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Christians in a politically charged climate

Questions to ask as tensions ratchet up


A weathered American flag flies in front of the First Baptist Church of Gallant in Gallant, Ala. AP Photo/Brynn Anderson

Christians in a politically charged climate
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How are we to respond—in this overly sensitive, divided, and politically charged climate—to a society that needs to know Jesus’ love? I think it starts with us doing some serious self-reflection on where our priorities lie, and even where our heart is. A few overarching questions I would ask:

Are we focused on love? The world will know us by our love for each other (John 13:35), and how we love those who disagree with us—or who even curse us and persecute us (Matthew 5). I’m not seeing this among some prominent Christian leaders. In all manner of social and public discourse right now—on issues ranging from mask-wearing, to equal rights, to respect for due process or respect for authority—there appears to be deep anger, outrage, a “call for blood” even! What about Paul’s admonition to “let your reasonableness be made known to everyone” (Philippians 4:5)? Is our love growing cold (Matthew 24:11-13)? I want to understand my more liberal (or more conservative) neighbors—maybe even learn something new, or change my opinion—as I focus on loving them.

What is our battle? This leads me to my second point: What are we fighting against? Why is there so much resentment and anger? We know that we are not at war with flesh and blood, but against spiritual powers of darkness and evil (Ephesians 6:12). Our behavior (speaking very broadly) would suggest we are at war with anyone who thinks differently about very earthly matters. I’m sensing from many Christians I know a strong undertone of condemnation of anyone who dares question their political beliefs, their political candidate, and anything their candidate says and does. Any information, “facts,” or insightful arguments that do not support what they believe to be true are grounds for mockery and disdain. (This is true on both sides, but shouldn’t believers be different?) Is it realistic to think all truth only comes from one party or one person? Does it stand to reason that anything offered by the “other side” is inherently false? And even if it were that black and white, on what are we focusing our fight? Our battle is against the devil, and for the souls of man. Our focus should be on living out the gospel, loving others because of the eternal glory set before us (2 Corinthians 4:17-18).

Which kingdom are we pursuing? If we were Christians anywhere else in the world, we would struggle less with the melding of nationalism and faith. As it is, the church in the United States—in my opinion—has a dangerous emotional and spiritual bond with conservative political power. They are not one and the same. Jesus was clear, “My kingdom is not of this world.” If it were, He would have fought more like we’re fighting today—for power and control. Listening to the leaders involved in the Jericho March, you would think that the president is our messiah and we are fighting for his kingdom on earth. Anything that pulls us away from our focus on God’s eternal kingdom, or draws on our passion and energy to preserve worldly possession or influence, plays into the devil’s hands. Let us vote our conscience for the leaders we believe are best able to govern our country. But let our hearts and minds pursue the eternal kingdom, not a kingdom of any kind on earth.

Are we guarding against deception? I do not read the Bible enough, nor am I praying in the Spirit as much as I should be, given these end times. I am increasingly aware of my susceptibility to false teaching and deceptive spirits as I read about how far a Christian leader can stray from his “first love.” We must absolutely test the spirits (1 John 4:1) and submit everything to God’s Word (Colossians 3:16) in order not to be deceived by the lust of the world (1 John 2:16). The idols of my heart are a constant battle. Like all Christians who are also human, I do not always have Christ preeminent in my heart and mind. For some reason—unique to this time in history, and to this political climate, and to this leader—the Church is diverting much of its focus from God’s kingdom to political power. More than any time in my life, many of us threw our commitment and loyalty toward Donald Trump, to the point of even defining what is true by his standard. Some Christians claimed that any authority other than his was from the devil! This, I’m afraid, may be the fulfillment of verses such as 2 Timothy 4:2-4: “For the time will come when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths.” I fear we may be following in the path of the Corinthian church that struggled with worldliness, heresies, and battled “party spirit,” which Paul decried (1 Corinthians 3:1-4, 21-23).

Waldemar Kohl is a consultant who lives with his wife Ann and their five children in Hampton, N.H.

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Salty1

My criticism of World stems from my love of the Word where they fail doing what they claim. Is calling World out on this “unloving” or unkind? I think not! It is the most loving if we are honest.

Prov. 27:5,6

cBetter is open rebuke
than hidden love.
6  Faithful are dthe wounds of a friend;
profuse are the kisses of an enemy.

I have read World over the years and have been an avid fan until the last 6 years or so where World has seemed to pick up the secular ideologies. The treatment of Trump was an abysmal failure where World would essentially spout off the same secular ideologies of the left as though it was Christian. Rather than objectively get some pro-Trump reporters to balance things out politically, they hardened down on the anti-Trump dogma. Never did they give a report on all the successes that were achieved under Trump that advanced our Christian cause - and there were many of them. Rarely did they write some political story about Trump where some subtle jab or insult was not said. When the Democrats fabricated the Russian collusion story never did they write an expose showing the extent of the lies fabricated by the left against President Trump. And when the election was stolen from Trump World failed to objectively look at all the evidence and essentially followed the propaganda of Big Tech and the liberal MSM who literally demanded that we say the election was not stolen. If not, many voices were removed from social media claiming it was conspiracy theories. And now Waldemar Kohl wants to say we don’t show love?

Here I should interject that this war between the never-Trumpers and the pro-Trump supporters is larger than World Magazine and represents some of what Mr Kohl talks about. Maybe the word “war” is too extreme and we should say disagreement.

There is a political elite that view themselves as the ruling class in America in both parties. There is also an Evangelical elite who view themselves the protectorate of the Christian Church in America. Many of these people are fine men and women but many times their understanding of the political front is less than ideal. They will quickly go to an online “fact checker” to determine what is true or read the MSM without understanding that it is shear propaganda. They don’t understand that the left is radically seeking to remake America by removing the remnants of Christianity. They seek domination and will use whatever means to accomplish their goals. The notion that they really want political dialogue is a joke and they will only engage in this if it gives them an advantage.

The impeachment of Trump is an example of their using whatever means to get victory. They recognize that Trump was effective in pushing his agenda because he would fight unlike past conservatives focused on nice words and getting along. Trump saw through the Democrats duplicity where they were stonewalling everything so he wasn’t afraid to issue an executive order to carry forward his agenda. One example was the Mexico City Policy that prevented US aid to go to supporting abortion. Biden has immediately reversed this to allow money to go to providing abortions around the world. Trump was effective so they want him out of their way so they are using this unconstitutional method coupled with their massive propaganda machine in both Big Tech and the liberal MSM to sell the notion that Trump cannot run again.

Sadly, we have seen the anti-Trumpers (including many Evangelical elite and powerful Republicans) side with this effort to get Trump out of the way. But is this type of behavior Christian when Trump never advocated violence at the Capital protest? Trump has faithfully fought our Christian cause, from transgenderism and abortion to bringing home Christians rotting in foreign jails. Trump put conservative judges on the Supreme Court and promoted many Christians in his cabinet.

I recognize that our end hope will never be found in politics for our home is not of this world if we are Christians. Neither is it found in a single politician, but still the political is important and pretending that we should just say nice words when the left seeks to destroy us is naive and wrong. We need to fight for our political lives bringing out their deceptions, lies and propaganda. This is the Christian response, otherwise we will see our voice cut off from the public square, our churches shut down, and the gospel message severely hindered.

Salty1

Yes, Christians are to love one another and those in the world as we go and bring the gospel, but we must love with discernment and not fall for the trickery of the Devil. 

Not long ago I heard of a church I had visited a couple times with friends - a Bible believing church. The church was concerned about loving all people and bringing the gospel.  That love prompted them to be less political and to start a ministry focused on those who the church has sometimes neglected and dispised - homosexuals. Some members were not as keen on it but they remembered 1 Tim. 1:9,11,15 and the power of the gospel to overcome the worst of sinners, so they didn't object. Over time this ministry brought homosexuals into the church and the ministry team tried to tone down any negativity that may offend or scare off those they were ministering and bringing the gospel to. They wanted to be loving Christians.

The leadership of the church was supportive and they brought in younger members onto the leadership who were supportive of the ministry. Soon their were discussions being heard about how homosexuals couldn't help being homosexual due to genetics. The more conservative members knew the minister and thought he would deal with it.  One day at church the members heard the minister was removed but no specifics were mentioned. Later after a new pastor was brought on, they found a flier one Sunday on their car saying the leadership had decided to change their policies and allow homosexuals to be members in the church. The older members who had attended for many years were shocked and dumbfounded. How did this happen to their church?  

The point is that sometimes the Devil and his followers use "love" and the "gospel" to accomplish Satan's purposes. A good thing of bringing the gospel to homosexuals, was perverted and effectively turned a Bible Church faithful to the gospel to one advocating sin and perverting the gospel. In other words, we need to make sure our love, with gospel focus, has discernment so we aren't naively swept away to do Satan's work.