Friday, October 31, 2008

Church in a State

I am very disappointed and greatly concerned over some Christians who are letting their fears and anxieties about next week’s election extinguish their rationality and diminish their faith. The demonizing of the candidates on both sides has revealed the ugliness of prejudice and the great amount of ignorance that still persists in the hearts and minds of our people. I am ashamed that Christian people, who should know better, are allowing the devil to prey on their fears and overturn their faith so quickly.

Romans 13:6 This is also why you pay taxes, for the authorities are God's servants, who give their full time to governing.

I’ve read some alarming emails and blogs from Christians on both sides of the political realm, who are absolutely hostile to the other camp. Their hatred is spewed out venomously and in doing so, they actually deny their faith. Isn’t Jesus who said love your enemies? Wasn’t it Paul who wrote that the authorities are God’s servants?

Perhaps the day after the election, on November 5, we should all get down on our knees and ask God to forgive us for being so spiteful, unrelenting, and unchristian. We represent Christ all of the time, if we call ourselves Christians, so when we diabolically demonize our opponents, we are not only guilty of slanderous gossip and character assassination, we are letting ourselves becomes the pawns of Satan. That’s something that we should never allow to happen, no matter how passionate we feel about our politics.

It will be part of my Christian duty to pray each day for the new President, whether or not I voted for him. As a Presbyterian, I firmly believe in predestination, so whoever the people choose, God has already decided that person will lead our nation. And no matter what policies the next President tries to push through or accomplish, my duty is still the same: I will pray for him as God’s chosen servant. I may disagree with politics and politicians, but I try never to disagree with God’s choices.

Perhaps this devotional has angered you. Maybe you feel as if you’ve been rebuked. If so, then look into your heart and ask yourself this question: have I allowed my political passion to override my faith?

Prayer: Lord Jesus, sometimes You must despair about how Your Church expresses its political views. Remind us that we are called to be peacemakers and servants, encouragers and disciples, citizens of heaven, as well as earth. Keep us from being hateful, proud, and alarmist. Remind us that God is always in control. In Your Holy Name, we humbly pray. Amen.

John Stuart is the pastor of Erin Presbyterian Church in Knoxville, Tennessee. If you would like to comment on today’s message, please send him an email to


Jodie said...

Except for that little bit about predestination, I am with you all the way on this post.

Stushie said...

I'm of the old Scottish school, Jamie. Some of us beleive that our leaders are pre-ordained by God to hold their positions.

Jodie said...

It's Jodie, not Jamie. (been called worse...;-)

I've always wondered how "old school Scottish" went down that path. The only Biblical references to predestination that I can find are those that address the priesthood. If you were born a Levite it was pre-ordained that you would be a priest. Likewise if you were born an Israelite it was pre-ordained that your God was YHWH.

And likewise if you are a Christian it is pre-ordained that you are grafted into the Kingdom of God.

But getting from that to believing that Bush was pre-ordained by God to have been president these last 8 years, I can't go there. That's a totally different subject in my opinion, one that has a tenuous biblical basis at best.

I do believe in free will, including the freedom to select the wrong president.

And I do believe in praying for these guys. Specially the ones that are in office by mistake or by fraud.

Wes said...

You're missing a good one out here in North Carolina. Elizabeth Dole actually ran an ad that says her opponent does not believe in God and has falsified her voice in saying anti-Christian stuff.

Her opponent comes on to say that Elizabeth has sunk to an all time low and spoke of her various and active involvement within the church (Sunday School teacher, mission work, etc) and her faith in Christ. Then condemns Dole for bearing false witness against a fellow Christian.

Americans seem to believe anything these "do anything to be elected" politicians say whether negative ads or political platforms that the candidates will complete dismiss once elected.

I would if we would be better off as a parliamentary government rather than a two-partied "good/evil" system that demonizes and divides the UNITED States of America.

Stushie said...

Amen, Wes. And I used to think that Elizabeth Dole was a good representative of the people...

Stushie said...

Oops, sorry Jodie...I must have had to much Scottishness on my mind...