A black Christian brother of mine contacted me and was concerned and upset over recent statements by members of a men’s Bible study I facilitate. He was devastated to learn that a large majority of the members were conservative. He rebuked me for allowing this to happen in the group and felt that I should put an end to it. His opinion was that the Republican candidate was racist and that a Christian could not in good faith vote for a person like that. The more I tried to reason with my brother, the angrier and angrier he got, so I explained to him if he wanted to have a conversation, my door is always open, but I wasn’t going to go back and forth with him on different political views. I love good debates but refuse to go to the level we have recently seen around our country and in the secular press, where because of race relations, we are now more divided than I have ever seen in my lifetime.
After our conversation, I sat at my desk trying to find a way to build a bridge between my liberal brother and me, and the more I thought about it, the angrier I got. What happened to the days when you could vote for whomever you wanted to and not have to worry about whether or not you were going to offend someone. As I dwelled on this subject I realized we, the church are partly responsible for this great divide. You cannot look at the television, social media, or any other way you get your news without having to pick a political side. It is no longer Democratic versus Republican, it has no come down to us against them, or that is how a lot of people want you to look at it. I feel we, the Christian church need to find a way to bridge this gap before we hit the point of no return. I am terrified that we may have already gone too far.
First, let’s set some ground rules. Unless you can show me your stance in the Bible, then the argument goes nowhere. I don’t want to be legalistic, but I feel the church has let things slide for so long that the only truth I have left to lean on is from the Bible, not some study on race or sex that is based on someone’s social opinion that calls themselves an expert. We, as Christians, must take a stand or watch the devil win because he is creating a lot of chaos in the church.
After my conversation with my liberal brother, I needed to make sure my heart was in the right place. So I decided to go to council, not with my Christian brothers but with my Heavenly Father. While sitting at my desk asking Him the question, I felt His quiet voice whisper to me. I turned to 1 Samuel 16, where God sent Samuel to Bethlehem to anoint Israel’s new king. Samuel gets there and calls out Jesse to bring his sons to celebrate a sacrifice to the Lord. As Jesse’s sons start to appear, Samuel is for sure Jesse’s firstborn, Eliab, was the anointed one. Yet God in verse 7 spoke to Samuel “But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”” This is how we as Christians need to start looking at people, not looking at the outward appearance but their hearts. This is when the Church will begin to heal and not before then.
During this time of meditation, I also heard Him tell me that all I need to do is be right with Him, no one else. As long as I pleased my Father, He would help me deal with what my brother was going through. We, as the church, need to get back to listening and being right with God. Instead, a lot of churches today are doing what Paul warned us about in 2 Timothy, “For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.” 2 Timothy 4:3 NIV. I see all across this country that churches and religious organizations teach their congregation with itching ears exactly what their member want to hear instead of the actual teaching from the Bible.
I watched churches and religious organizations join the cancel culture and try to shut down pastors that have done incredible work in not only their community but around the world because they prayed for our last President. Even if you disagree with the President, did we forget what Paul said in Romans 13:1 “Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God.” I may disagree with the current President, but I will not talk about how some church leaders have spoken about our past President. God did not get up on November 4th and tell the angels that He didn’t see the present President’s win coming.
I also watched churches and religious organizations push the race issue, and this is not only all-black churches. The Southern Baptist Convention try to pass a resolution that would promote Critical Race Theory and Intersectionality as a tool for churches to use. If you don’t know how dangerous these two theories are, go back and read my blog, “Critical race theory & Intersectionality vs. the Grace of God.” I can’t find any Biblical teaching in either one of these theories. I am more than happy to talk to someone that can point me to the scripture where it says one race is better than another race. But in my Bible, it says God created mankind in His own image, Genesis 1:27.
Then we have the issues of the government wanting to pass the Equality Act. Once again, you need to go out and read what this is about. This will be a battle churches will have to fight in court. It requires you to do things that are against everything you teach in your church about moral and social issues. Those churches that do not see this as a problem I feel sorry for. I have been watching a church in St. Petersburg, FL, fall apart because the pastor has decided upon himself to teach the congregation with itching ears exactly what their member want to hear instead of the actual teaching from the Bible. This has torn that church apart, pit brothers and sisters against each other, and this is a time we need to be unifying and not dividing. Dark clouds are around the corner for churches across this great country.
But let me end on two positive notes. First, as God would have it, my liberal brother called me ten minutes after my time with Him. I explained that I didn’t vote for the past President because of who he was. I voted for him because he based his election on one of my most critical moral choices. You see, the past President was pro-life. If you tell me you are pro-choice, you lose me right off the start. I cannot find how many abortions the United States performed in 2020. The numbers are not out there, but a Western Journal article’s headline said it all “It Would Take COVID 23 Years to Kill as Many People as Abortion Killed in 2020 Alone”. No wonder God is not happy with us, and this new administration is very much pro-choice, so right off the bat, you lose me. Many other policies this administration is pushing are so far from Biblical teaching that we as Christians need to start praying for our country and our leaders. Read Judges; every time a judge went against God, their future was not bright. God promises us in 2 Chronicles 7:14, “if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” We are all God’s people. Let us call out to him and humble ourselves so we can heal our land.
The second bright spot I want to talk about, everywhere in history; when the church was persecuted it grew. Throughout time there have been world leaders who tried to stomp out religion but in over 2000 years of prosecution the church is still here. If you do not understand, the Church is the Bride of Christ. If we truly believe, then Christ Himself will protect His Bride, He will not let it die, and we have a way of flourishing when things go sideways. Don’t believe me, look what happened during COVID19. Some states tried to shut down the church, and it grew. We learned how to use technology, and now in the comfort of your own home, you can get fed every day of the week from a different pastor.
Satan is alive and well in the country and knows what will divide us, racism. We have to stand together to combat this, or the church will go through some challenging times. If you go to a church and hear them using terms like systemic racism or reparations in their teaching, you need to run away. God sees us all as all equal. Paul states it quite clearly in Galatians 3: 26 – 28 “So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus”.
So when my liberal brother called me back and asked if we could talk. I explained to him what I based my voting on, not the man but his beliefs. If the candidate is pro-life, pro-church, pro-law enforcement, and pro-Israel, just to list a few, then he gets my vote. All the things I listed are based on Biblical teachings. My brother agreed, so you see, we can start bridging the gap if we together stand on God’s Word. It is the Rock I built my house on, and nothing can tear it down.
Paul once again in 2 Timothy warns us that “there will be terrible times in the last days,” 2 Timothy 3:1. Later in 2 Timothy 3, Paul tells us how it will be. “In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted, while evildoers and impostors will go from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived. But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it, and how from infancy you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting, and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” 2 Timothy 3:12 – 17 NIV.
I really don’t know the last days before Christ comes back, I don’t know, and really I don’t worry about it. I find it comforting knowing that Christ will come back one day to take us to a better place. Turn off your television, close down your social media and start getting back into the Word and hear what God has to say. There are a lot of excellent promises in the Word that we need to hang on to. We also need to realize that we are all one in the sight of God and live by that principle. When we start to do that, we will once again be a unified nation.
Jim has many years of law enforcement experience and has run the safety team at his church for several years. TSA was formed after he realized God's calling when multiple churches reached out and asked him to present at their church.