Sunday, November 1, 2020

Misbehavior of believers in political arena not a good testimony!

 Weekly Opinion Editorial


by Steve Fair


    Last week, John Piper, a prominent evangelic pastor and author of Desiring God, wrote that he couldn’t vote for President Trump or Vice President Joe Biden.  Piper wrote Trump’s “Flagrant boastfulness, vulgarity, immorality and factiousness are not only self-incriminating; they are nation-corrupting.” Piper wrote he could not support Vice President Biden because of his support of, “baby killing, sex-switching, and socialistic overreach, so it appears he will not vote this election.  Several Christian leaders disagreed with Piper including his longtime friend, Wayne Grudem.  Grudem wrote Biden and the Democrats would pass laws that infringe on religious liberty and the sanctity of life.  He said millions of Americans agree Trump’s behavior is sometimes over the top, but have chosen not to imitate it.  “Piper’s argument fails to recognize that people can decide not to imitate the sins of a leader, but they cannot do that with laws,” Grudem wrote. “Laws require obedience.”   

    Another long time Piper friend, best-selling author and OKC pastor Sam Storms, says sin is most often hidden and discerning character is not always easy.  “Bad character, destructive character, does not always manifest itself in bombastic speech and overt arrogance,” Storms wrote.  “A person can be soft-spoken, courteous, and guarded in their speech while at the same time be as wicked and dangerous as the loud-mouthed jerk.”  Three points:

     First, sitting an election out is a cop-out.  That’s not leadership.  Until Jesus Christ is on the ballot, voters are always be choosing between two flawed candidates.  Piper has a right to not participate in the political process, but that attitude by prominent Christian leaders is not being ‘salt and light’ to a lost and dying world.  It is a reason America is in the shape it is in.  Piper is an effective gospel preacher who has not historically engaged in the political arena.  In 2008, when the GOP national convention was in Minneapolis, my wife and I attended Bethlehem Baptist on Saturday and listened to Piper preach.  I spoke with him after the services and he wished me well, but said politics was of little interest to him.  Perhaps Piper should have paid more attention and encouraged his congregates to participate more in the political process.   

        Second, no matter who wins this week, God will still be in control.  He was in control in eternity past and He has eternity future firmly in hand.  The scripture says a sovereign God ‘ordains’ civil authorities.  Sometimes we don’t like His choices, but believers can’t lose, no matter who wins.  That doesn’t relieve believers of their responsibility to be good citizens, be involved in the process, and stand for God’s principles.  Believers keeping politics at arm’s length has gotten us to the place we are.  God uses human instrumentality and conceding the political arena by believers was and is a mistake.

     Third, believers in the political arena should behave like believers.  Many quote scripture and spout church lingo, but lie, cheat and steal to win an election.  They post insulting remarks and engage in name calling on social media.  They justify the misbehavior by saying the other side does it.  Two wrongs don’t make a right.  The inconsistency in their lives makes you wonder about their spiritual condition.  There is no love toward their fellow man.

     In 1962, Peter Scholtes wrote a well known hymn titled, ”They’ll know we are Christians by our Love.”  Scholtes was inspired by Christ’s words in John 13:35.  In today’s America, they’ll know whether you are a Christian-or not- by your Facebook or Twitter post.    



Stacie said...

"Third, believers in the political arena should behave like believers. Many quote scripture and spout church lingo, but lie, cheat and steal to win an election. They post insulting remarks and engage in name calling on social media. They justify the misbehavior by saying the other side does it. Two wrongs don’t make a right. The inconsistency in their lives makes you wonder about their spiritual condition. There is no love toward their fellow man."

And you honestly believe Trump is a good example FOR Christ?

He is contrary to the teachings of Christ. If you can't concede that, then I (you should) question your sincerity and genuine belief in God and Scripture.

Ressmartin said...

The original post was not saying Trump is a good example for Christ. He was just saying that we, individually, should be good examples, regardless of what other people do.

All men have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. Trump is not perfect, nor is any person. Biden is also a poor example for Christ. His flaws are just in other areas than Trump's, and typically more hidden. But God has always used imperfect people to accomplish His will. That's why we look past the imperfections and look at the stances taken and policies subscribed to. Since politicians generally vote 90% with the party platform they subscribe to, then we must look at the party platforms. You must then decide which platform do you think most closely resembles your understanding of Christ's teaching and God's will. Don't let anyone tell you what Christ taught or what God's will is, you need to study that for yourself and make up your own mind.

God's will be done on Earth as it is in Heaven.

Steve Fair is a Jelly Salesman. said...

First, thank you both for reading. Ressmartin is right- I was not holding President Trump up as an example of Christian conduct. My point was and is that we make choices each and every election between depraved sinners. Believers should not excuse misbehavior, no matter the political Party, nor should they 'sit one out' as Pastor John did this cycle. This election became one about personality and not policy, which is unfortunate. President Trump's policies have given more freedom for preaching the gospel than any in recent memory. God bless you both.