They’ll know by your Facebook post: A Commentary
Published: November 2nd, 2020
Last week, John Piper, a prominent evangelic pastor and author of ‘Desiring God,’ wrote that he couldn’t vote for President Donald Trump or [former] Vice President Joe Biden.
Piper wrote Trump’s “Flagrant boastfulness, vulgarity, immorality and facetiousness are not only self-incriminating; they are nation-corrupting.”
Piper wrote he could not support Vice President Biden because of his support of, “baby killing, sex-switching, and socialistic overreach,” so it appears he will not vote this election.
Several Christian leaders disagreed with Piper including his longtime friend, Wayne Grudem. Grudem wrote Biden and the Democrats would pass laws that infringe on religious liberty and the sanctity of life. Gruden said millions of Americans agree Trump’s behavior is sometimes over the top, but have chosen not to imitate it.
“Piper’s argument fails to recognize that people can decide not to imitate the sins of a leader, but they cannot do that with laws,” Grudem wrote. “Laws require obedience.”
Another long time Piper friend, best-selling author and Oklahoma City pastor Sam Storms, says sin is most often hidden and discerning character is not always easy.
“Bad character, destructive character, does not always manifest itself in bombastic speech and overt arrogance,” Storms wrote. “A person can be soft-spoken, courteous, and guarded in their speech while at the same time be as wicked and dangerous as the loud-mouthed jerk.”
First, sitting an election out is a cop-out. That’s not leadership. Until Jesus Christ is on the ballot, voters are always be choosing between two flawed candidates. Piper has a right to not participate in the political process, but that attitude by prominent Christian leaders is not being ‘salt and light’ to a lost and dying world. It is a reason America is in the shape it is in.
Piper is an effective gospel preacher who has not historically engaged in the political arena. In 2008, when the GOP national convention was in Minneapolis, my wife and I attended Bethlehem Baptist on Saturday and listened to Piper preach. I spoke with him after the services and he wished me well, but said politics was of little interest to him.
Perhaps Piper should have paid more attention and encouraged his congregates to participate more in the political process.
Second, no matter who wins this week, God will still be in control. He was in control in eternity past and He has eternity future firmly in hand. The scripture says a sovereign God ‘ordains’ civil authorities.
Sometimes we don’t like His choices, but believers can’t lose, no matter who wins. That doesn’t relieve believers of their responsibility to be good citizens, be involved in the process, and stand for God’s principles. Believers keeping politics at arm’s length has gotten us to the place we are. God uses human instrumentality and conceding the political arena by believers was and is a mistake.
Third, believers in the political arena should behave like believers. Many quote scripture and spout church lingo, but lie, cheat and steal to win an election. They post insulting remarks and engage in name calling on social media. They justify the misbehavior by saying the other side does it. Two wrongs don’t make a right. The inconsistency in their lives makes you wonder about their spiritual condition. There is no love toward their fellow man.
In 1962, Peter Scholtes wrote a well known hymn titled, “They’ll know we are Christians by our Love.” Scholtes was inspired by Christ’s words in John 13:35.
In today’s America, they’ll know whether you are a Christian – or not – by your Facebook or Twitter post.
NOTE: A conservative leader and commentator Steve Fair is chairman of the Republican Party in Oklahoma’s Fourth Congressional District. His essays on varied issues appear frequently on CapitolBeatOK.com, a news service based in Oklahoma City.