Yes, Let’s Talk About Religion and Politics!

Pastor James Pittman Jr.

The 101st Illinois General Assembly has adjourned and the results are in. The state of Illinois is a moral disaster and about to get worse. Our lawmakers seem to be doing everything in their power to encourage and facilitate evil and debauchery.  This legislation has the full support of Governor JB Pritzker, and further institutionalizes lying, vice, addictions, greed, corruption and bloodshed.

However, if we conservative Christians are honest with ourselves, we cannot simply place all the blame on our lawmakers.  Our own disobedience has contributed to this situation mightily. Consider the following words from the fifth chapter of Ephesians.

“Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God…For you may be sure of this, that everyone who is sexually immoral or impure, or who is covetous (that is, an idolater), has no inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God. Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience.  Therefore do not associate with them…Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them.”   ~The Apostle Paul

This is ultimately a commandment regarding what to do with rebellious and disobedient people in the church. One, the apostle is imploring them to walk in love. How are they to walk in love?  They are not to have fellowship with anyone who is sexually immoral. Two, the people of God are to expose the evil practices of those walking in darkness by calling sin, sin. Anyone who reads these verses in context will, I believe, come to these conclusions. There are other similar verses elsewhere in the Bible that give these same instructions for dealing with “sons of disobedience” in the church. The bottom line?  Do not associate with the immoral person and do not allow the immoral person to associate with the people of God.

With that said, how is the church to apply these verses to immoral politicians in our congregations? The bible is clear on the topic of immorality. Abortion is the deliberate taking of innocent life–murder. Homosexual behavior is a sin before God. That will never change. So what should be the stance of the church towards those who promote these abominations in the political realm and then go to church on Sunday? If we obey Ephesians 5 and the other similar verses, should we allow those promoting immorality to be in our midst? I think the answer is clearly NO. That is not my opinion, it is the apostles command, “Therefore do not associate with them!”

Churches used to practice church discipline. If someone attending a local congregation was committing or promoting immorality and refused to repent the leaders of the church would begin the process of disassociation from that person. As I said that was a time long, long ago when more Christians had the courage to stand against evil.

The question now is, why don’t more churches practice church discipline today? This question should be pondered by everyone who values the Word of God. If you have not yet figured it out let me save you some time. Church leaders who live in glass houses are afraid to throw stones. What that means is that pastors and elders who do not want to be held to a standard of righteousness will not hold others to a standard of righteous. They fear that they might be judged by those same standards. If your church does not practice church discipline then one of two things is most likely happening. One, either your church is full of perfect people who never need church discipline or two, the leadership at your church is disobedient. We can safely assume that no church falls into the first category…

This brings me to the politician who promotes that which God calls sin:

Shame on any church who allows a congregant to promote sin in the political arena.

Shame on any pastor who does not have the spirit of the prophet Nathan to confront the sinning political leader, “Thou art the man!” (or woman)

Shame on any church that creates an atmosphere where a politician who promotes abortion or the LGBT agenda feels comfortable enough to keep coming back Sunday after Sunday.

Shame on any church who does not have the courage or the faith to obey God and practice church discipline.

What a different country we would live in today if our church leaders had the faith to obey God and the courage of the prophet Nathan to look our leaders in the eye and pronounce the words of faith, “Thou art the man!”

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