How religious political activists are endangering the message of Jesus
During the time of Jesus, religious persecution by an evil government and religious hypocrites plagued the nation. Yet, Jesus refrained from exercising political influence. Instead, He rebuked religious leaders.
Today priests and pastors in politics are endangering the Gospel of Jesus because it confuses what matters most to Jesus.
1. They are wasting time on what mattered most to Jesus
Throughout history, God has called Christians to make social changes through politics. Today, a lot of religious leaders assume it is their spiritual responsibility to meddle in politics, even though they were not called to be prophets nor are they like Jesus who can judge men and call a king a “fox.”
There is a fine line that divides a true prophet of God to expose evil or rebuke kings and someone tasked to disciple. The reason Jesus made the message of the Gospel simple to understand.
It is not to say that Christians should not run for public office or expose evil whenever. God calls a few people for that task, but not everyone.
Despite efforts and resources spent, Christian political activists barely achieved their objectives.
- In the USA, church membership is declining. Divorce, abortion, and same-sex marriage are legal.
- Once the beacon of Christianity and Christians in politics, Europe has very little presence of a vibrant Christian community today.
- In the Philippines, corrupt leaders continue to be elected to office, despite four decades of the “Yellow Movement” that placed the Catholic Mary at the forefront of the People Power revolution.
2. The Gospel is conflated with righteousness government
Jesus is more concerned about the spiritual welfare of the people than how the government should be run. His message was to bring people to repentance and live an abundant life through the living waters He offers.
Social activism and righteous politics
For decades, the Roman Catholic church, together with some evangelicals, has taken the role of ensuring “righteous politics” by rallying or endorsing a political candidate, conflating the message of Jesus.
- At the height of Black Lives Matter (BLM), some churches felt the need to apologize to the Black community. Later, it was exposed that BLM was an atheist, pagan, and Marxist group.
- Christianity Today pleaded for Black reparation as a way to compensate for Black atrocities. How about churches apologizing for Filipino racism also early settlers in America?
“Guilt” turns Christians into moral activists
Some Christian church leaders in politics think that the battlefield to win souls includes ensuring righteous politics.
Jesus criticized King Herod by calling him a “fox” because He had every right to judge anyone He pleased. Yet Jesus rebuked religious leaders instead of civil authority.
God called a few prophets in the past to rebuke civil and religious authority, but it does not mean He calls everyone to do the same. The reasons some are called to be pastors, teachers, or run for public office—which is not the same as criticizing authority.
3. It digresses the message of Jesus
The Great Commission has nothing to do with righteous politics but with discipleship
Jesus said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life” (John 8:12). Many people are in darkness, and when He said in verse 9:5, “as long as I am in the world,” conjuncts with the Great Commission.
Satan wants us distracted and divided
Jesus had a limited ministry on earth; he warned the same for Christian leaders to wisely use their opportunities. “Night is coming when no one can work” (John 9:4). Satan is diverting the attention of Christians.
He commands us to love one another, and it starts by sharing the Gospel and pursuing discipleship. Christ didn’t bother with political activism; it takes time for what truly matters.
- If God calls you, run for public office rather than conflate the Gospel with politics.
- If we want a better community, start with personal responsibility instead of collectivism.
- If your support for racial oppression is merely on social media, it means nothing.
The only time Christians must defy government is when it prevents us from worshipping God or sharing the Gospel
It is not to say that Christians should do nothing. If it brings glory to God, Christians can run for public office or join a civic group that helps the community.
John MacArthur repeatedly told Christians to submit to authority. However, there are exceptions. In 2020, Grace Community Church was fined for gathering during the pandemic lockdown. They took legal action against the Mayor and the Governor. We must obey God more than men.