Does God Have A Political Party?

Pete Buttigieg, or Mayor Pete as he’s better known, has made the claim that God doesn’t belong to a political party, and I actually agree with him, but not for the reasons he posits.

“The core of faith is regard for one another and part of how God’s love is experienced, according to my faith’s tradition is in the way that we support one another and in particular support the least among us.”

“One of the things about Scripture is different people see different things in it, but at the very least, we should be able to establish that God does not have a political party.”

The Core Message of the Gospel

The first problem is that he makes it clear that he doesn’t understand the core message of the Gospel. The core message of the Gospel is not our regard for one another. The core message of the Gospel is Jesus Christ. The word Gospel literally means Good News. In order to explain the good news, we need to start with the bad news.

The penalty for sin is death.

For the wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23, ESV)

The bad news is that everyone is a sinner. Everyone!

for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23, ESV)

In other words, all deserve death. The Old Testament provides us with a glimpse of how ugly sin is. Have you ever contemplated the sacrificial temple where innocent sheep, goats, oxen, and pigeons were slaughtered to cover sin. During Passover the slaughter of lambs was most likely a production line where thousands were slaughtered in a single day. And still, it was not enough to satisfy our penalties.

“Within minutes, the clean and spotless courtyard around the altar was stained red with blood. Gutters flowed with red. The base of the altar seemed to bleed, even gush forth as basin after basin of blood was splashed against it in quick succession.”

But there’s Good News! Jesus, once and for all, was slaughtered to cover all sins from the beginning to the end. He paid the price of our sins while we were still in sin. Before we even knew what He was doing, it was finished. And He did it freely. It was a gift, and all we have to do is say yes. That is the core message of the Gospel. We have been saved from death, and we didn’t, and don’t, have to do anything to earn it. We simply have to believe, and accept it.

An Incomplete Understanding of Scripture

The second problem with Mayor Pete’s understanding of Scripture is that it’s incomplete. While Jesus does advocate a message of love your neighbor–which by the way, includes your enemy–He also advocates repenting of your sin; turning away from it. Of course, in order to repent of your sin, you have to know what sin is, and actually accept the fact it’s real. The Leftist-Christian seems to think that repenting is not necessary as long as you love your neighbor, and fight hate. Although, fighting hate is not something I see anywhere in Scripture.

We are, however, called to call sin sin. Yes, we are called to make judgments:

Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them. (Ephesians 5:11, ESV, emphasis added)

We need to take care of how we make those corrections, as we too are sinners, and will need to be corrected from time to time. But that is not what this post is about.

Secular Politics and It’s Spiritual Members

So while Mayor Pete and I may agree that God doesn’t belong to a political party, I firmly believe that Satan belongs to a political party. Satan is a Democrat. Seriously. Can you imagine the glee he must feel every time someone says that the message of the Gospel is love, instead of Jesus?

In the message of love we hear: love everyone and don’t pay any attention to their sin.

  • What we don’t hear is Jesus’ command to repent from sin.
  • What we don’t hear is talk of Jesus’ mission to seek and save the lost (sinners).
  • What we don’t hear is Jesus’ commandment to us to seek and save the lost (sinners).

Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you.” (John 20:21, ESV)

But the message of love feels so much better! How can you say that it’s a message that Satan would buy into? I’m not saying he bought into it. I’m saying he probably authored it. He is after all, the Father of Lies, and what a great message! It’s so positive! Everyone can get behind a message of love! What kind of horrible person wouldn’t get behind a message of love?

The answer is no one until you realize that message of love is obscuring the real message of the Gospel: the Good News of Jesus Christ.

Cover Photo Credit: Priscilla Du Preez at Unsplash

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Your Sin Is Not My Sin (Romans, Chapter 14)

I’ve been taking college Bible classes for a few months now, and recently had an interesting discussion that started out on the topic of whether church leaders should drink alcohol or not. Most felt that it would look bad for a leader to partake despite that fact that alcohol is used freely in the Bible, and a strong argument can be made for its encouragement.

Their scriptural support came from one particular verse: Romans 14:20. If we look at Romans, Chapter 14, as a whole we find a much bigger message. A message that deals with more than just drinking or eating meat sacrificed to idols. Don’t get me wrong, freedom in Christ does not give one the green light on everything, but there are many things not spoken of in the Bible that we must make decide for ourselves. This is an excerpt of my final post regarding the topic.

I’ll be honest, I don’t know what a modern day Templar Knight is, but it doesn’t matter. I can make a strong case, Biblically, for drinking wine, but cannot say the same for a fraternity. This makes it a perfect example of an opinion as described in Rom 14:1.

First, Romans 14:20, “it is wrong for anyone to make another stumble by what he eats” is being used out of context. Once this verse is placed back into the entire chapter and read as a whole, we find that food, wine, and days of worship are being used as examples.

One person esteems one day as better than another, while another esteems all days alike. Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind. The one who observes the day, observes it in honor of the Lord. The one who eats, eats in honor of the Lord, since he gives thanks to God, while the one who abstains, abstains in honor of the Lord and gives thanks to God. (Rom 14:12-13)

John, you felt that your pursuit of God, and the fraternity did not conflict with each other, and you felt secure in your faith with that decision. If you had not given it up, would it have caused others to stumble, or question, in their faith, or would they merely have been upset with you? Rom 14:4 asks, “Who are you to pass judgment on the servant of another?” The friction you received was from those who not only passed judgment on you, but put a stumbling block in the way of your faith. Their prejudice caused you to question what you approve. Romans 14:16 says, “So do not let what you regard as good be spoken of as evil.”

My Grandmother-In-Law (if there is such a title), gave up chocolate during WWII. I guess it was a sacrifice made to help bring the war to an end. She is strong in her faith, and continues to abstain. She doesn’t care if people eat chocolate in front of her as she is not tempted by it. If, however, she were tempted then it would be wrong of me or anyone else to eat chocolate in front of her, as it may cause her to stumble. That does not mean I should always abstain from chocolate, only around her.

The difference between these two situations is faith. She gave up chocolate, because it was a personal choice that was made in faith, and she intends to keep that faith. You gave up the fraternity, through prayer and faith, but only after you were made to stumble by those who judged you. I can extend this to the use of alcohol by saying that I would abstain from drinking around others who may be tempted to join in, even though it is wrong for them, and not for me.

I want to ask you a question, but I want it clear that I am not asking you to change your sacrifice, as that is a choice you have made and are comfortable with. What if someone joined your church who is not in a position of leadership, but is a member of the same fraternity you belonged to? What if they started receiving friction from those who are prejudice against the fraternity. You stated that you did not feel it was in contradiction with God, so when the new member and the other members come to you, what do you say? Do you relate to the new member your personal sacrifice? As a leader, trying to live by example, you may give the impression that this is the path the new member should take.

If the new member follows your lead, we must ask why? Did he/she make this choice out of prayer and faith through God. If this is the case, then he/she will be happy with their decision. If not?

And what of those who are prejudice? They are once more “victorious” in their pursuit, giving them more ammunition for further judgments against others, more fodder for them to boast, and further validation of their “righteousness.”

What if the new member decides that they are not going to leave the fraternity? He or she may become disillusioned with your church if the pursuit of those who are prejudice persists. In this case he or she may leave for another church, or leave the church entirely, speaking ill of your church or Christianity as a whole. Those who are prejudice will probably be angry at his or her decision to stay, causing a rift in your church until the “offender” leaves.

As you can see, it is not as simple as just having a beer. If I were always in the presence of someone who may be tempted by my actions, I would give it up, but the reality is that there is a bigger problem in the church that needs to be addressed. That is the holier than thou attitude, that some pass on to others. The judgment made that you are not as strong in your faith, or a “baby Christian” because you partake in something that others find “sinful.” This is a disease that has worked its way into Christ’s Church and has created thousands of splinter churches, each with its own beliefs, and its own holier than other churches mentality. It’s a problem not only between denominations, but between churches of the same denomination, or non-denomination, down the road from each other.

It needs to end, and church leaders need to “take a stand.” We need to explain to people, that your sin is not necessarily my sin, or your brothers or sisters sin. It may be wrong for a church leader to ever drink, if he or she is working with a group of alcoholics, but it is a situation that that leader would have to determine for his or her self. We as leaders can not sit back and say, “that person is not setting a good example.” Really? “Who are you to pass judgment on the servant of another?”

As leaders we need to dismantle the judgment of others. If a new member came to your church, and the friction between that member and those who are prejudice came before you, how would you handle it?

Based on the teaching of Romans 14, I would tell the new member that they must pray for guidance , clarity, and confidence in the decision they make. It is not a decision for me to make. I would also point out the error in the ways of those who are prejudice in their judgment of others, and ask them to refrain. I may lose some members of the church this way, but I would rather lose members by pointing out the truth in God’s Word. Romans 14:19 says, “So then let us pursue what makes for peace and for mutual upbuilding.” This can only be done if we pursue peace through faith. If those causing trouble leave, I would seriously wonder where their faith really stands. The truth in God’s Word does not appeal to all.

Let us not drive the wedge further into Christ’s church.

Cover Photo Credit: Hasan Almasi at Unsplash