Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Blurred Lines Between Religion And Politics

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As our nation watches, the US Senate is deciding if President Trump should be impeached---or not.

Nancy Pelosi's House of Representatives approved the articles of impeachment---Mitch McConnell's Senate will rule on the matter.

The Chief Justice of the US Supreme Court, John Roberts, is presiding.

The nation is politically divided.

So is the Christian community.

Dallas mega-church pastor Jack Graham wrote an op-ed for the Dallas Morning News, which opens with this: "I often get asked why I, as an evangelical pastor, so prominently and enthusiastically support President Donald Trump."

Be informed.

This morning on our live radio program, I will be talking about "blurred lines" and giving commentary on the latest from the Trump impeachment trial. Here's how to join me from anywhere in the world.

Here's why tens of millions of evangelicals support President Trump.

Pastor Jack Graham says, "There are many reasons [for his support of Trump] but here's one of them that's particularly key: President Trump is the most pro-life president in US history."

Graham writes,
"President Trump's unapologetic commitment to protect the sanctity of life is particularly relevant given that this weekend he became the first president ever to speak at the annual March for Life in Washington [DC]."

The pastor of Prestonwood Baptist Church and its more than 45,000 members, says that as the 2020 election ramps up, the stakes for the fight for the right to life have never been higher.

He says evangelicals, who care about the sanctity of life, will have to redouble their efforts because the leading Democrat candidates ---Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, former Vice President Joe Biden, all say they support abortion rights. And Graham says, "Make no mistake, there will be no limit to their abortion policies."

"Supporting him is a no- brainier," the pastor says.

And the pastor says:
"We could also talk about his administration's staunch defense of religious liberty at home and abroad, his historical actions on criminal justice reform and his efforts to revitalize the economy to help boost disadvantaged and low income families," continuing, he adds, "The list goes on and on."

Then he says this:
"The better question is not why an evangelical would support President Trump, but how is it possible for a Bible believing evangelical to not support the most pro-life president in the history of the United States.?"

Thomas Jefferson declared that the church and the state must be kept separate.

He did, but his intent in his well-known letter to the Danbury Baptists was to assure them that the State would never be allowed to meddle in the affairs of the church because there is a wall that separates the state from the church, thus protecting the church from intrusion by the State.

Every Christian knows that in recent years, biblical Christians have come under more and more attack from the state for holding biblical beliefs. In particular, marriage, human sexuality and the sanctity of life.

For example, Barronnel Stutzman, a florist from Richland, Washington, politely declined to create the floral arrangements for a same-sex "marriage" because, as she explained, of her biblical beliefs about marriage.

The homosexuals filed a lawsuit, and because of the laws written allowing the State to "meddle" in the affairs of the church, and punish people because of their biblical beliefs, Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson has dragged the 70-something-year-old grandmother through the courts for the past number of years.

This happens repeatedly with florists, bakers, wedding planners and event venue owners. Pastors are challenged for preaching about homosexuality from Scripture---a couple of years ago the lesbian mayor of Houston, Texas attempted to seize pastors sermon notes to determine if they had preached "hate" messages which were determined to be sermons from Romans chapter 1.

Does religion and politics intersect?

Absolutely. Politics is an expression of what people believe. Dr. Michael Brown wrote an article this week in which he looks at the line between religion and politics. I suggest you read it.

He notes that the Christian Church presents the Gospel of Jesus Christ, regardless of the political environment.

Jesus saves regardless of who's in political office. The Gospel transcends politics.

Yet, Brown makes the point we often make in this blog. There is a way in which politics and religion do intersect.

When there are gross abuses in our culture, like human trafficking, abortion, the perversion of marriage as God intended it, assault on religious liberties, are Christians to remain silent to protect the so-called separation of church and state that isn't that at all?

Recently we celebrated the life of Martin Luther King Jr. who said,
"The church must be reminded that it is not the master or the servant of the state, but rather the conscience of the state. It must be the guide and the critic of the state, and never its tool. If the church does not capture its prophetic zeal, it will become an irrelevant social club without moral or spiritual authority."

The great revivalist and Presbyterian preacher Charles Finney said this:

"If you ever wondered who is responsible for the moral decay, corruption and lack of discrimination in our day, it belongs firmly---FIRMLY---to those who are called to preach. The preachers are wholly responsible for the moral decline in our society,"

And he said, "If our politics become so corrupt that the very foundations of our government are ready to fall away, the pulpit is responsible for it."

While the 2020 election is about Donald Trump, it is to an even greater measure about the Christian Church.

Will we become that irrelevant social club, or will we rise to the level of the crucified and risen Jesus Christ?

Be Informed. Be Vigilant. Be Discerning. Be Faithful. Be Bold. Be Prayerful.