A week ago the POTUS met with “evangelical leaders” and shared with them his view that they were “one election away from losing everything.” Look, I’m not going to dive deeply into anything political here, but I do want to share some very important theological parameters we believers need to put around these kinds of statements made by many people in the current zietgiest. I do think President Trump is accurately speaking to deeply held fears possessed by many Christians in America. The question is – what are believers afraid we’re losing? Allow me to share some great insights from a thoughtful article written by Michael Horton who is the Professor of Systematic Theology and Apologetics at Westminster Seminary in California. In his article “What are Evangelicals Afraid of Losing?” he makes some good points for us to consider as we prepare for another election cycle this Fall.
Here are some of his important thoughts from the article:
- If an election can cause us to lose everything, what is it exactly that we have in the first place?
- It’s not when we’re fed to lions that we lose everything; it’s when we preach another gospel . . . And yet, swinging from triumphalism to seething despair, many pastors are conveying to the wider, watching public a faith in political power that stands in sharp opposition to everything we say we believe in.
- Something tremendous is at stake here: whether evangelical Christians place their faith more in Caesar and his kingdom than in Christ and his reign. On that one, we do have everything to lose—this November and every other election cycle. When we seek special political favors for the church, we communicate to the masses that Christ’s kingdom is just another demographic in the US electorate. Let’s face it. Liberal and conservative, Catholic and Protestant, have courted political power and happily allowed themselves to be used by it. This always happens when the church confuses the kingdom of Christ with the kingdoms of this present age.
- In his Great Commission, Jesus gave authority to the church to make disciples, not citizens; to proclaim the gospel, not political opinions; to baptize people in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, not in the name of America or a political party; and to teach everything that he delivered, not our own personal and political priorities. And he promised that his presence with us is something that the world can never take away.