I think America has been headed in the wrong direction – straight into the ditch of out-of-control debt, with government agencies enforcing rules that were never passed and had even been rejected by Congress. Much of the media and population continually mock the God of the Bible, diminishing the value of marriage, family and even innocent life itself. Blind leaders have our blind nation headed over a cliff. Thank God some representatives and preachers and priests see what is coming, as do many people, and they want to help right our ship of state.
I am hopeful and I have good news to announce from God. He is the “shelter from the storm and the Shepherd who will lead us to lie down in green pastures, beside still waters, restore us body and soul, while preparing a table before us with goodness and mercy following us even in the presence of many enemies” and accusers.
This week Time magazine called to ask me about presidential candidates, national direction and to get my take on what is unfolding on the political landscape. The reporter was gracious and I am thankful to say I have personally enjoyed an honest, straightforward relationship with Michael Duffy, the Assistant Managing Editor. Of course, I want a good relationship with all the media because I believe as strongly in the freedom of press and expression as I do the importance of freedom to preach, worship and assemble. These are gifts from “nature’s God” and our founders. I will always defend every God-given constitutional right while also strongly emphasizing personal responsibility.
Whenever issues of national and moral importance (which have now been made political) are addressed by a preacher, priest or rabbi, we hear the outcry, “Stay out of politics!” In other words, they say ministers must avoid real-life issues, problems and challenges on the national stage by never standing up with hopeful, helpful solutions. The truth is Christians, all people of faith and certainly preachers of the Word of God are bound and obligated to speak out boldly and to stand for their convictions. People with a secular, humanist, God-denying view that assaults the Judeo-Christian biblical views and diminishes the importance of founding documents are continually organizing in every community. They force their views on the population through protests and radical political activism while never giving up an inch of their “sacred” turf, however unsacred it actually is. They expect the church community to shut up and go back to sleep, and keep your faith to yourself.
There are even a few people who support the outreaches of LIFE and who love God who have asked me, “James, are you getting too political?” Exactly what does that mean? Am I concerned? Yes. Do I care? Yes. Do I love God and people? Yes. Do I want to assist the suffering, homeless and elderly? Yes. That is why I am compelled to speak. I am commissioned by God and His Word to speak, to put a ”trumpet to my lips,” to “sound an alarm on the holy mountain,” to warn the people, stand in the gap, repair the breech, rebuild the walls, restore the foundation, and faithfully present the one reliable standard – the Word of the living God. I am called to preach “the Way, the Truth and the Life.” I can and I will do no other. Now is the time to “call a solemn assembly, to rend our hearts, not our garments.” No more religious pretense. It is time to stop “honoring God with our lips” and begin honoring Him with all of our hearts, with everything that is in us. As Christians it is of utmost importance that we not just try to tell people how to live, but actually show them how to live by our example. New Testament believers were so full of life and love they turned their upside-down world right side up.
I told the very polite Time magazine writer what I am called to do. I am challenging all ministers, priests, people of God, and leaders to consider it also.
I will endorse biblical truth, love, compassion, courage, convictions, strong marriages and families, and the importance of everyone assuming responsibility for their actions as well as influencing local and national direction. I support the Constitution as our founders established it. I do not endorse candidates or parties, and I do not suggest ministers do. But they certainly have a God-given right to do so and no one understood this better than our founding fathers. When a preacher or highly visible person endorses a candidate, that is their right and we should all respect them even if we disagree with their opinion. We can disagree without being hateful. I will talk to, counsel, challenge, pray for and with any candidate running for any office or holding any office. I will love them all even if I firmly disagree. But I will not be a soggy, mushy, mealy-mouthed, inspire- no-one preacher. Never. Never!
I will exhort – I will speak up and out because it’s what preachers are called by God to do. Woe is me and all of us as ministers if we do not. When we do not proclaim truth and liberty throughout the land, we have failed both God and man. “Shout it from the housetops” or the “rocks will cry out against us.” The fact is the Word of God is carved in the stone on buildings throughout Washington, DC, and it continues to testify while some pulpits have gone silent and the pews become a sanctimonious mortuary. Ministers must not be timid and fearful or they will have a church filled with spineless, fear-filled people who will never become a “city set on a hill.”
I will embrace sound principles upon which we can build our lives, families and future. I support what has been proven to work throughout human history to the real benefit of people, not some idea or suggestion that reduces humanity and human beings to something less than God created us to be. Lives as well as buildings must be established on a solid foundation and today as with the city of New Orleans, many Americans and, yes, politicians are hell-bent on building their future not only on sand, but on sand below sea level.
I will expose evil, damaging practices, and bad policy. Since most media and many academics do not seem to believe in evil and obviously some lawmakers and even ministry leaders don’t seem to either. In other words, “the three little pigs” and Red Riding Hood need to learn there is no big, bad wolf, and while at it chunk the Bible along with the children’s stories out the window and continue living in a failing, fantasyland dream world – nightmare! So for these who don’t believe the Bible and obvious truth, let me address what I mean by bad policy. If it doesn’t work or isn’t sustainable, no matter how sincere the instigators, stop the madness! It is worse than suicidal; it becomes murder – death to people and a secure future.
I will encourage every person to assume responsibility for their own lives, their decisions and to diligently seek to assist others. I encourage qualified people to serve whether on a homeowners association, PTA, school board, local office, state and national. We need the best to run and be elected to serve for the benefit of the people. It is our duty – actually a calling. I encourage every citizen to be very well informed (commitment is required – you must consider what is best for everyone), and be actively involved. Vote faithfully and with conviction for those who hold truth, freedom and sound principles dear. Do not vote just for one issue or out of mere personal preference, damaging party loyalty or attractive personalities. Consider the whole package – vote principle not just preference. There has only been one perfect candidate – Jesus – and He won’t run. He rules in the lives of those submitted to Him! I encourage everyone to recognize how valuable and important they are, because I see them all through the eyes of the God some refuse to acknowledge or love. Because of this twisted view, people are loved less.
I will endure – I am in the race to win, not just an election, not the approval of men, but the “race God has set before us all.” This is a race for the full expression of the life, love and liberty only God can give which people are to share. I will “stand and having stood keep standing.”
To the people and all political candidates I say: “if you are going to get beat up or beat, let it happen because you are standing boldly in behalf of what is best for God and country – for people.” So if you are asking me to explain in succinct words what I am trying to do, here is my answer: I want to inspire everyone to first get on our face before God and then stand on our feet for God.
Permission is granted to print, distribute, and forward “Preachers and Politics” in its entirety and with proper accreditation (author, website).
I’m sorry, but I am not familiar with the “Bush-Cheney battle cry” and this was written long before Romney was nominiated or Ryan was announced, so I had no foreknowledge of their “battle cry.” Even as I write, I don’t know what their “battle cry” is.
I do know that I do not advocate or support “Republican politics.” Again, I’m not entirely certain what all that would entail, but I do not bow down to any party or politician, whatever their label. I only hold to God’s word. Period.
As for the debt, it’s not a secret that the current administration is spending more than any administration in history and that the money is no longer there. This is irresponsible. Out-of-control spending is wrong, whoever is in power. It hurts everyone, but the middle class feels it more and the lower class feels it most of all. It is out of compassion for the poor that I condemn the reckless spending. When much of the spending goes to needless waste, to crony capitalism, and to promote actions that are contrary to scripture, it’s even more important that those of us who care about compassion and principle speak out.
Please read my columns to further understand my positions. I don’t recognize the person you describe in your comments, so I’m hoping you will read deeper to gain understanding. In fact, it is best laid out in “Indivisible,” if you can get your hands on a copy of it. It’s in bookstores, so feel free to grab a copy off the shelves, read it there, and put it back on the shelves! I’m not interested in selling another book; I genuinely want to communicate.
As a young man I heard you give a sermon in Oklahoma City and was impressed. But that was long ago. I am now 66 and after the melding of fundamentalist religion with politics, which reached its zenith during the Bush-Cheney administration, I find your first sentences somewhat baffling. You refer to government agencies adopting rules that were never approved by congress. You also cite another warning about debt. Those two statements by you are the rallying cry of those who supported Bush-Cheney. Bush-Cheney did so many things that were totally the opposite of the teachings of Jesus that it becomes completely baffling when I hear preachers like you saying you don’t endorse candidates but at the time repeat the rallying cry of the Bush-Cheney, Romney-Ryan supporters. Do you not know that Bush overturned many of the rules that government agencies had interpreted as being required by legally passed laws? It has happened with every administration. Are you not aware of the many truth filled books written by Kevin Phillips, a moderate Republican, which have became an indictment of Republican politics ever since Reagan was elected? His truthful analysis of the widening gap between the rich and the middle class/poor should give you pause when commenting about the word of God and the teachings of Jesus. You seem to be ignoring what the bible says about accumulation of wealth(much of it by buying off politicians) and the inevitable socio-economic tragedy that results. You aren’t as blatant about politics and religion as some preachers that runs counter to the teachings of Jesus but you are doing your part to further the motive of the powerful to use a debt-crisis to harm the poor and the middle-class. Not what my reading of the Bible has long been my understanding. And consciously leading people into voting for a Republican party that has courted fundamentalists whose rally cry heading into Iraq was “God Is On Our Side”. Totally baffling, especially after my view of you when I was younger.
I am not a preacher, nor a “Political Activist”.
Thanks to you for the weekend in Dallas and the Under God: Indivisible
Conference…..Because of the conference I proclaim myself to be a
“GOD ACTIVIST” and plan to get to work on the vote CHRISTIAN movement
Now, Pastor Robison, it would be good to see you add the action of “running for political office” to these words. It would be redundant to share with you the early preachers who held public office … James Garfield being the most prominent of them. David Barton shares about many, many others in his information.
You have a following, name recognition, and a voice that allows you to leap over some of the local offices and run for US Congressman, at the least.
So, let us as born-again followers of Jesus Christ who want to change the path America is on not only go to the voting booth, but serve this country in public offices.
Thank God for a true man of God! I have watched you for many years and greatly admire you and your wife. In these times it takes a strong person to speak the truth. I vote my convictions on ONE issue: LIFE. But that is just me. So, I doubt this post will end up on your site, because it won’t take a genious to figure out if I did or did not vote for our President. But here is what I can tell you. No matter who I voted for, he is MY President, and I can guarantee you, I have prayed for him more than the majority of his biggest supporters. I most of all pray this heart will be open to the gospel of Jesus, the Good News. I pray for all the elected officials over my area on my way to work every day, no matter what party they are in.
Your inspired comments on what we are called to do is without question right on target. It is astounding that the influence of Christianity is encouraged by Christendom in every aspect of vocation, trade, and profession, but Christians shirk their responsibility to influence the political arena. Why should Christianity be limited to influencing the building trades, sports, medicine, science, and other career choices, but shoved out of politics and education?
It is apparent why the conflict exists. Politics and education are the most powerful entities in society. They shape societal controls and mold the intellectual potential. This is where Satan has the greatest influence, the educated mind and political propaganda. History records the destructive power of each of these tools in the hands of godless leaders.
We are placed here on earth to be salt, light, and love. How can this be accomplished if we do what Jesus said not to do. He said “You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled by men.” Again he taught “No man lights a lamp and covers it with a vessel or sets it under a bed, but he sets it upon a lamp stand that everyone who enters may see its light.” And “I give a new commandment to you: ‘Love one another; just as I have loved you, you should also love one another.”
These three examples effect every area of our lives, so it is not strange that Jesus used them to teach us how to be fishers of men. We are in the world, but not of it. This does not imply or suggest we hide. It does tell us we do not use the weak and beggarly methods of this earthly kingdom to impact the world we live in, but rather make ourselves known to the world as sons and daughters of the Most High. We are commissioned to introduce every creature to the fountain of all wisdom, to compel every man to look to the author of eternal life, and to bring lost humanity into the presence of love himself, Jesus Christ.
In all of the comments I’ve read & I do agree with them, but not one mentions the call to pray & fast for America, for our great nation to return back to the one true God. 2 Chronicles 7:14. If my people who are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and turn from their wicked ways: then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin,and heal their land(kjv.)Our land needs healing. Let us continue to speak the truth, but above all pray & fast. Pray for our leaders to do what is good & right in the sight of God. Death & life is in the power of the tongue. Many Christians are speaking openly in the media so many negative things against our President with our tongue that hinders our prayers, if we are praying. Whether we agree or disagree about the policies of this administration, the effectual & fervent prayers of the righteous availeth much. Our nation needs healing that can only be brought about by God’s intervention as we call upon him through our prayers.
God Bless America and God bless this ministry.