Here is the typical error of the NAR political idol worshipper. We are watchmen for the church, not the world. The prophets throughout the Old Testament were commanded as watchmen over Israel, not the world. What Shane forgets is that the things of God are utter foolishness to the lost. Forcing better behavior through legislation does not change one person's eternal destination -- only the Gospel has that power! The true error however is in conferred righteousness. What Shane Idleman just said is that pastors are afraid to tell their sheep that a "certain" political party is wrong. Let me cut through the purposeful haze here. Idleman believes, as all of the NAR political idol worshippers believe, that the Democratic Party is inherently evil and that only the brave, righteous Republicans can lead us to the false Promised Land of revival. The hard truth Shane does not want to hear is that neither party cares for the cause of Christ. Even on his favorite hot button issue, abortion, Idleman excoriates the Democrats and praises the Republicans even though it was the Grand Old Party that gave us Roe vs. Wade. He earlier complained about socialism but who gave us Obamacare as codified law? That's right -- Republicans. The bible says we are pilgrims and sojourners through this world and that our citizenship is in heaven. Shane Idleman teaches a dual citizenship that is simply not biblical.
"Additionally, many think politics is to pastors what kryptonite was to Superman: Stay away! But our political system was ordained by God; it oversees the affairs of men. The institution of government was created by God to govern man--to protect, defend and administer justice. Many of the Founding Fathers were ordained ministers; they understood that faith should impact all areas of life. Leadership matters! Those who challenge America's history often acquire their information from "revisionists" or from "secular interpretations" concerning what the founders believed rather than looking to the framers' original writings. Revisionists often use omissions, broad generalizations and half-truths in order to rewrite history--to take the exception and portray it as the rule." -- Shane Idleman
This is the clever ruse political idol worshipper like to play. They rail against one political party and out of the other side of their mouth excuse the system away by claiming it is just ordained by God. Well, if it is then so is abortion since it is the law of the land no? You cannot have it both ways. Many of the founding fathers attended schools that taught divinity but that did not make them ministers. All political idol worshippers have to stretch the truth in order to shoehorn in America into this narrative. The settlers of the new world were very religious but today we would not consider them brothers. The Pilgrims were separatists and the Puritans believed God entered into a covenant with them -- which we would label correctly as blasphemous today. When Joseph Smith claimed an angel gave him a new gospel, we rightfully cry heretic. The same goes for claiming God entered into a covenant with them. Many of the founding fathers were atheists and many were deists. A deist simply believed in the concept of a God but not Jesus Christ. In fact, Thomas Jefferson rewrote the bible removing all accounts of the miracles of Christ and any reference to His deity. This is not a secular interpretation Shane. I actually taught American History for many years. Is America the best attempt at government in pagan history? Absolutely. But that does not mean we were ever righteous and certainly not in covenant with God.
"The question often arises then, "Can we legislate morality?" No and yes. No, we cannot change a person's heart by forcing a set of laws or rules upon them, but we can restrain evil and deter wrongdoing. We should all strive to defend the weak and the fatherless, maintain the rights of the poor and oppressed and deliver them from the hand of the wicked (Ps. 82:3--4). We don't have to abandon our ethics or compromise our principles to be involved in politics--what good is salt left in the shaker or a light that is hidden? Contextually, when Jesus referred to being "salt and light," He was referring to holy living at the individual level, but the overlapping principle applies to all areas of life. Politics is not a bad word; in simple terms, politics refers to governing or leading a group of people." -- Shane Idleman
Yes, but you have turned politics into a branch of our faith Shane. Do you honestly believe that one political party defends the cause of the weak and fatherless better? Is one party better at maintaining the rights of the poor because most people would not vote the Republican Party as such. Therein lies the rub. These are personal perspectives, not absolutes. Not only can we not legislate morality, but we are not called to. Legislating abstinence from sin will save no one. We have no charge to restrain evil or deter wrongdoing collectively. We are not the morality police for the world. We are ambassadors for Christ and His Gospel.
"Politics won't save America, but to implement change and help others, we must take action. Politics, once focused largely on the economy, national security and the deficit, is now also tackling important moral concerns. These major issues have enormous implications, and to remain silent actually makes a statement that we are not concerned enough. Unfortunately, we forget that apathy today will be our downfall tomorrow. Martin Luther King Jr. said, "The church must be reminded that it is not the master or the servant of the state, but rather the conscience of the state." He continues, "If the church does not recapture its prophetic zeal, it will become an irrelevant social club without moral or spiritual authority." What an insightful perspective, especially for us today." -- Shane Idleman
That is simply a silly point. To say nothing does not convey apathy. The real problem is that taking sides eliminates half the population from ever listening to us. We have something important to say and it is called the Gospel. It is not the latest hot button political nonsense. If your opening salvo is to tell half the population that their political party choice is evil, when both choices are clearly evil, you recklessly discard half the people from ever hearing the gospel. Hypocrisy is not lost on the unsaved and Jesus spoke very strongly against hypocrisy. I am going to give you a microcosm of the hypocrisy of politics that the world sees through the lens of a corrupted church. In the late 1990s Bill Clinton engaged in immoral behavior in the Oval Office. The cries from the church and the Republican Party were all of moral outrage. Character counts is all we heard. The three top political figures railing against the immoral president were Newt Gingrich, Bob Livingston and Denny Hastert. Every chance these three had they were on TV lecturing us all about the immorality of Bill Clinton and the church lined up right alongside of them to extend the bony finger of accusation. Within ten years it was revealed that at the same time they were shouting immoral, Newt Gingrich was secretly having an affair on his wife with a 23-year-old, Bob Livingston had so many affairs he had to resign from government, and Denny Hastert was convicted of being a serial child molester. Suddenly the church was silent on morality. The true problem with the church is apathy towards the Gospel, not carnal politics. As far as the quote from MLK, it is not the bible Shane. Nowhere does the bible suggest that the church is to be the conscience of the state. We must realize that Dr. King was dealing with a great many political injustices. The reason we do not operate with prophetic zeal is because we have abused prophecy until it is nothing more than clairvoyance and psychic parlor tricks. The reason we do not operate with moral or spiritual authority is we have abandoned the source -- the Gospel. Instead we have replaced the Gospel with self-help, motivation, prosperity, purpose driven nonsense and seeker friendly goat driven services. A real problem yes but not solved by anything political. Idleman concludes:
"I'm an avid reader of books about revivals and spiritual awakenings written by those who actually experienced them. Ironically, many, if not all, say we must preach and proclaim God's Word with authority if we are to experience true revival. The New Testament also bears this out--without authority and power from on high, words are lifeless. There is nothing to fear when preaching the truth. God ordained it, and He blesses it. He desires that all people "come to the knowledge of the truth" (1 Tim. 2:4). America, if you want revival (which is our only hope at this stage in the depravity game), then the pulpits must stop asking "Will this offend my audience?" and start asking "Will my silence offend God?" Stop trying to be popular, relevant and cool, and be filled with God's Spirit. When God gives people the authority to passionately and lovingly proclaim His Word, souls are converted, lives are changed and families are restored. Returning to His truth is our only hope." -- Shane Idleman