4. Church and Pastors will become more politically involved
First of all let me state that I don’t think this is the desire of most pastors. Most pastors have avoided politics like a plague. Like a plague. That used to seem like such an antiquated saying until recently. The general idea of the non political sentiment was that politics was something out in the world, but shouldn’t be brought into the church. Politics separated people and the church was the umbrella that was big enough to bring us all together. I think most pastors just wanted to reach people regardless of their political persuasions. Certainly you didn’t want people to feel like they needed to join a political party to feel at home in your church or feel like they needed to join a political party and then maybe they could find salvation in Jesus.
The heart behind this was that most pastors don’t want to create boundaries where boundaries don’t need to exist. Jesus said the Pharisees “shut the kingdom of heaven in people’s faces” by creating manmade boundaries. In another place Jesus said they “taught for doctrine the commandments of men.” I believe politics have been viewed through that lens in the church world for a long time. Let’s don’t create boundaries for people coming into the Kingdom of Heaven that God didn’t create and let’s not teach good ole American values as doctrine. I’ll get to my main thought in just a moment, but one of the problems with that thought is that much of our nations laws were shaped by Judeo Christian values. In other words things like personal freedom and personal responsibility are kingdom principals. When they are espoused by Christians and this is rather mind blowing, but, even when they are espoused by non Christians it still brings blessing. The principals of the word of God lift a nation and society.
The reason I believe that churches and pastors will become more political isn’t because the church is becoming more political, but because the world is.
To say it another way. Sometimes you pick a fight and sometimes a fight picks you.
This isn’t a fight many would have chosen, but it is the fight that has chosen us. The world around us has turned political. Watching a football game is now political, watching a movie or tv show is now political, watching a freaking commercial is now political. Going to school. Political. Going to College. POLITICAL. Going to work sadly for many people has become political.
I’ve always said that ministry felt like you were constantly tap dancing through a political mine field. One wrong move, one false step, say one thing wrong and boom! The world was turning more and more political, but in 2020 it became a run away train that lost its brakes. Everything is now political. There is a reason behind this that I will write about at a future date.
As culture rampages down the tracks of politics it is picking a fight with the church. Opening the Bible is now political. Reading a verse that says God created them male and female. Political. Reading a verse that says you were shaped in your mother’s womb. Political. Reading a verse that tells children to honor your Father and your Mother. Political. These aren’t even the hard sayings of scripture.
Everything that God does and everything that God allows is moving his plan, purpose, and story of redemption forward.
This is from the paraphrase version of the Bible:
At the center of all this, Christ rules the church. The church, you see, is not peripheral to the world; the world is peripheral to the church. The church is Christ’s body, in which he speaks and acts, by which he fills everything with his presence.” Ephesians 1:20-23 MSG
God’s focus is on his church, his kingdom, and his people. Everything God does or allows is for the betterment, enlargement, judgment, correction, or purification of his Bride, the Church. You can’t ignore where we are in this moment in history
Obviously God is using these historical moments to position, reposition, and I believe ultimately enlarge his Church and Kingdom.
My encouragement is to boldly and clearly embrace the moment. Everything that is happening in the world right now is for the betterment and purification of his Church. It must be so frustrating for the enemy to have so much influence. It feels like the enemy is influencing government, media, education, entertainment, big tech, and big business. You would think the whole world would have been led astray, but it’s not. It must be frustrating for the enemy to have so much influence and so many resources and yet Pastors behind their pulpits are literally pushing back the gates of hell with the preaching of the Gospel.
The church isn’t losing ground. It’s gaining identity. We will be stronger, better, larger, and have more influence when our battle is over. The war will continue until Jesus ends it. Our job is to fight the good fight of faith even if we didn’t pick the fight.