POLITICS is RUINING CHRISTIANITY by Andrew Strom
In recent years, particularly in the USA, but also in other countries, Christians have become more and more drawn into politics and political issues. I believe this is making the Christian faith more and more hated – not for the gospel’s sake, but rather for taking political stands that Jesus never asks us to take.
Christians are now known for all the things they bitterly “rail” against. They rail angrily against taxes, against the president, against immigrants, against the Democrats, against refugees. They launch into bitter tirades on issues such as health care and gun control – as though they would gladly blow away anyone who disagrees. They portray themselves as the biggest supporters of armies and killing and big business in the entire country. Just listen to them talk. It is about as far from Jesus as you can possibly imagine. Once you start playing on this field you need to remember that politics is the devil’s arena. It is dirty, ugly and divisive – and we are called to keep out.
It used to be that liberal journalists would at least tolerate the Christian faith – even if begrudgingly. Now they tend to see Christianity as the “enemy” – because we have taken political stances against them on multiple worldly issues. Christianity as a faith is no longer renowned for “healing the broken-hearted and setting the captives free” – nor for the gospel that we proclaim. We are now known for the angry political issues and causes that we agitate about.
Jesus refused to have anything to do with political power. He said, “My kingdom is not of this world.” And the early church was the same. Can you imagine them starting a “letter-writing” campaign against Herod or Caesar? Never! They were too busy preaching the gospel.
But today’s believers are inviting widespread hatred of the Christian faith – not for spiritual reasons but rather political ones. And that hatred is getting worse and worse every year. We have needlessly made ourselves the “enemies” of so many that we are called to reach.
These Christians have wrapped the Bible in the flag so tight that no-one can tell the difference any more. They are actually preaching “another gospel”. It is the gospel of politics and nationalism – where Christianity embroils itself in the partisan issues of the day – and angrily snarls at any who dare disagree. It is the gospel of the “flag mixed with Jesus”.
What has all this fighting, railing, crusading and bitterness actually produced? Tons of bad fruit, tons of hatred for Christianity, and very little actual change. That is because Christians are not supposed to change the world through politics. We are supposed to change men’s hearts through the gospel. That is the only thing that will actually do the job. We have abandoned our calling. We have become utterly distracted from our mission in the earth. And we are reaping nothing but hatred from the very people we are called to reach. The modern “politicized” church of flag-waving uber-patriots is the very opposite of all Jesus stood for.
We are preaching another gospel – another Christianity altogether.
I believe the American church stands under the judgment of God for this false gospel. It is just as bad as the ‘prosperity’ gospel which also came out of America and infected the whole world. And I call on all U.S. Christians to STOP IT NOW.
True Christians are supposed to be “sojourners” and pilgrims in the earth, giving their allegiance to no particular country but the kingdom of heaven. It is high time we left all this agitating to the rabble-rousers – and simply do our job. Preaching the gospel to the poor. Healing the sick. Binding up the broken-hearted. Proclaiming the acceptable year of the Lord.
No more Fox News. No more right-wing talk radio. All that stuff exists only to rile people up, make them mad, and drive the ratings higher. There is nothing “Christian” about it at all.
To every believer I say: REPENT of this “political” gospel – this “political” Christianity – and never return to it again.
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God bless you all.