How Should Christians Navigate Politics?
welcome to real Christianity a weekly show designed to help Christians know their Bible defend their faith and truly understand what it means to follow Jesus the premise is simple the culture is getting louder the church is getting flash ear but few pastors are teaching on how to live a Biblical life my name is Dale Partridge along with my incredible wife Veronica join us as we start an important conversation about what it really means to be a Christian
 welcome to real Christianity today we are talking about how should Christians navigate politics and if you guys have noticed Veronica is not with us today we are still in the middle of this coronavirus pandemic which is prohibited babysitting and we're trying to do at least every other show going for it so she was on the show last week with a great conversation if you had missed an episode about how to properly deal with online haters persecutors and enemies next week we will have her back on the show if you're new to the podcast welcome if your regular listener to the show we ask that you would leave a review you just do that if I go to the podcast app you just tap the Stars you don't even need to write anything but if you do write something we will read it a few things if you're washing today's episode on YouTube all these episodes are available on YouTube I do have my notes Here on my computer up here with me today as I review some of my
 notes from our conversation this evening a few things before we dive into this important topic is we just released an anti-pornography quarts or how to draw graffiti course how to be set free from the bondage of pornography this is a a plague on the church today we have launched it maybe not even two weeks ago now and we've had over a hundred people go to the program and actually about 30% of them are women and so for men and women alike if you are struggling with the bondage and sin of viewing pornography we have put together a simple Gospel Center program that's available for you at stand in victory.org again you can go over there at stand in victory.org it's an affordable program it's three simple videos with three simple PDF and the testimonials are
 crazy people are talking about it and it's just it's made me actually tear up and cry and it's not me it's the gospel that being preached there's power in the word of God is sharper than any two-edged sword it's a living and Powerful we know these truths and they work and setting us free from the bondage of pornography also if you are looking to explore the idea of House Church the coronavirus pandemic has definitely put us in a situation as a culture and a church to explore the idea of meeting and smaller groups are releasing article at St Justin's. Org forward slash coronavirus and I talked about this idea of smaller will be viewed as safer and I think that were already seen that Trend many people are asking us how do we plant a house Church what is a house Church look like if you want to download a free PDF on the basics of biblical
 how is church you can do so at relearn Church. Org forward slash house you can also buy my new book House Church was talking about the doctrines in the convictions in the Liturgy of a house church meeting how does an actual Church meet at home what does it look like to have the traditional church doctrine played out in a small environment with a few families in a house and not sure book it's only 12 99 on our site is available for you guys as well the last thing I'm going to make a request for is prayer for us we've been for probably the last several years walking through my son who has some sort of breathing issue he has either asthma or he has some sort of what's called a sub glottis stenosis potentially which is a narrowing of the trachea and makes it difficult to breathe when he gets sick and so yes in the middle of this pandemic it's definitely been he is a respiratory compromise individual
 we had to take him to the hospital for those of you that follow along on Instagram you saw in December and in January where we almost lost him on one occasion because of his closing trachea we are doing a procedure in the upcoming week to view what's going on down there and we would just ask for prayer I don't know why I haven't done that already but I'm asking now if you were listening to this would you guys lift up our son his name is Honor that we would have answers and that we would have healing and that we would have a path forward it's very difficult for us as a family to be in pastoral Ministry and really limit this quarantine life guys has been kind of how we've been living since January we're being very careful about who can be around because if any one of our children to get sick it puts on her at risk for being in the hospital and so we just ask for your prayers and those
 on that issue as we are approaching some opportunities that might give us some answers or some pause forward okay so I'm going to talk to you guys about a question that came in and I think it's an important question about Christians in politics he says deal it's very easy to get swept up in the politics today it seems like it's all around us as Christians how should we be thinking about politics are we called to get involved or to put our efforts elsewhere all right so lots of people have given thoughtful answers to this question Timothy Keller wrote a really great op-ed in New York Times piece in 2018 it was titled how do Christians fit into the two party system they don't I thought it was a catchy title there John Piper release interview titled why does Piper avoid politics and what's trending he was talking about why is he not
 in there having a major political conversations from the pulpit kind of an interesting Trend Among Us tablets leader say Piper in MacArthur and Timothy Keller and Ravi Zacharias that day they don't talk much about politics at least on a grand scale not that they are not approaching political issues but politics is definitely not the center of their Ministries and so you know people are asking what's my opinion on the matter now I am not going to give an opinion likely as wise as Piper or Keller I don't think that I have the wisdom that those men do but I will offer my perspective on the matter that might be helpful and edifying and fruitful for you guys that are caught up in the storm of politics especially on social media the news end in x like we're living right now
 so I want to get this out of the way politics are a religion it's it's a very real place of worship and idolatry for many people this is this is a very real thing that you've seen people that are obsessive about these things and even many Christians are trying to serve the world system in an obsession with politics you know it might not seem like an obsession from the outside or you might not even recognize it as an obsession over you look at the amount of time spent reading articles scrolling the internet watching the news very easily become an obsession and I can't tell you how many Christians are actually watched waste precious time allowing themselves to get stuck to get sucked into the distraction of politics this is a very real thing not just in the world but also in the church and to the Christian politics become kind of a trap for people place to go it's like a child
 who looks at 8 your Merry-Go-Round it's flashing it's beautiful it's intriguing right but in reality when you get on it just takes you in a circle and and not only did it does it just take you in a circle over and over give it actually shift your focus from you not paying attention to anything that's around you you only paying attention to what's on the Merry-Go-Round and so you're just going around in circle and circle again. Becomes very dangerous posture to take as a Christian when your focus is circular and it is also just on the issues that your focus on now I'm not anti-politics I read the news about 10 minutes a day I try to give you a little bit of my time to understand what's happening in our world on the part of a group of Faith leaders to meet at the White House a few times per year
 I'm I'm even willing to participate in what many people think our political discussions but in reality they're actually theological discussions you know for example the legality of Life the definition of marriage the intrinsic medical rights of parents over having authority over their children you know these things might seem like a political but in reality they are theological issues I also believe the Christians should vote so this is something that I want you to I'm practicing here that to give you guys some contacts about what I'm going to say here in a minute Proverbs 29 to says when the righteous are in a thorny the people over Joyce What a wicked man rules the people grown and for those of us in the United States we have the freedom and it took to vote in our voice matters and I actually, we should use that ability in that freedom to vote for those who stand for the principles and virtues that are upheld in the scripture so that's something that we are called
 to do and I am absolutely for that would people don't realize is that the church actually is a political effort in itself now not in the political definition that we have today but it is a political effort in terms of Jesus says that he's coming to establish a kingdom where he will rule and he will reign and eventually every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that he is Lord and King right so there is a political element established to the church's Mission here on Earth phillipians 320 says for our citizenship is in heaven from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior the Lord Jesus Christ the word citizenship in the Greek it is a word called pelicula and it's it's where we get the word police it's where we get the word politics in other words the scriptures really saying for our politics are
 I haven't but the word polygamous also means Constitution or governing philosophy that this is a this is kind of what you would see in a scriptural uses but our usage but you don't we are to derive our moral constitution based off of the politics of the political system that's in heaven not the political system that's here on Earth and so this is just a shift in focus of where our citizenship is it doesn't deny that we have political responsibilities in an Earthly sense you know Jesus says he give to Caesar what is Caesar's still but it does say that the priority and the Heart of it is that our political system should reside in heaven. If we're not careful it's pretty easy that we might forget that you know it's not Conservative Republican politics that say that abortion is wrong it's the politics of Heaven it's not conservative or republican politics that say that
 marriage is between a man or a woman these are the the decrees or the statements of the Declarations of our King who was in heaven so these are politics from heaven for citizenship should be should be resting and so are all Christians are politicians at some degree if you're catching what I'm saying here to question you have to ask yourself is where do you want to focus your efforts to the Christian what do you want to focus your efforts. Do you want to fight against socialism in the wage gap or do you want to preach the truth that changes hearts that gives wisdom that saves family and marriage isn't killed off a diction to give spiritual power and sets people free and steals hearts and restores relationships and raises a generation of God's people which one do you want to focus on I want to I don't want to necessarily throw the first one out of the window here I think I'm going to make some more sense of that as we as we move on here but I love what John Piper said on the matter he says I am I am
 a hundred times more passionate about creating the kind of Christians and the kind of churches that stand with unshake and faithful biblical countercultural spiritual mindedness in a socialist America then I and in preventing a socialist America my calling isn't to help America be anything my calling is to help the church be the church now this is coming from a pastor this is coming from men was a clear calling but I love that perspective that he's saying they're basically like me Piper believes the spiritual status and health spiritual health of a person is immeasurably more valuable and more important than the fleeting bantering of social political discussions which there are many if you are not paying attention to the news as we ought to forget that time is a very limited resource and that we are called to Stewart every single minute of our time to the glory of God
 every single minute of our time to the glory of God that should make you be very careful with how you use your time every single day Matthew 9:36 238 Jesus talked about this idea and I'm going to break it down here in a second he said when he saw the multitude he was moved with compassion for them because they were weary and Scattered like sheep having no Shepherd then he said of the disciples the Harvest truly is plentiful but the laborers are few there for pray the Lord of the Harvest to send out laborers into his harvest in 1615 actually have this if you're watching this on YouTube there is a poster right back here that I have this quote printed on it sent from George swinarton he's a Puritan for the 1616 15 he wrote this quote he said the time is short the task is large and the work is important basically he's a lining with what
 is the saying here is that the Harvest is plentiful but the laborers are few time is short the task is large the work is important and he can basically your life is fleeting the Great Commission as massive as incredibly important and it's the most important work on Earth could that that's the hard part for me to remember it's just a base Foundation of what we're about to talk about here where do you want to spend your time or do you want to spend your time to time is short the task is large in the work is important or do you want to spend your time
 let me give you an example
 it's a very difficult task to reach a point of genuine intellect and understanding and authority to make any difference in the socio-political landscape you have to spend a lot of time studying the issues in the matters if you wanted to make I would say even a microscopic dent in the political culture it would require you likely to dedicate your entire life to it
 I'm now sure they're good a handful of Godly politicians over the centuries right we have Martin Luther King Jr in recent times we have we have Abraham Lincoln we have John Adams who have done a huge big huge massive impact in the political Arena the dedicated their lives to that but there's also in addition to those men in addition to CrossFit history especially modern history there's been thousands upon thousands of Christian political busy bees that have dedicated their lives to politics and when their works it's on the scales. Scales of Life the stairs are the skills of spiritual worth there they're going to amount to little they're going to amount to little and I think that's a game people getting caught in the distraction the Merry-Go-Round a politics when in reality they haven't been focusing on what really matters I've been caught up in the things that don't matter it's a trap it's a distraction for many we need to be aware of that
 are our goal is to not make sure that people know the political issues at its to know that they know God is Charles Spurgeon to this great quote it's as if men do not find God they have found nothing if men cannot find God they have found nothing that needs to be something that sinks deep into the seat of your heart right there so the question becomes pretty clear is it more valuable to spend my life your life studying politics to add to the world system or is it wiser to spend those decades studying the scriptures that are able to make one wise and a Salvation and useful forgot that means that I might lead people to Christ and can you do both potentially so if you're in politics full-time you feel God called you into politics please hear me I'm not throwing you out there but whatever you say yes to you are never lie saying no to something else and by pursuing a life of political obsession with many people do
 massive irresponsible way you're saying no to a life of scriptural study
 okay all the time that people spend joaning out on Twitter and reading the headlines it's getting into the argumentation reading that listening to the the news in the political commentator every time you say yes to that for some sort of infotainment that your your flesh desires you are saying no to scriptural study again has more power and usefulness in the commission that the Lord has given you as a member of part of a member of the church sorry the church Austin
 forget this truth in this is something that's really important here is that politics follow the culture and it's Christians it's our job to change the culture which will result in a change of politics that is a very important principle right there are our job don't go fight in the politics of Rena go fight in the cultural Arena change Hearts change the culture and then when you change the culture you change the politics it's going upstream and in dealing with the matters Upstream of the heart and letting those things float down the river into the political issues of the day John Piper talk about this in his episode of his interview regarding why he focuses on the spiritual matters versus the lower stream political matters I'm not saying that we are to be checked out an apathetic and regarding politics I'm not saying Christian should could not dedicate their lives to a Godly fight for righteousness in the plug
 environment but I am saying if Christians were as passionate about the gospel as they are about social justice or political Hot Topics or anything else would it make more of an eternal impact yes yes the thing is is that many Christians in the church are more obsessed about the politics than they are about the gospel and that's the heart of the matter and that's what we're talking about today you need to do some Celtic zamination there is it are you more passion to do dedicate more of your time to looking and listening to plot our trip to the social political Firestorm out there then you do study the word of God tearing yourself to give a defense in an answer for the hope that is in you and explaining the gospel proclaiming the gospel preached of the Gods with anybody that's around you
 you got to examine your heart and some of you guys might be too I don't even watch the news what are you talking about do praise the Lord but some of you guys are in this camp that I'm talking to that are very upset especially in times like today where it seems like we need to be paying attention to every single second because things are changing from local state and federal government
 2nd Corinthians I want to talk about adversity or chapter 10 verses 3 through 5 Paul saying something very powerful but how we should be thinking about this he says for though we walk in the flesh we are not Waging War according to the flesh for the weapons of our Warfare are not of the flesh but of divine power to destroy strongholds we destroy his arguments every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God and take every thought captive to obey Christ okay so the Christian fights the Injustice of the world not the way the world fight the Injustice of the world can we find it in a different way we fight it through prayer and preaching and proclamation of the Gospel that's the way that we fight now should we vote for candidates who stand up for issues of righteousness in the political Arena absolutely right should we be aware of our political landscape absolute
 scripture says that you should be praying for these political leaders regularly our church does this as at our little house church we get together a week we pray regularly for the political leaders we know the names of our mayor's and our state representative and for the people that are in power in the federal at the federal level we pray for those people regularly you should be doing that too but our war is not fought by political debate our war is not fight I thought by getting into some sort of argument over a political issue okay or our war is fought by the proclamation the preaching in the prayer of the Saints
 that's our Focus okay Jesus as you know calls us to follow him and this is a man who was surrounded by a gigantic political figures if you're talkin you hit history here Pharisees philosophers and he viewed all of these individuals as participants in the world system he played by all the rules but he never got deeply involved he was not interested about getting involved in fixing the broken system he wasn't interested in planting a seed that would overthrow the system
 that was the mission and that's exactly what happened when the seed of was was was planted with the resurrection of Christ and the eventual overtaking of the Roman Empire that killed him it's amazing
 you know he he he was so good about not getting distracted in the tiny political battles so that he wouldn't lose focus on the war and we can learn something from that let's not get focused in the tiny little battles let's go back for the let's go for the jugular know the jugular is it's the gospel preaching to the heart that the Lord might change and transform somebody to rebirth and bring them into eyes that can see and ears that can hear so that they would change from the inside out and you know what would happen if they would change their political opinion because the illumination of the scriptures by the holy spirit will change their hearts and give them knowledge and it would have just the way that they live
 okay we see this again in Jesus he bypasses all the Civic opportunities and he focuses his efforts of the spiritual opportunities and because of that create the greatest impact the world has ever seen okay so we got a guy Jesus who who yes is God In the Flesh was also a man who who overtakes makes the greatest impact and he's not involved in politics yet some of us want to get deeply involved in politics to make chain wheat we should look at our savior's example about how he created impact and take note we should take
 if you want to stand at the top of your life and go by your grace I have served you and by your grace I have seen many people come to you
 you want to you want to hear those words well done good and faithful servant then I say
 don't get distracted by politics
 don't get distracted by by politics focus on the war focus on the Great Commission change the culture with the gospel watch less news read more of the Bible sit and pray and ask the Lord to use you to further the boundaries and borders of his kingdom
 that's that's why I hope that's my call for you guys if you are struggling with an obsession with the politics come back to the heart of the commission again and there's nothing wrong with calling if you called there but your priority even in that calling should be the gospel and so in the midst of this coronavirus pandemic and all the things that are happening around us let's remember the Lord is in control and that our mission doesn't change just because the political environment has changed we are here to preach the gospel and to make disciples of all Nations and baptize in the name of the Father the Son and the Holy Spirit teaching them to obey all that he commanded
 hey man hey man I'll put that was helpful for you guys so I wanted to remind you guys that got about the things that I mentioned in the beginning of the show I just a few things one of them specifically is important if you are struggling in the bodies to pronography again I just want you to go to standing victory.org if for some reason you can't afford it there's a little note there you can email us and we would love to bless you if you can't afford to go to the program is an affordable price but and it does support our ministry it all goes to our nonprofit but I can't afford it we don't want money to prevent you from being able to look at the truth of scripture regarding sexual immorality their freedom from that bunch of sent also I have to get a chance to go to relearn church.org house that's where you can also get more information about planting is starting to become a part of a Biblical House Church
 I'm not no guys thank you guys for joining hopefully this episode on navigating politics is helpful for you guys we will see you guys hopefully with Veronica next week take care
 thank you for joining us on this episode of real Christianity real Christianity is an audio Ministry of relearn church.org if you'd like more information on how to live out a Biblical life relearn church.org hosts a variety of Articles podcast sermons and videos to support your journey real Christianity is 100% listener-supported Ministry and if you'd like to support our efforts simply click the donate a pat relearn church.org you can also connect with both Veronica and I on Instagram Facebook and Twitter for daily lessons and Bible teachings thank you for being with us today we hope to see you next Wednesday for another episode of real Christianity