If God Men Should Stay Out of Politics, God Is the Biggest Offender
The church of Jesus Christ is intended by God to be the conscience of America.
To be sure, the church is not called to run America, since we are not a theocracy but a democratic republic. If folks want a theocracy, in which clergy run the politics of a nation, then Muslim nations are the place for you.
But the church is called to be a clarion voice in the public square, calling public officials as well as the public itself back to the abiding moral principles of the laws of nature and nature’s God.
Public officials are servants of God, according to Romans 13, whether they know it or not, and it is the job of the servants of God who fill our pulpits to faithfully remind public officials of their accountability to God and his truth.
Some today still argue that the church and its leaders should just stay out of politics because it’s such a dirty business. Well, that’s exactly why the church should be involved - somebody has got to start cleaning up that mess.
The church is called to be the “salt of the earth,” which means the salt has to get out of the shaker (the four walls of the church) and into society. And the church is called to be the “light of the world,” which means it needs to take its light out from under the bushel (the four walls of the church) and shine its light into every darkened corner in our world, including the world of politics.
If men of God are supposed to stay out of politics, then God himself didn’t get the memo. If godly men are supposed to stay out of politics, then He himself is the biggest offender.
From virtually the beginning of the Bible to its end, God is shown constantly raising up men of faith to be political leaders. Almost every major figure in the Old Testament was a political leader, whether that figure was Joseph or Moses or Joshua or the judges or the kings of Judah and Israel, starting with Saul and David and Solomon.
And the major figures who weren’t politicians were prophets who were sent by God to publicly rebuke or encourage politicians. In other words, it was the job of the clergy to speak truth to political power.
If you were to strip out of the Bible every book written by a politician, about a politician, or addressed to a politician by a member of the clergy, you’d have virtually nothing left.
No books of Moses, no books of Joshua and Judges. 1 Samuel all the way through 2 Chronicles, gone. Ezra, Nehemiah, gone. Esther, gone. Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, gone. All the prophets, starting with Isaiah and going all the way through Malachi, gone.
Your Old Testament would consist of the book of Ruth.
It doesn’t get any better in the New Testament. John the Baptist was executed because he publicly rebuked a politician for his salacious private life. And Jesus was executed because he publicly rebuked the politicians of his day, the scribes and the Pharisees, and called them a brood of vipers and the sons of their father, the devil.
The prophets of old had one standard by which they measured the acts of the politicians of their day: was what they did right in the eyes of the Lord or was it evil in the eyes of the Lord?
They measured everything public officials did by laying down their official acts alongside the word of God. When their acts measured up, they praised them. When their acts did not, they condemned them. And they had no hesitation saying so publicly.
Our great need today is for the same spirit that animated the clergy of old, the prophets, to animate the clergy of today, America’s pastors. What we need, now more than ever, is for men of God to fearlessly declare the word of God to those who exercise the power of God in public office. And today is the day to start. We have no time to lose.