March 17, 2013

WWAJD About Politics in Churches?

Group Seeking Dominion
Over All the Earth
The Florida Faith & Works Coalition is a collection of Florida pastors and volunteers who have pledged to follow the Lord's command to "subdue and have dominion over all the earth and assume responsibility over the entire animate and inanimate world, including the moral values that form the basis of society." Like the What Would American Jesus Do blog, the group asserts that America was "established as a Christian nation" and its policies are based on biblical principles. 

Liberty Counsel Membership Card
This week it was announced that Florida Faith & Works is merging with Liberty Counsel, an organization that believes the "wall of separation between church and State" is a metaphor based on bad history, a metaphor which has proved useless as a guide to judging and should be abandoned. Liberty Counsel also encourages pastors to endorse political candidates.

Others see the Florida Faith & Works Coalition as a thinly veiled effort to mobilize Christian churches into partisan politics in advance of the 2014 election cycle.

So What Would American Jesus Do About Politics in Churches?

Jesus repeatedly encouraged his followers to politic for good government from the Roman empire. [NT citations needed.] The New Testament is filled with examples of historical Jesus urging his followers to correct the abuses of the governing civil authorities. [NT citations needed.] Oh, sure, some "liberals" will tell us that Jesus was more interested in his Church serving others (Ephesians 4:10-14), healing the sick (Matt. 9:35), alleviating the suffering of the poor (Mark 10:21), visiting prisoners (Matt. 25:35-36), welcoming immigrants (Hebrews 13: 1-3), or bringing the Good News of love to replace the Old Testament (Luke 4:43). But Jesus was not so interested in those things as he was with eliminating government programs that he thought conflicted with his religious views. 
"God Says Elect Me"

So American Jesus would surely use his preaching pulpit to jump into partisan politics. Any Florida pastor or other religious leader who believes a candidate will not follow fundamental religious values should exhort his congregation to vote only their religious beliefs at the ballot box, regardless of the candidate's views, skill, or experience in matters of civil government.

Unless the pastor or religious leader is Muslim or Hindu or something. In that case, they should stay away from politics in the pulpit. 

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