from Dr. Tarrin Dames, the pastor of North Dallas Community Bible Fellowship?

Well, first of all, I'm glad to be here again. And as it pertains to that opening clip, a lot was said in just those short few words to summarize everything that we do in life as a believer should be guided by Scripture. Because that basically has a lot to do with our worldview. And our worldview needs to be a biblical worldview as believers. Every decision that we make, every thing that we do should be filtered through the lens of Scripture. All of our worldview, all of our belief system should be filtered through the lens of God's Word. And I think that's fundamental to the Christian worldview.

Well said, I agree wholeheartedly. And as I said, so we're going to be doing some questions and answers and we're actually going to look to cover several questions per episode going forward. But for this one, this is a very hot topic. So we're going to spend this week and probably next week covering it as well. And it actually came out of a result of a Bible study that I lead and someone in the group brought to my attention afterwards that they believe that we talk about politics too much and that in doing so is not decent and in order and and that it is a turnoff.

So it raised the question of should Christians be involved in politics? So we're going to walk through that today and again probably next week as well. And to sort of help us navigate the topic, I want to share a talk from Dr. Frank Turek on this very topic.

It was from about 10 years ago, but the points that he made in there were just so great and they're still relevant to today. So let's begin by listening to Dr. Frank Turek and then we'll begin to unpack it. Let's start here at point one.

Should Christians be involved in politics? If I only have one minute with someone to explain or answer that question, I take out my iPhone and I show them this picture. What picture is this? This is the Korean peninsula. You can see North Korea is here, South Korea is down here. You see Seoul, that of course is the capital of South Korea. Now the Korean peninsula is predominantly, as you know, made up of Koreans, a homogeneous population.

You can see the border between South and North Korea, the well-fortified border, separates the two countries. Now if you look at South Korea, you see South Korea is filled with light. It's filled with productivity. It's filled with the gospel. It's one of the most Christianized countries in the world. North Korea, on the other hand, is dark. It's a concentration camp. There's essentially one major reason for the difference between South and North Korea. What's the major difference or the major reason for the difference?

Anyone? Freedom in the South, communism in the North. You can sum that up in one word.

What's the word? Politics. Politics. Why the difference between South and North Korea? The one major reason is politics. You have political freedom and democracy in the South and you don't have political freedom.

You have a dictatorship, a communist dictatorship, essentially a concentration camp in the North. All right. So again, that's Dr. Frank Turek. And you heard him reference there a map that he was looking at. And for those of you on radio, of course you cannot see it, but we do have a video format of this program and you can view it there. So if you go to YouTube and search for our channel, discerning the times BTI, the BTI stands for blessings to Israel, our parent ministry.

And you can view it there. But I want to share this because our ministry, the mission states that we seek to supplement local church teachings with our mission of encouraging individuals to discern the times by viewing life through the window of the Bible. We accomplish this by placing an emphasis on apologetics, eschatology and the significance of the nation of Israel in light of current events. So that is what God has called us to. That is the mission of our ministry and to fulfill this calling. We compare what the Bible says to what is taking place in the world and how we as believers should govern ourselves accordingly.

And as you said in the your opening statement, Doc, that's called having a biblical worldview. So what are your thoughts? Well, first of all, I've seen that that image of the Korean peninsula multiple times. If any of the listeners have not actually seen that, I would Google it because it's quite amazing because that image was taken from a satellite and it shows. North Korea completely blacked out where South Korea is full of light. I've seen that video many times.

And every time I watch that, I'm always amazed by it. And again, as you summarized or as the speaker summarized, it has everything to do with the political worldview of the respective countries. The North Korea is communist and South Korea is a free market economy.

And the difference is quite startling. And you can also compare that, I would say, in a less dramatic way in the United States of America. Because in the United States of America, there are states in America. I'll give you a few examples like Tennessee, Texas, or maybe put Florida and that few other states in that category. Even through COVID, they were still economically prospering much better than states, let's say like California and New York, who are losing population by the day.

And why is that? It all comes down to politics at the end of the day. And the reality of it is that every person, believer or non-believer alike, we are all impacted by the political decisions that our representatives enact.

Whether we're engaged, whether we're not engaged, whether we're conscientious or not conscientious, we're all impacted by the decisions that they make. For example, all of us are impacted by taxation. All of us are impacted by the cost of gas at the pump.

As a matter of fact, on my way home, I stopped to get gas and here in my town of Warren, Ohio, it was $3.69 a gallon compared to this time three years ago, it was like $2.39. And why is the difference? It all has to do with the political decision of the respective administration. So it's just such a very important topic. I'm glad that we were able to address. Yeah, because you're right. Politics impacts us and, you know, people can try to stick their head in the sand and just pretend like it doesn't exist, but it is going to affect you.

You live in the world, no matter where you are, the politics in that nation is going to impact you. So let's continue. Let's listen to a little bit more from Dr. Frank Turic. Now, I hear all the time Christians saying, you know, we ought not get involved in politics. You know, we just got our preaching. We just have to preach the gospel.

That's what we need to do. No, I'm all for preaching the gospel, and I know you guys are for that too, and I know people out there watching are for that too. But if you don't think politics are important, you don't think preaching the gospel is important. Just look at this map. Look at this satellite imagery of the Korean peninsula at night. Can you preach the gospel in North Korea?

No, you can't. If you don't think politics are important, you don't think the gospel is important. Because you can't preach the gospel in North Korea. Why? Because politically they've ruled it out. You can go to some of the countries I've been to.

Saudi Arabia, China, Iran. You can't do what we're doing in this room right now and over the airwaves right now in those countries. Why not?

Because politically they've ruled it out. And I want to be able to preach the gospel, and that's why I involve myself in politics. And one of the key motivating factors to what we do as a ministry is that years ago when we first launched this ministry, over a decade ago, we noticed a major disconnect in the church when it comes to living out our faith. Because there are a lot of people that go to church, they go to Bible studies, they profess to be followers of Christ, but then they go into the world and support things which God forbids. And it really became apparent to us during the presidential election back in 2008.

And we'll talk some more about presidential elections here in a bit. But there are many people today that are in the church, but they do not discern the times in light of the return of Christ. And the teaching of how we are to walk out our faith in life is called making disciples. But unfortunately, a lot of churches today do not make disciples, and that has caused a lot of people to operate as if the Bible is over here, and politics is over there, and they never cross one another. But our walk with Christ must be integral in all of our lives, just like in all areas of our lives, just as we heard from Pastor Dames in the opening clip.

Yes, I agree with that 100%. In fact, when you say that in a lot of churches that we're not making disciples, I totally concur with that. In fact, I will go as far as to say that what we're doing in many churches is that we're creating what I like to call, use the term, and I know some people might be offended by this, and I don't mean to offend, but the reality is what it is, and that what we do is we make professional church people.

We make people who know how to do everything, all the churchism that I like to refer to it as, how to have good service, how to produce a lot of singers, and how to stir the emotions of the crowd. And we're really good at those types of things, but when it comes to discerning the time, it has a lot to do with the level of, like you used the term, apologetics that is promoted and taught in most churches, and the level of emphasis on things like prophecy and worldview and things of that nature is the reason why a lot of people are so oblivious about the true impact of politics, but the reality of it is that it's more to it than just what we hear on the news, and what we see was promoted and advertised in front of us, because a lot of what is happening is spiritually based, because the Bible tells us that we're not fighting against flesh and blood, but against powers and principalities and the rulers of darkness in high places, which is something that as believers I think we kind of just take for granted as just some saying, but it's like reality. This is really what we're dealing with, and one of the enemy's tools has been politics. And so the amazing thing about it to me, and we need to really come to grips with, is the fact that even if as believers we're not engaged in politics, Satan has always used the political realm in order to promote his agenda, and that's exactly what we're seeing today. We're seeing now the proliferation of the LBGT movement.

As a matter of fact, just last night I was watching a series, and I won't even name it because I don't even want to recommend it, because it was a series that came out on, I believe, Amazon Prime, and it was in episode three, and the first two episodes it was very intriguing. Then I said, oh man, I'm locked in, so I've got to get to episode three, and in episode three it was, I believe, a 58-minute episode, and I want to say a good 40 minutes of that episode was two gay men engaged in this gay relationship. And I was appalled.

And even sitting here now, I can't even get the images out of my head. It's so egregious and so oblique. And what the world is doing is that they're trying to desensitize the culture as making that as something normalized. And the reason why we've been able to get there is because they used the political realm in order to get to forward their agenda. And the only reason why they were able to do that is because the church was pretty much asleep at the wheel and not only allowed it, but voted for a lot of the candidates that promote this type of stuff. So again, this is the reason why, I mean, there's so many reasons, but that's another very important reason why as believers we need to be totally engaged in the political process.

Yeah, you're exactly right. I mean, we need to be disciples. We need to know how we live out our faith.

So let's listen to a little bit more from Dr. Turek. In fact, if you think about this, not only does politics affect the gospel, politics affects virtually everything we do. Think about this. Politics affects your church, your children, your health, your money, your business, your freedom, your property, your school, your home, your security, your safety, the poor, the unborn, virtually everyone and everything. The rules that are made in Washington, the rules that are made in your state and local governments affect what we do every day. How many businessmen do we have in here right now?

Raise your hand. Do you think that politics affects whether or not you can do business and how you do it? It affects it every day. The church, does politics affect the church?

Yes, it does. Politics affects what we even say from our pulpit. You know, Doug, I was thinking as I was listening to Frank Turek and reflecting back on your statements and again how you said a lot of times we go out and we support things that are not biblical because of the fact that we don't have a biblical worldview and I once heard a pastor who stated that he is a conservative in his religion but a liberal in his politics. Have you ever heard that before?

I've heard that multiple times. It's just mind boggling, you know, but that is what the Bible calls a double-minded man who is unstable in all of his ways. That's in James chapter one verse eight because if we were to take the position that we're just going to only discuss the Bible and not apply them to the times that we live in, we would not be getting the full picture and that's what you end up with is people who say, well, they can be a conservative in their faith and then a liberal in their politics but it would be like baking a cake and failing to put the icing on it or manufacturing a car and not putting wheels on it.

So it's like what practical benefit would the cake or the car have to us when it is incomplete? And I just want to take a moment to share a few examples for those out there that say, well, we should just stick with the gospel and not talk about politics. I want to give some examples of politics in the Bible. Daniel the prophet was thrown into alliance then because a group of governors, administrators, say traps, counselors and advisors, which are all politicians convinced the king to pass a law that forbade anyone from petitioning any God other than the king. That's in Daniel chapter six. Now we have laws threatening Christians that are being passed throughout the world today.

And how do we determine our proper response if and when it happens in our nation if we do not discuss politics and just look at the number of churches that responded incorrectly when governors throughout America mandated that churches not gather for service during COVID. And I also want to point out that Daniel was a governor, by the way, a lot of people don't think about that. And wicked politicians, they could threaten us with prison time or or beatings just for having this program, just like they did the apostles in Acts chapter five. Another example is Joseph. Although he was a prophet, God raised him up to be a political leader in Egypt. That's in Genesis chapter 41. And this saved all of Israel from starvation. God said in his word that world leaders would divide his land in the last days. That's Joel chapter three. And who is it that is carrying out the act of dividing the land?

It is politicians. And God warned that there would be judgment for doing so. We look at John the Baptist.

He was beheaded because he spoke against what a politician was doing. That's in Matthew Chapter 14. And then Jesus, he hammered the religious and political leaders of Israel, the Pharisees and the Sadducees, telling them they had neglected the weightier matters of the law.

And he called them blind guides who strain out a gnat and swallow a camel. And then the Bible says there will be a coalition of 10 kings in the last days that will rise. Three of them will be supplanted by Antichrist as he comes to rule a one world government. That's in Daniel 724. So therefore, the Antichrist is going to be a politician. And then the last example, Jesus is coming back to do what?

Overthrow the Antichrist and rule the earth. And Isaiah Chapter nine, verse six says the government will be upon his shoulder. So, Doc, we see politics is used throughout the Bible is just simply the Bible does not use the word politics. Exactly. That's 100 percent. And that was a very good synopsis, too, by the way. And just to summarize, you know, the clip that we listened to and the synopsis that you just gave, it all comes down to the fact that and I like the way it was put, it said, politics affect everyone and everything. So I just want to repeat that, because that really needs to soak in, regardless if you're engaged or concentrated or concerned about it or not. It affects the laws, the legislation that is enacted by our representatives affects everyone and everything, regardless if we are engaged or not. And one of the things I just would like to add is the fact that it's especially true in as it currently is, because it's going to change.

I mean, I can see a change coming if believers don't get more engaged. However, as it stands right now, we live in what's called technically, you know, people call it a democracy. But technically, correct term of our form of government is called a representative republic. And basically what that means is that we have the ability to elect those who will represent our interests in, whether it's in the state government or in the federal government, we have the opportunity to elect individuals. And the purpose that we're electing them is to represent our interests. And if we are, as believers, we need to be able to elect or have elected or vote for candidates who are going to represent a biblical worldview.

And that's a very unique opportunity that we have in the West. And I believe that it involves our stewardship as believers. I believe that our voting stewardship is impacted when we are not engaged, but not only is it impacted if we are not engaged, that if we are not informed on the issue, then it's impossible for us to elect individuals who are going to adequately represent a biblical worldview.

But we're not informed on the issue. So often, we tend to just vote for our pet party or vote for, you know, our favorite individuals and vote against individuals that we don't like their personality and never take into consideration the policies that they represent. For an example, like education policy, energy policy, for example, one of the things that's big now is this green energy policy, which is the reason why gas prices are so high right now. Because if you recall, under the previous administration, the policy agenda was to open up American domestic energy production.

That was a political legislative agenda that was enacted. So for the first time in American history, America became the leading producer of energy in the world and the leading exporter of energy in the world. And the thing that bounced off of that was the fact that we no longer became dependent on foreign oil. We were no longer dependent on OPEC, for an example, because we were now the leading exporter of fossil fuel because of the policy that was enacted by that administration. The current administration enacted the opposite policy.

They closed up or canceled drilling leases. And that decreased the supply of energy, which increased the prices that we pay at the pump as individuals. So we were all impacted by that.

And also, it is impacting the supply chain. And I'm just giving some practical examples for people to take into consideration. The fact that Roe v. Wade became a thing when it was first voted in was something that was pushed through politically. And it was able to get through because the believer, because the church was silent or pretty much, again, asleep at the wheel at the time, did not fight it, did not elect candidates that were going to fight it in Washington.

And because we basically were asleep at the wheel. But if you just track it down, historical background, all of the things that the rights that we have, for an example, as a society, was initiated by a Christian or the Christian church. The civil rights movement was something that was initiated by the church.

The abolitionist society that led to the abolishment of slavery was actually initiated by the Wesleyan Methodist movement. There was a famous example of a Christian monk named St. Telemachus. And because of something that he did, he initiated the ending of the Roman gladiatorial games. What he did is that he was appalled by the atrocities that he was seeing in the Roman arena. And he literally jumped down in the arena and shouted in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, King of Kings and Lord of Lords, I command these wicked games to speak. And as he did that, of course, the crowd booed him and one of the gladiators executed him on the spot. But from that point, for some reason, people began to really see this pretty much is pretty brutal. Maybe we do need to stop this.

And it was not long after the gladiatorial games in Rome ended. So we can just give an example after an example how Christianity was responsible for many of the movements that took place in the world and movements for the positive. So, I mean, just so much about the Christian worldview that we need to really keep in mind as believers as we go to the voting booth. And we need to kind of just rethink the level of priority that we place upon the voting and the political process from a biblical worldview perspective and really kind of hone in on that. And because we can actually make a difference, at least to a certain extent, in terms of the policies that are enacted that impact us all.

Yes, exactly right. And like you said, the church, we have to wake up because, you know, when we go and vote people into office who have already made it clear during the election process that they are going to do things like advocate for killing of the unborn. And if we as believers vote those people in, then that blood is on our hands.

God is not going to hold us guiltless for that type of thing. So we need to be involved. And I want to hear God say, well done, good and faithful servant, when I stand before him, not be disappointed because I did not give the full counsel. So, Doc, we're going to park it there for this week, but we're going to pick back up next week, continuing this discussion on should Christians be involved in politics?

So, Doc, thank you for coming on once again this weekend to our listeners. Thank you for joining us. And please come back and join us again next week as we continue to encourage you to discern the times by viewing life through the window of the Bible. Until then, remember to pray for the peace of Jerusalem. Let's God's great nation of Israel to the only wise God be glory through Jesus Christ forever.

Amen. Thank you for tuning into Discerning the Times. Please come back and join us next week as we continue to encourage you to view current events through the lens of the Bible. Until next time, remember to pray for the peace of Jerusalem. Bless God's great nation of Israel and seek first the kingdom of God. Discerning the Times is presented by Blessings to Israel.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-10-22 19:49:01 / 2023-10-22 20:00:34 / 12

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