A couple of years ago, I wrote about a local pastor who was getting into state politics. He’s running for reelection – I was rough on him back when he first ran, and will continue to be until he sees the errors of his ways.
You see, when you get into politics, you change your worldview. You may personally be against what is acceptable to the law of the land, but you “tolerate it” so as not to upset the boat.
Mark 7:6-13 is quite clear on this:
And He (Jesus) said to them, “Well did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written,
“‘This people honors me with their lips,
but their heart is far from me;
in vain do they worship me,
teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’
You leave the commandment of God and hold to the tradition of men.”
And he said to them, “You have a fine way of rejecting the commandment of God in order to establish your tradition! For Moses said, ‘Honor your father and your mother’; and, ‘Whoever reviles father or mother must surely die.’ But you say, ‘If a man tells his father or his mother, “Whatever you would have gained from me is Corban”’ (that is, given to God)— then you no longer permit him to do anything for his father or mother, thus making void the word of God by your tradition that you have handed down. And many such things you do.”
To interpret this to today, we see that abortion is legal, based on a 1973 Supreme Court Ruling in the United States. All evangelical Christians see abortion as the murder of an unborn life – with life beginning at conception.
The sixth commandment states “Do not Murder.” In other words, do not take the life of another human being without cause. (It doesn’t say “Do not kill” – the Hebrew word in Exodus 20 is “murder” – there’s a big difference).
To pastor a church and preach that we should not murder, and then not go into the state legislature with God’s word and work to get strict restrictions put into place – is being hypocritical. It’s trying to serve God and Man – and a pastor (or any other Christian) cannot do this – you must serve one or the other – you cannot serve both.
And – if you serve man, you are an enemy of God – it’s as simple as that!
You adulterous people! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. (James 4:4)
The same holds true for any sin that God holds as abhorrent. In this state, marriage between two people of the same sex is permitted. Where in the Bible is this permitted? Yet this pastor, who serves in the state legislature, will not intervene and fight to overturn this abhorrent act.
Makes me wonder where his elders stand on his “extracurricular activity”. Is he a pastor first, and a state legislator second – or vice versa? Who is it that he serves?
Back in the times of the old testament – sacrifice was the way of remission of sin. But Samuel rebuked Saul in 1 Samuel 15 not obeying what God had told him to do. In verse 22, Samuel told Saul:
Has the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices,
as in obeying the voice of the Lord?
Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice,
and to listen than the fat of rams.
When we become Christians, we are to obey God’s word – not twist it to fit our requirements. This pastor is not following God’s word – and using the customs of the day over the Word of God.
Saul’s word was “sacrifice. Samuel’s word was “obedience.” No doubt the bleating of sheep and the lowing of the oxen were exciting. They would be looked upon as substantial proofs that something was being done, while on the other hand, the path of obedience seemed narrow, silent, lonely, and fruitless. Those pungent words of Samuel, “to obey is better than sacrifice,” teach us that it is better to stand on the pathway of obedience than to reach the most pleasing ends by breaking a plain law of the Word of God.
This pastor, and others in the town, do a lot of good for the community. But this is all “corban” to God.
If a mother asked a child to “clean up their room” and “do the laundry” for their chores, then came home to not find that done, but the lawn mowed – the mowing of the lawn is a good thing, but the child was not obedient! That’s not what the parent asked.
The same goes for this pastor – he can do all the good he can in town, but if he’s not honoring God in the state legislature – that good he does in town, is all “corban” – and to God, it stinks. This pastor is not being obedient.
This pastor – and others like him – have a decision to make. Either serve God (and be an enemy to man), or serve man (and be an enemy to God). You can’t do both.
My counsel? Take your campaign posters out the window of your church office, and step down from your office and the campaign – repent of your sin, and concentrate on cleaning up the town in which you serve – which if you haven’t noticed, is a mess!’
Time to be obedient!