Christian Politics?


Jesus says, "Go therefore and make disciples of all nations...teaching them to observe all things I have commanded you..."? (Matt. 28:19-20) 

He does not say, 'go, and be active in your nation's political system'.


Summary

Many, if not most, christian religious leaders are saying that "the church" should spend it's time and resources doing things other than loving one another and making disciples of all nations.   Their people are told they need to use political means to advance the Kingdom of God.  Their people are told they are to fight against moral evil and to fight to preserve our 'rights'.   Their people are told to keep their minds on the world's kingdoms (governments) and battles and to use the world's means (political power) to fight those battles.

This is another false gospel leading people away from God.   Jesus says, "My kingdom is not of this world.  If my kingdom were of this world, My servants would fight...". (John 18:36)  Many religious organization leaders say, "Jesus' kingdom is manifest in this world through political means, so get fighting."

Who do you believe, Jesus or the voices of those prominent religious leaders?


Many christians today are very much involved in, or concerned about, this nation's government and its legislation. Many christian leaders are teaching that from the federal to the local level, it is God's will that "this nation" reflect His moral principles and that christians are to make this happen through political means. Many who take the label bible believing christians are claiming that it is God’s will that christians rule over the nation, and that christians should spend their time in political activity trying to combat the moral evils of our day. Organizations such as The Christian Coalition, Focus on the Family, The Heritage Foundation, Concerned Women of America, and Coral Ridge Ministries - while they pay lip service to a religious or spiritual "gospel" - have as their primary public focus, something to the effect of the reclaiming of America back to its alleged glory days of moral purity. Their voices are loud (and sadly, oftentimes harsh) about abortion and homosexuality and pornography and school choice, etc. Their message is that if 'God's people' would just become involved (and by this they ultimately mean win powerful positions in political offices) in the politic of the United States of America, then America could become a much better place. It seems that almost every prominent person calling themselves a bible believing christian is among the voices supporting this agenda of the "christianization" or "re-moralization" of the united states culture by means of political power.

Surely true disciples of Jesus do not like being in a sinful world, since we hate our own sin and its effects and consequences on others. Surely the sight of lost people engaging in every from of sinful activity is disheartening to us. Surely the unrighteousness of the world's leaders (both political and religious) can bring discouragement to our hearts. Surely the rank injustice which exists in the world is tragic and frustrating. At times we can be overwhelmed at the sight of young children being dragged into this evil, and willfully perpetrating much of it. As disciples we should be grieved at the sad state of this world which is heavily under the influence of the Prince of this world. Ah, but there is the problem. In this last sentence, I switched from a moral stand point to a spiritual standpoint, and it is here that christians are badly deceived.

The key question is this: What is to be the disciples of Jesus' main focus, and how are we to be fighting the battles we face - how are we to fight and what is the goal?

Please examine the following contrast between two types of people with very different essential beliefs.

God Fearing bible believer

Follower of Jesus

   
Tries to pass legislation in a world government to force moral law on people The disciple lives out and spreads Jesus' teachings, which frees people from the bondage of sin, and helps the new disciples to go and do the same (Matt. 28:18-20)
The moralist boycotts "evil" people or organizations The disciple shares the Words of Jesus with the lost and is with those who will love him back(Acts 1:8; John 13:34-35)
The moralist fights for his right to pray at school The disciple does not place their children in schools to be taught by the world (John 15:19).
The moralist is angry at sinners and their sin The disciple is grieved at sin, especially his own (Matt. 7:1-5; Luke 18:14)
The moralist normally preaches judgment with fear as the prime motivator The disciple normally preaches leaving death to enter into Life with God's love as the primary motivator (John 3:16-18)

As you read through this article - if you are seeking the truth with all your heart - you will begin to understand the difference between the bible believing or God fearing christian versus the follower of Jesus of Nazareth more clearly.

Morality Versus the Spiritual Kingdoms:

Sodom versus Capernaum - Which is Worse?

If one studies the scripture (as this author used to do) and does a little research from an archeological standpoint, one will find out some interesting things regarding a small town in Israel named Capernaum. Geographically, it was a relatively small town nestled on the north shore of the Sea of Galilee. It was a normal small town of its day with fishing as its primary industry. It contained normal people going about their typical lives. There was a significant synagogue there and as any typical small Jewish town, it was the center of social activity. What makes Capernaum noteworthy, however, is that Jesus of Nazareth spent a good bit of time there. The gospel accounts record many instances when Jesus performed miracles there.

The main point relative to this discussion, however, is that Capernaum was a normal, relatively quiet small village. There is absolutely no historical record in either the scripture or otherwise, that would describe the village as being overtly immoral. In fact, I am sure that if you could go back in time and visit Capernaum, it would be much like I am told it is like today - regular people living out regular lives. To use the language of the contemporary bible people, it was a very nice, moral place to live where God was feared, the law was obeyed and therefore it was a quiet and relatively peaceful place. I am equally certain that many towns and cities in the contemporary United States would make Capernaum look like a moral utopia in comparison.

Given all these facts, please listen to Jesus’ own words regarding Capernaum, "And you, Capernaum, who are exalted to heaven, will be brought down to Hades; for if the mighty works which were done in you had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day. But I say to you that it shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom in the day of judgment than for you." (Matt. 11:23-24)

Now if you have some understanding of the Old Testament, I don’t have to go into detail about the city of Sodom and its demise. Sodom's residents were given over to overt sexual sin, much like many of the major urban areas of our day. The gross immorality of Sodom is recorded for all history in the bible (Gen. 18:20-21; 19:4-5, 24). Yet, Jesus pronounces a worse judgment on quiet, moral Capernaum than on the overtly wicked Sodom. If you understand the reason for this, you will understand the key truth of this article. And that key truth has everything to do with the question of should disciples be involved with the world’s political systems.

The reason Jesus placed the greater condemnation on Capernaum is because Jesus is not primarily concerned with what we should not do, but rather with what we should do. In fact, Jesus is not primarily concerned about a person's moral goodness because he knows that all mankind is evil (John 2:24-25; Matt. 7:11, 13-14; 19:17). What Jesus is primarily concerned with is who or what a person is trusting in as their God and whether or not we are practicing love.  Jesus is concerned about what kingdom you are in. AFTER an individual comes into the kingdom by being born from above, then that individual reflects Jesus' righteousness (John 3:3-5; 15:5) and love is supposed to become primary. A person's morality is secondary and is merely one potential evidence of which kingdom a person is a citizen of. The true evidence of what kingdom you are in is BOTH the words of your mouth (speaking Jesus' Words and teahcings), AND your obeying JESUS' commands (not other bible writers, but JESUS ONLY, THE KING). Living one or the other alone means you are not his disciple. You can be the most moral, religious person on the planet, but if you don't openly speak the Real Jesus' Words and teachings, then you are merely a lost bible believer...a God fearing moralist. On the other hand, you can talk a lot about "Christ", you can preach some of his more popular teachings in his name, you can even teach most of his words (the ones which don't contradict your bible religion), BUT if you don't desire to obey his commands, then you are lost, without hope (Matt. 7:21; John 14:15). This is one reason the gate is narrow (Matt. 7:13-14).

You see friend, a person can be a very moral and religious person, and at the same time be lost and against the Light. Surely the true disciple understands this. Look to the religious people of Jesus’ day. They were very law abiding people when viewed from the outside. They obeyed the law and were very active in charitable acts of giving. Yet Jesus excoriated them and instead spent time with the "sinners" (harlots and tax collectors) who saw a need for their salvation.

This critical truth is the hardest to convey to people since people are naturally so works or morality oriented. This is why the gospel of God's love is so rejected and misunderstood. We can't but help look at the moral, religious person and say, "oh my, what a good person, surely he is a person of faith or knows God and is destined for heaven". In contrast, we can't help but look at the person struggling with sin and say, "oh my, that poor sinner, I hope he repents before it's too late…". Yet Jesus looks at both person's hearts and he might very well see the moral, religious person as hopelessly lost (Matt. 23:33), and the person struggling with sin as his own! (Matt. 5:20; Luke 18:9-14). We are hopelessly creatures of judgment based on the works that we see, and the other guy is always worse off than me - this is part of the core of our sinful nature of self-pride and fear and selfishness.

The hard truth is that the sad, immoral acts of those in Sodom were less sinful that the unbelief of those "good" moral people in Capernaum. Sadly, that is what we are talking about here - degrees of judgment. The grossly immoral people of Sodom will receive less of a punishment than the moral, upstanding, yet Light rejecting people of Capernaum. What does this clearly teach? That unbelief or non-faith is worse than any other sin, since it is the one sin with which we send ourselves to destruction. Therefore, should disciples spend their time fighting immoral people by trying to pass laws that force them to be moral, or should we spend our time and resources on proclaiming Jesus' truths and making disciples of all nations? (Matt. 28:19-20) The answer is obvious to those who have ears to hear, and hearts seeking the truth.  And yes, they are mutually exclusive - meaning you cannot do both successfully - as we shall see.

Politics the Way?

A few critical questions need to be asked at this juncture to support the truth that disciples are not to fight moral evil but are to instead preach the gospel and make disciples.

Jesus answers these questions by teaching that his disciples are not to try to change the world through the world's political means.  For, he says...

"If you were of the world, the world would love its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, because of this the world hates you." (John 15:19)

What don't we understand about, "I chose your out of the world"?

The Way of American Politics

To win in the game of American politics, you must have voters. In general, the more support you have, the more likely you are to prevail in imposing your political agenda, including getting voted into an office or passing "morally correct" legislation. Can you see how this sets one up for compromise? This puts one in the position of saying, "well, as long as we agree that this moral evil is wrong, and we both believe in God, then we are united – let’s join together to fight this moral evil."

In its broadest sense, this type of ecumenism would go beyond that which calls itself "christianity", to Judaism and Islam and Hinduism, etc. "After all", the ecumenists say, "we all serve the same God, we just use different names". Perhaps, but perhaps Jesus is right when he says, "I am the Way, the Truth and the Life; and no man comes to the Father except through me" (John 14:6).   If you are a faithful servant of Jesus of Nazareth and you are thereby regularly communicating this truth, above all other truths in your life, then you will not win a political office. Is this surprising?  In fact, if you are a faithful servant of Jesus of Nazareth, then you will not want to be a part of the world's political organizations - whether it be President of the U.S. or 'serving' on some committee at your government controlled school - for Jesus says his Kingdom is not of this world and that his followers hate their lives in this world (John 12:25).

It is amazing to me that many labeling themselves under some bible or christian label seem to believe that it would be possible for a follower of Jesus to be elected to a high office in government, even President of the United States. A person who believes this, is massively confused between the two kingdoms. Satan rules this world (John 14:30) and its political leaders (John 12:31). Jesus rules heaven and those on this earth who are his, his called out ones (John18:36; Matt. 16:18). Those faithful men or women of God who still believe the true gospel which offends (John 15:19), would never entertain the thought of serving in the kingdom of darkness, nor would anyone vote for them if they spoke Jesus' Words consistently and unashamedly.

The person serving in Jesus' Kingdom "acknowledges the Lord in all their ways" (Matt. 10:32-33). This means what it says - you will talk about King Jesus when you speak. There is no qualification on "when you speak", for that is what Jesus wants as we willingly serve Him.  If a person chooses to run for some political office, then that is a choice of their free will, and something that they do not have to do with their time, like work to provide means to live.   Thus, it is service to someone - service to some social cause or in reality, some kingdom.  I say again, when a true disciple is freely choosing to serve someone, Jesus wants it to be him and him alone.  And if the true disciple is serving Jesus, then they will speak for HIM by speaking HIS Words and HIS desires.  And what are is desires for is people?  To repeat Jesus' Words, to make disciples of all nations, and manifest God's love and resultant Family as the answer to men's problems - nothing more, nothing less.

What do you speak about at the school board meeting, or whatever other political committee you serve on?  When Jesus says, "Confess me before men" he means whenever you speak, or all the time. I mean, if Jesus has saved you from death and really is your Master, you can't help but speak about your first love and the precious Life he has given you and offers to this perishing world, right? "Oh", some might say, "that's too extreme", or, "that is too narrow a focus". We'll, if you want extreme or narrow, how about the greatest commandment, "To love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength" (Mark 12:30). Yes the sinful human heart may cringe at giving that kind of love and thereby submission to anybody but one's self, yet the command stands forever.

Where do you stand?

Have you given your heart completely to the Light or are you just a bible believer or christian, which is some one who knows some things about christianity's "christ"?

Another really lame excuse justifying a "christian politician's" ignoring Jesus with 99.9% of all their words, is given as, 'oh, well, it is not their job to preach Jesus when they are speaking during their job...'.  Well, there you have it - a plain confession of who their master is - and please note it is NOT the One they claim as their 'Master'.  On the one hand, they say that as politicians, they are leaders of some group of people - the people who voted them into office.  Yet when they are speaking about their ideas about how to lead the people, Jesus and his teachings are notably absent.  Why?  Doesn't Jesus possess all the wisdom needed for people to live a good and right life pleasing to God?  Yes, Jesus does, but the politician obviously doesn't believe that Jesus has any appropriate wisdom for the issues they try to govern, or they want to take all the credit to themselves.

Besides, the politician would not be able to hold their position of power if they spoke Jesus' words to the people. So they say, 'well, I'm not a preacher', and go the way of bible-anity where only the "professional paid clergy" are to follow Jesus and allegedly speak his words.  These folks only talk about their alleged Lord when it won't offend anyone.  What a horrible ruse and deception.  To these people, Jesus' words of, "Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations...teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you...", do not apply to them in "their jobs".  Those words are only for the "professional paid clergy", or for their few hours on Sundays while they neatly compartmentalize their lives into the "religious" (few hours a week in religious buildings and settings) and real life (while they are doing what is really important on their political jobs, including ignoring Jesus and promoting themselves).

In the world system, you must be popular to win political office. People following the Real Jesus and faithfully repeating Jesus' Words shall never be popular in this world, nor will they ever garner the world’s support regarding spiritual truth (John 15:19). However, there are many bible believers who are fighting for moral causes and gathering significant numbers of people behind them – other people who don’t like the immoral people and the effects that immorality has on their lifestyles or pocket books. The Christian Coalition, Focus on the Family, Alliance Defense Fund, Concerned Women of America, Coral Ridge Ministries et al are fighting the moral war, but in so doing, they have utterly abandoned fighting the battle the Light wants us to fight, which battle is spiritual and whose purpose is point people to Jesus and encourage a life lived by truth, rightness and love. We are not called to fight against immoral people or for our "rights" for a more comfortable environment while here in the world (John 12:25).

What About Voting?

Clearly, as we have seen, a disciple of Jesus would not want to run for a political office since that would be serving some other master other than Jesus.   Therefore, anyone who claims to be a disciple and yet who runs for a political office, is at best badly confused, or at worst, a deceived counterfeit.  So what about the disciple who lives in a democracy and has the privilege of voting for some political candidate?  Should disciples vote for political candidates?

Jesus plainly states the disciples relationship to the world's governments in two places: John 18:36, which says "Jesus answered, "My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, My servants would fight, so that I should not be delivered to the Jews; but now My kingdom is not from here."; and "And He said to them, "Render therefore to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's." (Matthew 22:21)  Therefore, we are to obey "Caesar" unless his laws cause us to disobey our Master (Matt. 6:24). A "law", by definition, is a prescribed "do" or "do not". For example, we are to pay taxes (do), and we are not to steal (do not).

Voting, in contrast, is a privilege and not a law or a positive prescription. Thus, the true disciple should look elsewhere in Jesus' teachings for guidance on the issue of voting. Jesus plainly teaches that the disciple should not participate in the world's unrighteousness - John 15:19, 18:36.  This means we should do what is right, and support others who do what is right; and we should not do what is wrong, nor support others who do what is wrong.  Sometimes we don't have a choice, like when a government levies taxes on us and uses those taxes for wrong purposes.  We can only conrol our own choices and behavior...all we can to for others is encourage right behavior and speak out against wrong behavior.

If we live in a nation that allows the people to elect its political leadership, then a disciple is free to participate in that election if they so choose.  However, participation in the election should only amount to knowing what the candidates stand for and making a choice at the voting center.  It would not mean getting involved with promoting one candidate or another, since we are bound by love to our King and he is the only One we promote for Leadership.  Generally speaking in the United States at this time, we are choosing the lesser of two evils in order to minimize harm.

Perhaps at some point in the past in U.S. history, the following scenario could have been a possibility.  A choice between two political people - one of which clearly supports that which is morally wrong, and the other who does not support anything morally wrong.  In that case the choice is easy.  Unfortunately, this situation is happening less and less at the Federal and State levels of government.

What is more common is this. 

A choice is between two political people - both of which support things that are morally wrong.  This makes the choice more difficult because it becomes an exercise in trying to determine who will cause less harm.  For example, say one candidate proposes, 'we will pass a law that forces abortion on all women who live in large cities who are over 30 years old and already have 2 children'; and their opponent said, 'we will pass a law that forces abortion on all women in the nation over 30 and who already have 2 children'; then, in this diciples opinion, voting for the former would be allowable.

Voting for issues instead of candidates is much easier and all disciples should consider participating in this if they live in a nation that has such practices.

In general, disciples are not 'attuned' to the political happens in the nation we find ourselves in since we serve the King and are busy with his work.  We should be totally absorbed in making disciples, making Families, changing the lives around us.  Whatever involvement we make in the nation's political system should be minor and not take much time or energy.

The Heart of Ecumenism

Sadly, the false beliefs that ensnare those folks wanting to get involved with christian political activities, are the same beliefs that are at the heart of the ecumenical movement.  The ecumenical movement is a belief that all religions are essentially the same and should thus join together to accomplish shared goals.  Ironically, it is true that all religions are essentiall the same.  The problem is associating the Person of Jesus of Nazareth and his teachings, with religion in his name.

If your pre-eminent concern is with making the world (or society or culture or other subset of the world) a better, more moral place for your children to live, then you will embrace the ecumenical movement. Why? Because the unifying theme and foundational belief of the ecumenical movement is to be making sure God’s law is obeyed in this world. In other words, they say that our purpose in "serving God" is to help people obey His law – the ten commandments and so forth – through whatever legal means available. If this is your primary and motivating belief for how you are to live out your religious convictions, then anything that gets in the way of that prime directive will have to be destroyed or made subservient. And what is the one thing that hinders the ecumenical movement? It is nothing less than Truth...that of course is Jesus himself! Thus, the ecumenical movement says, "fighting moral evil is more important than our differences about the beliefs which separate us" (as theists or whatever).  That sound's good, but it will never lead the The Solution, which is submitting to the right Leader, Jesus of Nazareth, and doing what he says, which is to love one another.

"We Have Our Rights, and We Want them Now"

A related belief that ties into the whole moralistic, god fearing, ecumenical agenda is the concept of "rights". There are many in the bible based organizations calling us to fight for our rights. They are exhorting us to speak out against some political evil lest we lose our rights. What rights? The right to pray in school, or the right to protest abortion, or the right to exercise my religious practices or the right not to be taxed unjustly. Where in the scripture do those, who go along with the whole "rights" philosophy, justify their belief? They will need to turn to the old testament and stay away from Jesus. Let me suggest a few places in the new testament they avoid.

Jesus' teaches that the disciple is not "free" in the sense that he can do whatever he wills. Rather, he is "free" by obeying his Master, Jesus (John 8:31-32, 36). The only way a person can become a disciple is by allowing himself to be redeemed by the Redeemer, Jesus, and then obeying him. The ransome paid was nothing less than Jesus giving his Life for us - the greatest price ever paid for a captive. Thus you, your body and spirit "are God's". You are to be a willing servant of the Master Jesus. And the truth is a servant has no rights! However, as servants of Jesus, the disciple has the greatest privilege of all - to serve the true and the living God and His Son!  Again, the clarity comes by separating the two kingdoms - the kingdoms of the world and the Kingdom of God.

A disciple/servant has no rights, only obligations owed to, and blessings and privileges graciously granted by, their Master. Jesus showed us the Way by coming as a servant and showing us the Way Home - what a great debt is owed by the disciple, a debt he can never repay. Jesus teaches this very point in Luke 17:7-10. Jesus says, "And which of you, having a servant plowing or tending sheep, will say to him when he has come in from the field, 'Come at once and sit down to eat'? But will he not rather say to him, 'Prepare something for my supper, and gird yourself and serve me till I have eaten and drunk, and afterward you will eat and drink'? Does he thank that servant because he did the things that were commanded him? I think not. So likewise you, when you have done all those things which you are commanded, say, 'We are unprofitable servants. We have done what was our duty to do'".  So what "right" does the disciple have? Jesus says humble ourselves and confess that, "We are unprofitable servants". The unprofitable servant has no rights, only blessings and privileges graciously granted by the Master. Which king and kingdom are you looking to for your "rights" disciple?  Are you looking to 'Caesar' and the world or Jesus and his Kingdom?

I'm afraid the real issue is that people don't want to suffer persecution for Jesus', or even righteousness, sake. The whole "rights" belief has as it basis, a selfish desire to have one's way, and to avoid discomfort in a world hostile to Jesus. A child might cry, "If I pray in school, they'll make fun of me or worse, tell me to stop". The God fearing parent then replies, "Oh, we must stop the world from persecuting you my child, I'll call the christian Coalition. I'm sure Pat Robertson or his attorneys will be able to force the school to let you pray or read your bible".  All these well intentioned people are operating on the principle of loving their life in this world, the very opposite of what Jesus says his followers are to do.  And of course, Jesus teaches his followers to pray in a manner that is not public so no one knows they are praying! (Matt. 6:6)  If the bible believing parents were teaching their children Jesus' Way (which sadly they are not), no problem would arise about their children talking to Jesus in a private place.

I hope the reader can see the distinction. The first God fearing parent wants something they consider essential - their child to have a high school or college diploma, and they'll use whatever worldly legal means to get their will done [link to Education-olotry]. The disciple parent, however, knows that a high school or college diploma is not a greater priority than loving and obeying Jesus [link to Education-olotry].  An immature disciple would hopefully see this circumstance as the God 'speaking' to him about not having his child in public school.

Tragically, in fighting for their rights the God fearing moralists, in the name of "God", are no different from the homosexuals fighting for their rights. The only difference is that the moralists are sometimes fighting for rights that happen to mirror biblical principles, whereas the homosexuals are oftentimes fighting for rights that are against biblical principles. Both groups are as a little child, jumping up and down in a temper tantrum, screaming, "I want…I want…I want", and both are looking to the world to solve their problems. How sad indeed. What the Light wants is for his people to trust in the Giver of Life so that He can change our hearts by His Spirit and transform us into people who love.  And dear reader, love has nothing to do with "rights".

The entire "rights" philosophy is based on the United States Constitution and its Bill of Rights, both of which have principles that contradict some of Jesus' teachings. As has been shown, the disciple is never to fight for political "rights" since his Master owns him and is in control of his situation. Why look to the world to protect you, disciple? Are you going to look to wicked man and his perverse laws to protect you? Shame on you! Rather, trust in the Light and do right!

In contemporary times, a disciple who happens to be a citizen of the United States, could certainly use the privilege of his citizenship (which the world calls a "right") to protect his life against the wicked or to preach the gospel or make disciples, but is not required by the Light to do so. A disciple is called to be shrewd, and using the privileges granted him by the Light to advance the gospel or to righteously avoid injustice that he might deem as hindering his effort to preach the gospel, make disciples or love others.

However, to use privileges to fight for "my rights" and the things of the world is never allowed for by Jesus. There is no teaching of Jesus nor example in the new testament, to support a selfish fighting for "my rights".  To the contrary, Jesus teaches just the opposite.

What About Fighting To Stop Abortion?

The killing of young children is certainly a great sin, and it is certainly grevious to God. Of this there is no question. To think that mothers would kill their own babies so as not to have to live with the responsibilities brought about by their own behavior, is a tragic circumstance indeed. Jesus did say, "And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold. But he who endures to the end shall be saved" (Matt. 24:12-13).

However, some important distinctions must be made before we consider this issue. First, abortion is a sin like any other sin, not above every other sin. It is a sin perpetrated by a mother against her own child. Certainly the second greatest privilege the Creator grants to anyone is existence! The greatest privilege is redemption and an eternity with Him, but that cannot take place unless He first creates a person. Please note, life is not a right, it is a privilege, just like anything else God grants to a person. I do not have a 'right to life', just like I don't have a right to exist or a right to heaven. If I want to start to talk about "my rights", then we are in the realm of justice, and the greatest truth I must face is that my sin demands punishment, and my former unbelief and its associated loveless-ness deserves destruction in hell...that is the realm of justice.

Perhaps the greatest truth that is scorned by those folks caught up in fighting against abortion, is the fact that each infant that is killed in their mother's womb immediately goes to heaven to be with the Father. This does not excuse the evil of the act of murdering infants, but it is a truth none-the-less. The problem, as with most issues, is the materialistic and temporal view of life instead of the spiritual and eternal. The anti-abortion protesters often make an analogy between the Nazi holocaust and the abortion holocaust, but there is a major distinction. Of the six million plus killed in the Nazi holocaust, those without faith went to hell because they were adults who rejected the light given to them. All of the scores of millions of babies killed by abortion will spend an eternity in heaven with their Father.  This is an awesome truth that needs to be pondered, especially by the zealous anti-abortion protester. Having said all this, where is the disciple to stand in regards to "fighting against abortion"?

Three Key Principles for the Abortion Issue

First, a disciple is not to seek legislative means to force mothers to stop killing their babies. To do this is for a disciple of Jesus to use the world's means to attempt to enforce the kingdom of God, both of which are wrong - we are not to use the world means, and we are not to try and force the kingdom of God on anyone.

Second, if a disciple wants to share the gospel where pregnant mothers seek abortions, this would not in-and-of itself be wrong. One important qualification to the sharing or preaching of the gospel, is that it is assumed the preaching will be done with compassion for the deluded and deceived mothers who are blinded by their selfishness in seeking to kill their babies. I have heard harshly condemning language under the guise of "preaching the gospel" in front of abortion clinics. A person standing in front of an abortion clinic harshly yelling, "mommy, mommy, why did you kill me" is not preaching the gospel, and it is not coming from the Light. Yes, call sin sin, but make sure and give the solution - God's wonderful mercy and love which is available to those mothers who turn to Him.

Third, "fighting against abortion" should not be the focus of any ekklesia community. An individual can sense God's leading to preach the gospel in front of abortion clinics, and the ekklesia should support those individuals. However, "fighting abortion" is not to be a "ministry" of any given believing community, nor should it be any individual's "ministry". Instead, preaching the gospel and making disciples of all nations is to be the entire and singular focus of all true disciples. The ekklesia should encourage one another to preach the gospel, whether in front of abortion clinics or in known drug dealing areas, or in areas of prostitution, or in front of psychology clinics or in front of malls or at train stations, etc.

Beware of Self-Righteousness

Unfortunately, it seems many times that those believe God wants them to reach pregnant women considering abortion (by trying to lead them to repentance and a relationship with Jesus), develop an attitude of "aren't' you also going to be an abortion activist?" It is a self-righteous attitude that implies that they are doing something really important whereas those who help in different ways are ignoring the "really important issue". They will typically evoke some emotionally charged language, and might say something like, "Aren't you concerned about innocent babies being led to the slaughter". Of course the implication is that if you don't protest abortion clinics, then you don't care about babies being slaughtered. If someone has this attitude, then they are guilty of several errors:

Here are a few questions that you could ask a person who implies that you don't care about babies being slaughtered. First you could ask, "where do those babies go who are murdered"? The answer is obviously to heaven. Again, this usually will get the person with the self-righteous attitude angry, because it cuts to the heart of the issue - that he or she has their eyes not on the spiritual or eternal things, but rather on the moral or temporal. Finally, you could ask, "Are pregnant mother's seeking an abortion the only people who might be heading for hell", or "does God only want us reaching out to pregnant mothers, or is He concerned with other people as well?"  After all, there is only so much time in a day.

The zealous abortion protester oftentimes put themselves in the position of suggesting that disciples should be doing nothing else except "trying to rescue those babies".   Well, I guess Jesus was deceived about the importance of abortion protest, because He told His ekklesia to preach the gospel and make disciples of all nations (Matt. 28:19-20).  Where is a single political or moral 'protest' in the new testament?  There were nations around Israel at the time of Jesus' first visit that practiced infanticide in some form or another.  Why didn't Jesus go there and stop that evil?  He certainly could have, or at least he could have told his disciples to do that.  If the pregnant woman doesn't repent, then you're not making disciples, only preaching at lost people who don't want to hear.  You can't force the mother to allow her baby to develop and be born.  Trust the unborn into the Father's hands, and concentrate on doing what the Light askes of us.

Hopefully these questions, if asked in concerned compassion, will help the person to see that they are zealous, but without knowledge and perhaps in self-righteousness. If you want to preach the gospel outside an abortion clinic, then go for it! But if another person chooses to preach the gospel at the homeless shelter or outside the local psychologist's clinic [link to Can 'christian' Psychology Help Me] and not at the abortion clinic, then praise their efforts as well!

A Word About the New Testament and the Old Testament

Much of what identifies itself and the "christian right", or the moral majority, et al, if they use the scripture to justify their activities, use the Old Testament almost exclusively. Why do they so infrequently use Jesus' Words to try to justify their political activities and their mission to make the U.S.A. a more moral country? They don't because Jesus contradicts their agenda.

Many have done a good job at exposing the poor interpretations of the bible moralists as they try to justify their moral and political activity, and I will not go into an in depth analysis here. The main error of the God Fearers is their seeing the Old Testament principles as applying to any nation, and not just Israel. In particular, they see the United States as kind of the new Israel. However, the United States, nor any other nation, is Israel! This should be obvious, but it is not to the many moralists seeking some transcendent justification for their attempts to force the moral law on people. Almost every time I see a political activist claiming to be a disciple use the scripture to try and justify their actions, it is always the Old Testament improperly interpreted, or an Old Testament principle inappropriately applied.

The ekklesia is not Israel (John 10:16). The United States is not Israel (Matt. 15:24; Gen. 15:18; Deut. 1:8). The United States is not filled with disciples of Jesus (Read Jesus' Words...and this web site!). It seems these basic truths elude many moralists who use the scripture (not Jesus' teachings) to justify their agenda. The ekklesia is not to use coercive means to accomplish it's goal, which is to bring people to our Father, and to love those people. Of course, the problem with the moralist agenda is that it does not serve the purpose of the true ekklesia.

Conclusion

I will close with the contrast between the God fearing moralist and the true disciple of Jesus that I placed at the beginning of this article. At this point, it should be clearer to the reader the reasons why the contrast exists.

God Fearing bible believer

Follower of Jesus

   
Tries to pass legislation to force moral law on people The disciple spreads Jesus' teachings, which frees people from the bondage of sin, and helps the new disciples to go and do the same (Matt. 28:18-20)
The moralist boycotts "evil" people or organizations The disciple shares the Words of Jesus with the lost and is with those who will love him back(Acts 1:8; John 13:34-35)
The moralist fights for his right to pray at school The disciple does not place their children in schools to be taught by the world (John 15:19).
The moralist is angry at sinners and their sin The disciple is grieved at sin, especially his own (Matt. 7:1-5; Luke 18:14)
The moralist normally preaches judgment with fear as the prime motivator The disciple normally preaches leaving death to enter into Life with God's love as the primary motivator (John 3:16-18)

God Fearers do a few of the things true disciples do, and confused disciples do a few of the things God Fearers do, as listed above.  But the fruit that will be present from true faith is an all consuming love for Jesus and a desire to follow him.  And he teaches that to follow him means to love all those around you, speak his Words to all those around you, and so love other disciples that the world will look at them and say, 'wow, look at those people, what love they have for one another...'

Which are you, dear friend? [link to What Is The Purpose of Your Life?]


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