Archive | September, 2012

WHY I’M BECOMING MORE OUTSPOKEN IN MY POLITICS LATELY

27 Sep

I’ve always had some definite political opinions. I’ve always had some definite views on who I’m going to vote for and why. But over the last few years, I had made a conscious decision to keep my mouth shut.

I think some of it was when I first became Pastor at Lillian. I had some members (still do) who did not agree with me politically. It was never a point of contention and still isn’t. But I felt that I would not be able to minister to them if I got “bogged down” in politics so I kept my mouth shut.

Then I got involved in internet broadcasting. When I came to Nowlive, my main objective was to present Jesus. For that reason, I refuse to discuss politics or political issues. I simply would not do it. I just wanted to keep everything Christ-centered. This was, and is, right.

But that’s when I started noticing something that bothered me. It started with some of the comments that were being made about me online.

“Pastor Rick doesn’t care if you’re a Wiccan, a Buddhist, or even an atheist. He just loves everybody.”

Then I would hear liberal friends that I hang out with in person make similar comments.

“Rick and I pretty well agree with each other politically.”

At first, this bothered me only a little but I refused to focus on it. I mean, after all, the objective was to bring them to Jesus, right?

But more things continued to bother me.

I started seeing an outright persecution of everything I believed. I started noticing that those who stood strongly for Christ were the comic foils in sitcoms. I started hearing outright sin overlooked in the name of “sharing the love of Jesus”.

And I started wondering something. What kind of Jesus was I showing them? Was I showing them a Jesus who said that as long as you were genuine, it didn’t matter what you believed? Was I showing them a Jesus who said “It’s okay to be homosexual. I made you that way”? 

Here’s the thing: Jesus is definitely about grace. I don’t deserve Heaven. I don’t deserve to have Jesus even look my way. I cannot look upon others in condemnation. It’s not my place.

But to say that it doesn’t matter what we believe is also wrong.  Jesus made it clear in the Word that He was the only way to Heaven (John 14:6). It is clear that He hates sin. It is clear that homosexuality is a sin. In my heart of hearts, I want people to come to know Jesus. But I want them to come to know the Jesus of the scripture. The real Jesus. The One who died for me.

And I want leaders who are going to reflect the principles that are laid out in His Word. Rightnow, you have two candidates running and I honestly don’t believe that either one is a Christian. However, I still must vote. So I pick the platform that goes more closely with what I believe as a follower of Jesus. I pick the platform that s against the termination of human life before it has a chance to be born. I pick the platform that says that marriage is between one man and one woman. I know the candidate would probably not agree with me on all theology. Neither one of them would. So  I go with the platform that most closely represents biblical precepts.

“But pastors shouldn’t speak out…”

Why not? The homosexual lobby does.The pro-choice lobby does. My responsibility is to lead my flock to understand that Jesus permeates everything about their lives— including politics. No, I cannot and do not tell others how to vote. But I do have the responsibilty of letting others know what the Scripture says about the issues at hand. It is still their decision as it is with everything God leads me to present.

But I do not have to keep my mouth shut.

I used to.

I won’t anymore.