It is my belief that politics is one of the biggest threats to the gospel faced by conservative evangelicals. Certainly, we could point to various doctrinal debates that cut away crucial theology, but those are, for now, in the left, and evangelicals in the right are wary…for now. In this blog, I want to show you three concerns I have regarding politics, answer some common objections, and offer a simple plan of action.

Politics brings conservative theology to a crashing halt. Doctrinal lines are blurred when political lines are at stake. One only needs to consider how popular Glenn Beck is among conservative evangelicals. Beck’s faith (of which he is very vocal) is contrary to evangelical Christianity. His political views are what are seen as the common ground. Christians are willing to overlook doctrine for the sake of politics. The simple question could be asked, which is more important: sound Christology or political values?

Politics confuses Christians about what is most important. What issues seem to fire up evangelicals these days? Health care? Gay marriage? The Obama administration? Do we not believe that we serve a higher authority? Do we not believe in a Kingdom that exists far beyond the United States, or even Earth? Are we not living in the Already and Not Yet? Why so much concern about the temporary issues of a people that believe in an eternal reality? Do I think these things are important? Yes. I think we should take an active part in our society, living as representatives of Christ, but I wonder why these are often the most important issues. What matters to you more: the passing of the health care bill or the passing away of millions without Christ? Before you answer, could I look for the answer in your email forwards, Facebook profiles, and sermons?

Politics is a new pornography. The sources of most political information are entertainment companies. They are very skilled at reaching in and tickling those emotions that will keep you glued to the set. Your time is wasted. Your emotions are stirred up about something that may or may not be true, and you are essentially being controlled by something other than the Holy Spirit. Don’t believe me? Turn it off for one week. Go a week without any of it and see if you notice the difference. I swore off cable news two years ago. It is amazing how much difference it makes.

Maybe you think we live in urgent times. Are these times better or worse than the Roman Empire? Do we not face many of the same moral concerns of those days? The days of Jesus and the apostles had many political issues that would certainly bother Christians, yet there is little talk of it in the New Testament. Even when given an audience among government officials, Paul seems to be more interested in talking to them about Christ.

Perhaps, you believe that politics is the way to redeem society. Do you also think that you would change an apple tree into an orange tree by hanging oranges from the limbs? No, you would need to begin with a different seed. The same is true of politics. No country will ever be a Christian nation because it chooses Christian values. No law can be passed that will make this country more pleasing to God. If an evangelical desires to make a difference in the world, he should begin with the gospel.

Politics is quickly becoming another gospel. I have known one pastor to say that the US Constitution had in it the essence of the gospel. No, it absolutely does not, as it does not even mention Christ let alone His death for our sins and His resurrection. Evangelicals are setting aside the gospel in order to proclaim conservative values. We are joining forces with all kinds of anti-Christian entities to do so. Scripture says that if ANYONE proclaims another gospel, let him be accursed (Galatians 1:6-9).

Finally, I have some practical suggestions for evangelicals dealing with politics.

1) Consider your intake of political information. How much time do you spend reading or watching the news? How many hours do you spend listening to talk radio? Try this: for every hour you spend there, spend 20 minutes in the Bible. If you can’t do that, I think we see the problem.
2) Listen only to Christian leaders who proclaim the gospel as opposed to any political agenda. That’s what we are called to proclaim. If you find a talk-show host or preacher claiming to be Christian that doesn’t proclaim the gospel, turn it off. They are way too far off course to offer anyone direction.
3) Take a Great Commission inventory. Are you sharing the gospel and discipling believers? If not, you hardly have time for anything political.
4) What are you DOING politically? If your best effort is watching and listening while you whine, then you are doing nothing. If after devoting time to scripture and making sure you are following the Great Commission, you still feel that politics is an area of great concern, pray about what God would have you to DO and DO IT.

Remember; seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness. Everything else will be added to you.