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Should The Church Be Involved In Politics? | No Reason To Hide #1

Christians can no longer live in the cultural “mushy middle.” The moral pressure points of our culture—abortion, sexualization, or the freedom of religion—are all political issues. Pastor Lutzer offers compelling comparisons between Jesus’ fearful disciples and the complacent, or complicit, church of today. We need heroes, however reluctant, who are willing to stand for Christ. 

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Transcript: Welcome to “5 Minutes with Pastor Lutzer.” Today, we’re going to begin a very special series. We’re going to be talking about the culture and the scriptural application to what it is that we are facing. My talks are actually based on a new book I’ve written, entitled, “No Reason to Hide: Standing for Christ in a Collapsing Culture.” There used to be a time in America when it was perfectly fine for Christians to live in what someone called “the mushy middle.” You didn’t necessarily have to declare whether or not you were a Christian as long as you were competent. Those days are largely gone.

The first chapter in my book is entitled “Surrender, Sink, or Swim.” When our 35th president of the United States, John F Kennedy⁠, was in the Navy, he was involved in an accident with a Japanese boat, he and his crew. They swam to an island but they were afraid that the Japanese were going to come and get them and they needed supplies. You can read the story on your own but Kennedy, who was at home in the water, swam and received help elsewhere on another island. Later on he was awarded the purple heart and he was asked this question⁠. “How did you become a hero?” And he answered, “It was involuntary. They sank my boat.” Well my friends, what we need today in America is heroes⁠—Christian heroes, heroes from all different races, from all different churches, all different political backgrounds. We need heroes who are willing to stand for Christ. And sometimes those heroes might be involuntary. Nobody volunteers to suffer for Christ. The question is this: What are we going to do when our boat, so to speak, has been sunk? Where will we turn?

You know my burden as a pastor often involves the issue of politics. People ask the question, “Should the church be involved in politics?” Well as a pastor I’ve never endorsed a political candidate. I’ve never endorsed a political party. But I have to say this: If we’re going to be true to the scriptures, we have to talk about those issues which impinge on politics. Issues regarding that of abortion, freedom of religion, the sexualization of our culture, all of these issues are really now political issues. So it’s very difficult for us to speak to the culture without somehow being involved in politics, even though we might not endorse candidates or parties. I remember being in Washington and speaking to a congressman. Some of us were meeting with him and he said “You know, you expect us to bring about righteous legislation in Washington.” He said, “But how can we do that unless you send us righteous representatives?”

In John chapter 20 the scripture tells us that the disciples were in the upper room. The door is being locked for fear of the Jews. Isn’t that the churches today? We’re intimidated by the culture. We don’t know how to respond to the culture and often times we are fearful. But something happened that changed everything. Jesus showed up, and after that the disciples went out with courage, with grace, yes, with a commitment to the gospel, because they knew that they were not alone even though they couldn’t see Jesus. And they knew that he was with them, as he promised he would be with us until the end of the world. You and I need a special vision of Jesus, so to speak, His power in the midst of our collapsing culture. In the first chapter, I make the point that evil never retreats on its own. It only retreats when it is confronted with a greater power. And that greater power is the church of Jesus Christ. It is the gospel of Jesus Christ. And you and I must stand together with courage, with faith, and, even if we are reluctant heroes, to be heroes nonetheless.

Very interesting⁠ that in the New Testament Peter volunteered to be a hero. You remember that?⁠—telling Jesus, “Even though others forsake you, I won’t” and then later on he denied Christ. Volunteering to be a hero is no guarantee that you will be one, but later when the Holy Spirit of God came, Peter learned that indeed he could be a hero and all of us believe that he died a martyr’s death. We need Christ in the midst of our culture. We need to represent Him well and we need to say that no matter the cost, we will be heroes. Remember the title of the book is “No Reason to Hide: Standing for Christ in a Collapsing Culture” and you’ll notice that in the description, there is a link by which this book can be yours. But as for today you just go with God. 

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