The intent of this message is to present the mind of Christ, as revealed to us in the scriptures, with regard to politics, business, and theology in order to help unite the body of Christ.
This summer I’ve seen that the Lord Jesus Christ and professing believers can be 180 degrees apart in their thinking with regards to issues surrounding politics, business and theology.
Religion and Theology
Beginning with the subject of religion; author Frank Schaeffer, son of the late pastor-theologian-evangelical teacher-author Francis Schaeffer, expresses distaste for those of us who believe that the Old and New Testament scriptures are given by inspiration of God.
In his November 16, 2012 article entitled, “If Jesus Hates Anything Maybe It’s Theology.” Schaeffer has exchanged the awesome certainty of experiencing fellowship with God through repentant faith in scripture, prayer, and Holy Spirit controlled relationships for feeling human love through participation in the uncertain religious mystery of the Greek Orthodox Church.
Schaeffer feels that “Orthodox liturgy is aesthetically pleasing: no guitars or historic preaching, lots of candles to light, incense to smell, things to kiss, stuff to march around with in processions, and no one cares if you arrive late.” He says he “encounters the part of his brain that feels like its encountering God.” He expresses the misled belief that humanity is not separated from Holy God due to an inherit sinful nature stating “who you are, not what you believe is what’s important. In that sense you could be a “good Orthodox” and also an atheist– at least some of the time because doubt is not looked down on.” It’s also worth noting that this statement indicates that he believes that the visible actions of an organized religious group trump faith in the teachings of scripture; that church practices are more authoritative than the biblical truth of God’s Word.
Schaeffer’s heretically mocks bible study and authoritative biblical teaching stating that the Bible “has flaws and is just plain crazy in places so they spend lifetimes working to make “sense” of something nonsensical, mean and stupid.” Rightfully disturbed by extreme Calvinism which twists the loving nature of God; rather than balancing the reality of God’s sovereignty with biblical truth, he mocks the sovereign and omniscient power of God and divine ability to directly influence human choice. He attributes key life decisions to “genetics, psychology and brain chemistry and where I happen to live and in what time”. He scoffs at the importance of believing the right things about the nature and character of God as revealed to us in scripture. He forgets that true faith in God and his word expresses itself in charity toward others. (I Corinthians 13; James 2; 1 John 5) Furthermore, he dismisses the ability of the Holy Spirit of God to make fellowship with God and others an experiential reality for us as we live in repentant obedience to the God’s commandments and principles as taught in scripture. (1 John 1:5-10) He even claims Jesus was a backsliding Jew who repudiated and rejected the law while attacking the Bible of his day. The truth is that Jesus fulfilled the law; kept the commandments, and said:
“Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 5:17-20)
The reasons for Schaeffer’s rejection of the Bible as truth are a reminder to us that the correct interpretation and application of biblical truth is an eternal issue. Here is a man who has rejected the true biblical Jesus and created another false Christ in his mind. His rejection of biblical truth seems to be an immature over reaction to poor handling of the word of truth by the body of Christ. How many people like Frank have turned away or are in the process of turning away from the truth because the body of Christ has minimized the importance of properly interpreting the intended meaning of scripture? Yes, we all “see through a glass darkly”. We are incapable of understanding all mysteries, however, spiritually blind teachers need to “anoint their eyes with eye-salve, that they may see” the true character and values of God and Savior Jesus Christ. (Revelation 3:18)
Based upon his own statements it’s absolutely clear that Frank Schaeffer doesn’t fit the biblical definition of a child of God. His actions may reflect the character of Jesus in some ways, however, he speaks as if he has no love, or use, for those of us who love the word of God.
Frank Schaeffer is teaching dangerous heresy; acting as an enemy of the body of Christ while professing to be our friend. He must be shunned as a heretic. (Titus 1:10-14; Titus 3:10-11; 1 Timothy 1:19-20; 1 Timothy 6:3-5)
What does the Lord think about theology; does Jesus hate it more than anything as Frank Shaeffer says?
Webster defines theology as follows:
“Divinity; the science of God and divine things; or the science which teaches the existence, character and attributes of God, his laws and government, the doctrines we are to believe, and the duties we are to practice.
Theology consists of two branches, natural and revealed. Natural theology is the knowledge we have of God from his works, by the light of nature and reason. Revealed theology is that which is to be learned only from revelation.
Moral theology, teaches us the divine laws relating to our manners and actions, that is, our moral duties. theology, teaches or explains the doctrines of religion, as objects of faith.
Scholastic theology, is that which proceeds by reasoning, or which derives the knowledge of several divine things from certain established principles of faith.”
From these definitions it seems that Jesus Christ would appreciate his children devoting mental energy to loving him with all of their mind; learning more about his divine nature and using their God given intellect to muse about their Heavenly Father; His nature, character, life, values, work, and more. We are to love the Lord thy God with all our mind; let the word of Christ dwell in us richly; study to show ourselves approved unto God, workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth; and be not conformed to this world: but be transformed by the renewing of our mind, that we may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. (Matthew 22:37; Colossians 3:16; 1 Timothy 3:16; Romans 12:2) King David said “Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.” (Psalm 1:1-2) This is how we progressively become more Christ-like; not through mysterious feel good sacraments which hide our dark side. There is a little bit of Judas in us all; however, through sometimes emotionally painful personal interaction with the quiet voice of the Holy Spirit of God heard in divinely inspired scripture, and remorseful repentance over our sinful nature, we can be forgiven and receive unmerited favor to overcome our ugly, sinful, un-Christ-likeness.
Politics and Business
Concerning politics and business, many professing believers unknowingly believe in a shrunken God. All members of the body of Christ should be growing in the grace and knowledge of the Lord. However, there are those among us that should be teachers of truth that are bowing to a God whose values are foreign to the Holy God of the Bible.
Although most would agree that the God of the Bible is holy, all knowing and everywhere present, many professing Christians separate business practices and socio-political beliefs from the commands and principles of scripture. This shouldn’t be; God is everywhere at every moment. He expects his children to obey him without moral compromise in business and politics.
The lopsided American 501-c3 government incorporated religious organization/church emphasizes “preaching the gospel” to the exclusion of “teaching all nations” and the greatest of all virtues, charity. Due to IRS rules regarding the exercise of gifts to needy individuals, 501-c3 church leadership has subtly reduced the meaning of the most important way in which people show themselves to be followers of Christ to polished politeness and a selfish “I’ll scratch your back if you’ll scratch mine” mentality. Have we forgotten the truth of Proverbs 24:7 that ” iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend”? Have we forgotten the benefits of brotherly reproof and instruction? The heated friction that will occur between spiritual brothers and sisters as the iron hard truth and spiritual wisdom of one rubs against the earthly wisdom of another is necessary and normal. A satanically deceived Peter overcame and grew more like Jesus because he listened to the blunt reproofs from Jesus like ” … Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art an offence unto me: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men.” (Matthew 16:23)
Webster defined charity as love, kindness, affection, tenderness, springing from natural relations; as the charities of father, son and brother and candor; liberality in judging of men and their actions; a disposition which inclines men to think and judge favorably, and to put the best construction on words and actions which the case will admit. The 501-c3 church will teach this; probably because 501-c3 church leaders know that positive interpersonal relationships among church members and their families helps attendance and financial giving. Most of these guys are ultimately about their bottom line cash flow; so much so that they are even willing to hide from and or suppress the truth in various areas if they fear knowing and or teaching the whole truth might jeopardize the special IRS tax exemptions they receive that their members don’t.
The whole truth, however, is that charity; in a theological sense, includes supreme love to God, and universal good will to men. In a socio-political sense it includes liberality to the poor to relieve them in distress; liberality in gifts and services to promote public objects of utility-educating like poor children, support of life saving, truthful, independent media sources of all types and charitable government representatives.
The Lord Jesus Christ doesn’t have a separate set of commandments and moral principles for home, church, work and politics. God is holy! He is a God of justice and judgment. His people are to be people that help execute justice and justice as Abraham and David did and the returning King of Kings Jesus Christ will do. (Genesis 18:19; 2 Samuel 8:15; 1 Chronicles 8:14; Psalm 82:3; Proverbs 21:3; Isaiah 9:7; Isaiah 56:1; Ezekiel 45:9; Jeremiah 23:5; Isaiah 58-59)
Instead of letting the mind of Christ be in us and control our beliefs and opinions, we are trusting in our own understanding and or ignorantly burying our heads like a horse would in a bale of hay; enjoying the fine fruits of Babylon with those we love while reneging on our responsibility to be salt and light in this evil world. At best we are confining religion to the excellent things of Bible reading, prayer and sexually pure and nice relationships with family and friends. We need to understand that it is a false Christ who doesn’t mix his Christianity with business or politics. The living Christ brings moral light and truth to every corner of society because his eyes are open with a heated love for those he has created and suffered to death to redeem.
It might shock us to know that politics isn’t inherently evil. Webster defines politics as follows:
“the science of government; that part of ethics which consists in the regulation and government of a nation or state, for the preservation of its safety, peace and prosperity; comprehending the defense of its existence and rights against foreign control or conquest, the augmentation of its strength and resources, and the protection of its citizens in their rights, with the preservation and improvement of their morals. Politics, as a science or an art, is a subject of vast extent and importance.”
Politics should be biblical morality, Christ-like ethics, and true religion lived out in the workaday. This obviously isn’t the case, however; the hypocrites, puppets, liars, whores, thieves and traitors typically representing us in government who are failing to model biblical morality in their decisions are simply living out the lust and evil within their hearts. They are only revealing what they really are in light of God’s truth. Their political performance can be measured against the benchmark of true biblical morality. Their decisions and actions will one day be evaluated by a holy God in accordance with the commands and principles of his Word.
At root, political decisions are moral decisions. Moral decisions are based upon moral law. Moral law is given by God. God is the judge. We are the judged. We are responsible for what we know to be morally right. We are responsible to promote good and stand against evil. Children generally know this to be true while educated adults may conveniently rationalize their way around it for self and or mammon sake. Our moral stands for or against their morally based political decisions and actions made by our representatives on our behalf will also be judged by God’s unchanging moral law; his commandments and the true biblical principles.
Moral politics puts legs to righteous supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, made for all men; for kings, and all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. (1 Timothy 2:1-3)
Politics isn’t just about voting for candidates and taking a stand on issues. Our military and other agencies under government control are part of politics. The stands we take for or against their decisions and actions impact human lives around the world for good or evil. We have been given much; we are accountable for much. God desires society be quiet, peaceable, godly and honest. To accomplish this he has given his body on earth, the church, the responsibility to pray, preach the gospel, and salt the earth by living and teaching his truth in hopes of reconciling as many as possible to his moral life, light and truth.
We pay our military and expect them to be willing to lay down their lives for us. God has paid for our sins and expects us to lay down our lives for him and others. (Romans 12:1; 1 John 3:16) We need to be willing to speak the truth about things political in order to protect and defend human life; even if it means that we could be killed if as a result. To do so will take courage. Cowards without the courage to do so will share the same eternal hell with the same murderers they were afraid to take a moral stand against. (Revelation 21:8; Matthew 25:31-46)
Our works in the context of social, political, business, and body of Christ (church) life reveal the truth about our profession of faith; whether we are sheep or a goat; a wheat or a tare.
The heavenly home of truly repentant professors of faith in Christ is sealed. (Ephesians 1:13; 2 Corinthians 1:22; Ephesians 4:30; Romans 8:5; Galatians 4:6; 1 Peter 1:8). These children of God are presently working out their faith in every arena of their lives; even as they joyfully suffer the consequences of their alien belief system at the hands of hardened hearts. (Philippians 2:12; Hebrews 10:32-39) They are expressing their faith, though still imperfect, in sacrificial love toward others in preaching the gospel, sharing personal resources (time, money, property, talents, spiritual gifts, natural abilities) and teaching the truth in love to people. (Galatians 5:6; Matthew 28:19)
Tares and goats, on the other hand, unrepentantly delude themselves in a false spiritual pride over their professed religion; even though they don’t live by the truth in every area of life; including politics and business. They purposely neglect and compromise the commands and principles of God’s word for selfish gain. They close their eyes to evil they have been warned against. They continue to support slavery, injustice, treachery, murder, theft and all sorts of un-Constitutional lawlessness when they should be exposing and confronting it. They hoard resources out of selfishness and fear and only invest or share for the sake of return. Lukewarm, self-satisfied, proud and content in the riches of Babylon, they are good for nothing when it comes to helping preserve liberty and justice for all in their own workplace, neighborhood, community, state or nation. Instead they rest deluded in the lie that the troops they support are sent overseas to kill enemies of goodness and freedom. They close their eyes to the truth that the muscular weapons and the unending war is ultimately about economic globalization and western financial control; targeting sovereign Middle Eastern nations for economic rule set export and forcing the integration of all nations into a globally interoperable economic system. (Barnett, 2004)
Unless they anoint and illuminate their morally blind eyes with the healing eye-salve of socio-political and biblical truth they will be judged as useless good for nothings by God; trampled underfoot in their own nation by the tyrannical power of evil. (Matthew 5:13; Revelation 3:14-22)
The hope and healing of those children of God who will overcome the beast and his world system rests upon repentant faith; not faithless, unrepentant, self-satisfied avoidance.
“…These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God; I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth. Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked: I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see. As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent. Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me. To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne. He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches” (Revelation 3:14-22)