By Vince Torres, President & Executive Director
“As Christians, we are politically homeless.”
I have seen this sentiment expressed in some form or another by many recently. It is the idea that because Christianity does not fit perfectly into any political platform, Christians should avoid assigning their total allegiance to any political party or politician. Fundamentally, I agree with this and I have often warned of the dangers of political idolatry. Lately, however, I have come to see two other troubling Christian responses to public policy and politics in America – political indifference and political hypocrisy.
While the politically indifferent tend to ignore politics altogether, the politically hypocritical tend to draw a stark line between their faith and their politics. In either case, these individuals neglect the reality that their politics serve as a reflection of their faith.
In the book of Philippians, the Apostle Paul instructs the Christians in Philippi, “Only let your manner of life be worthy of the gospel of Christ” (1:27). In the Greek, that statement can be translated as “Only behave as citizens worthy of the gospel,” which pairs nicely with Paul’s reminder in chapter three that as Christians, “our citizenship is in heaven” (3:20). Incidentally, the Greek words for citizens and citizenship in those verses are “politeuomai” and “politeuma” – which is where our English word “politics” comes from.
With these verses in mind, I believe we can appropriately say that spiritually speaking, we are not politically homeless; but rather, we have been politically sown to advance the Kingdom of God here and now. In God’s Kingdom:
- We have an affiliation – the Church. (1 Corinthians 12:12)
- We have a platform – Scripture. (2 Timothy 3:16)
- We have a leader – Jesus Christ. (Colossians 1:18)
- And we have a message – the Gospel (Mark 16:15)
When Jesus taught us to pray, he said, “Pray then like this: Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. Your Kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven” (Matthew 6:9-10). Further, before ascending to heaven after his resurrection, he left us with a charge: “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.” (Mathew 28:19-20).
Though Paul reminds us that our eternal citizenship lies in the eternal Kingdom of God, Jesus commands us to advance that Kingdom here on earth, which is why we have been purposefully sown into every sphere of influence, including our nation’s political party system. The fact that our platform (Scripture) and message (Gospel) do not fit perfectly into any political party does not render us politically homeless – but politically, a witness. (Acts 1:8)
Political idolatry, indifference, or hypocrisy are not the proper response to the state of our state and nation. Christian influence is. As Dr. Wayne Grudem states – like Daniel in Babylon, Joseph in Egypt, and Paul in Rome – “Christians should seek to influence civil government according to God’s moral standards and God’s purposes for government as revealed in the Bible.”
Though we may be “divided” along party lines, in Christ, we are one church, and through Scripture, we profess one truth. And with the Holy Spirit as our guide, we, the Church, have the power to influence our world in a manner that is neither liberal nor conservative – but revolutionary.
During these divisive times, may we not lose sight of our witness – and in the midst of every darkness, may we always shine as light.
“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” -Acts 1:8
“You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.” -Matthew 5:14-16
Politics is one of the most challenging topics to bring up in any conversation. Most people have heard since they were young that they should never bring up politics or religion in polite conversation.
Yet today the events of COVID-19, rioting in major cities, the exchange of gunfire across rival groups, and the literal stalking and killing of peace officers, has brought the reality that the fate of our nation hangs in the balance. Sometimes the easy route seems to be retreating to our tribe (our friends and family) and avoiding politics. Often the argument goes like this: “we need to win the world to Christ and politics just gets in the way.”
I understand that some Christians make politics their sole focus in life and that is not good. I have seen many Christians unbalance themselves on any number of causes that matter in the Christian life. But to quote a friend, Joseph Backholm, “the answer to imbalance is not apathy, it is balance.”
Balanced views of your role in your family, your church, your city, and your nation are the major catalyst in building a civil society where God is honored, life is cherished, religious freedom flourishes, and families thrive. This means that you should neither let politics consume you nor run from it.
So, how do we talk about politics as Christians? Here’s how I think about it:
Politics is divided into conversations about partisanship and personalities, and conversations about policies and principles.
Today most political conversation revolves around partisanship and personality. Oftentimes people make decisions about a candidate based upon their personality. As one lady said about a candidate, “He just looks like a nice young man.” The Christian should be guided by a higher process. We are to be guided by the principles that matter most in the eyes of God.
Therefore, the Christian should think in this way:
(Principle > Partisanship)
(Principles are greater than Partisanship)
At Family Policy Alliance of Wyoming, we have looked at the contested General election races in the State of Wyoming. Of those races, there are a number of wonderful candidates we recommend to you. Please take time to consider voting for them and praying for them as the election draws near.
Also, please pray about what amount you would consider giving to Family Policy Alliance of Wyoming on a monthly basis. We are praying for 100 ministry partners who would pray about giving $100 a month to the ministry of Family Policy Alliance of Wyoming. If God places this burden on your heart, please visit our website and click the “donate” button.
Thank you for partnering with us and may God bless our work together
Election season is fully underway, and, if you’re like me, you’re feeling a bit anxious. I look at so much of what’s happened in our nation – and the discourse that we constantly see – and I’m deeply saddened. And, I look at this election cycle and I see the grave threat the Harris-Biden ticket (c’mon y’all, we all know who’s really going to be running the show) poses to the last recognizable vestiges of our United States of America.
It’s frightening, and it’s easy to look at “the other side” as this powerful force that would bring ruinous havoc on all we hold dear. It’s easy to be angry, partisan, and fearful.
I’m reminded in times like these that it is human nature to define the enemy as something outside of oneself, something we can see, understand, and hate.
This aspect of human nature has long permeated our churches.
I’ve long been convinced that many churches – and cultural Christianity as a whole – have given too much credence to the devil. Yes, he’s powerful. But, ultimately, he’s the best player on the low-level high school team that finds itself going up against the New England Patriots. He gets trounced in the end. And, when you compare his power to the might of the One whom he wishes he could rival, he is utterly helpless to do anything to thwart Him or act contrary to His plans.
Satan cannot win. He cannot separate you from God. He cannot force you to sin. He cannot deny your ability to worship. He cannot compel you to be a witness against your true King.
Only your sin can do those things. The number of times sin is mentioned is Scripture dwarfs references to Satan or his work. The wages of sin is death. Only sin brings death, not the devil. While he seeks to twist your heart, prey upon your nature, and feed into your desires, it is your action and yours alone that denies you communion with your Savior.
Too many Christians have fallen into the trap of loosely ascribing too much power to the devil. Is he important? Yes. Can he do great harm? Absolutely. Can he ever be truly in control? Absolutely not.
A similar view should guide us when we look at angst at a particular outcome politically.
The Harris-Biden agenda cannot defeat the Lord’s way. They cannot separate you from God. They cannot force you to sin. They cannot, truly, deny your ability to worship. They cannot compel you to be a witness against your true King.
They and their agenda can do great harm, yes. Fighting against their election and opposing their policies should they take control of our nation is important, certainly. But, they will never, ever be truly in control.
As we look at their agenda, in all its wickedness, it’s not fueled by the devil – it’s rooted in sin and it feeds into the sinful desires of those who would support that agenda.
So, as we look ahead to this election, understand who/what the “enemy” is. It’s not Sleepy Joe or Krazy Kamala. It’s not the socialists or the Democrats. It’s sin!
Understand that God calls you to reject sin and to be a light unto this world. You are called to engage – strongly and fiercely for His glory.
Understand that nothing that happens in this world can rob you of your place with the Savior. No matter what darkness surrounds you, it cannot overcome. It doesn’t have the power to.
Look with hope to the future. Know that the outcome is already written and we know the ultimate victor. As you approach an uncertain and frightening outcome, look upon it with inspired hope knowing that your enemy is not a person or a group but it is your own sin nature – and your Savior has defeated that for you, giving you new life. His death and resurrection give us hope in all things, including knowing that our bought and purchased soul can never be in jeopardy based on the politics of the day.
In no way do I seek to diminish the threat to our nation and the concern we should have for the generations to come should we fail to win in November. I merely seek to direct you against your true “enemy,” to point you to hope and confidence, and to assure you that nothing will happen outside His purpose and plan.
In Him we Trust,
President and Executive Director
The Georgia General Assembly went into an unexpected, week-and-a-half recess, but that doesn’t mean the political world stopped spinning. Here are a few quick hitters to keep you informed:
- I haven’t had the opportunity to write about it yet, but the President’s State of the Union speech was one of the finest I’ve ever heard. Results were aplenty, the outlook for the future was bright, and he hit our key issues in a strong way – life, religious freedom, and school choice. Many believers cast ballots for Trump with skepticism in 2016 – more concerned with Clinton than excited about their choice. That shouldn’t be the case in 2020.
- Meanwhile, those vying to face POTUS in the general election are looking weaker by the minute. I don’t know how Warren continues to go on, and Biden has to hope for a miracle in South Carolina and Nevada. It’s hard to take Sanders or Buttigieg seriously, and I don’t know that Klobuchar can take a 3rd place New Hampshire finish and make a sustainable run into the top tier. Michael Bloomberg looms large, but there are so many problems with him that the Dems could riot if he ends up gaining steam. Either way, this mess continues to help Trump’s chances.
- While the Georgia legislature took time off to take a deeper look at the budget, there are some great pieces of legislation that are on hold. We are working on school choice issues, protections for children, adoption and foster care, human trafficking, and parental rights. Even though it’s an election year, there is much good that can be done under the Gold Dome.
- Speaking of elections, the number of seats we anticipate being involved in continues to grow. We anticipate weighing in on 4 congressional sets, and we are watching 39 state legislative seats that could be very competitive – needing us to make the difference.
- I cannot emphasize enough how important this election cycle is in being able to achieve our policy objectives. We need to boost the numbers of our allies as well as show our friends (and our opponents) that we follow through on what we say we will do. If you care about God-honoring policy, you need to be involved this election cycle like never before.
- Finally, expect some news on the US Senate race from us next week.
There’s a lot going on, and we’ll keep you updated – without a fuss, without scaring you about bills that will never move, and without fluff.
President and Executive Director
Paid for by Family Policy Alliance of Georgia
Brothers and sisters in Christ,
Is it right for Christians to involve themselves in political things? Some Christians say no. They argue that believers should focus on “spiritual” things (like evangelism, prayer, Bible reading, and church) without getting “distracted” by the things of this world (which, of course, include politics).
I affirm that we should evangelize the lost, robustly pursue prayer and Bible reading, and actively involve ourselves in a local assembly of God’s people. But to say that doing these things precludes exercising our biblical responsibilities as citizens overlooks three important biblical truths.
First, God has created government as His “ministers to us for our good” (Romans 13:4). Therefore, government is something worthy of our time and efforts—it’s one of God’s gifts given to us to help promote the common good until His return!
Second, we are to “seek the welfare of the city where God has sent us” so that we may be left free to “live peaceful and quiet lives marked by godliness and dignity” (Jeremiah 29:7, 1 Timothy 2:2). For us to have the space to live our lives and raise our children according to God’s revealed will, government needs to respect its limited jurisdiction—it must refrain from interfering with the biblical exercise of our God-given rights.
Third, we have been given a cultural commission to transform the society around us. In the model prayer given to his disciples, Jesus instructs us to pray, “Thy will be done on earth as it is in Heaven” (Matthew 6:10). We are to work as God’s laborers until this goal is realized, “occupying until Jesus returns” and acting as “the salt of the earth” and “the light of the world” by promoting a godly vision for society (Luke 19:13, Matthew 5:13-16).
We can’t afford to be apathetic. If we engage in politics, we can make large leaps forward in building a public square where God is honored, religious freedom flourishes, families thrive, and life is cherished. If we withdraw from politics, another ideology will fill the vacuum. Those who show up and speak out will achieve the victory. In many ways, the sorry state of our government today is the direct result of retreat and indifference on the part of Christians.
The Family Policy Alliance® exists to unleash biblical citizenship throughout this great state and nation. This is accomplished through educating and mobilizing voters, discipling statesmen, and promoting sound policy. We know that the reformation of the “political” will only happen when Christians exercise their biblical responsibility to inform themselves and get involved in “political” things.
The Bible tells us of faithful believers who “stood firm and took action” when faced with an out-of-control government (Daniel 11:32). Will you stand with us?
Director of Advocacy
This letter is written to you, as an engaged Christian, and I also encourage you to, where appropriate, send to your pastor, church elder, or leader to engage them in our movement for biblical citizenship.
As Bible-believing Christians we lament the direction of our declining culture – the increasing celebration of sin, the lack of pursuit of godliness, and the assault on truth.
There are many reasons for this, but I would argue that the primary reason we don’t see much light in our culture is because Christians have increasingly hid theirs, looking more and more like the rest of the world.
Christ warned of this: “You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people’s feet. You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden.”
The “saltiness” of the Church has nothing to do with the number of people who fill its pews. Instead it has to do with the “flavor” of its believers- their willingness to stand apart and be different.
So, let me ask you this: are you using your influence as a church leader to help fellow believers be different?
My hope is that you are, but the sad truth is that many are abandoning that call. Instead many churches are watering down the Gospel, essentially ripping pages out of the Bible, in order to be more like the world.
The result of this abandonment of biblical truths is seen clearly in the political landscape.
Consider what the Democrat nominee for Lt. Governor, Sara Riggs Amico, said recently, “I know that confuses a lot of people to be a pro-labor, pro-choice, pro-marriage equality, pro-gay rights Christian. I personally think it’s quite consistent with my beliefs.”
Like Amico, the nominee for Governor, Stacey Abrams, is also campaigning extensively on her faith background despite holding beliefs that run counter to Scripture. Down the ticket, others also point to their faith as well as a belief system that undermines that faith, like Representative Sam Park, who said, “I’m a gay, Christian, Korean man sitting in the intersection of faith, sexual orientation and ethnicity.”
Now, I want to be clear: I am not here to say that Amico, Abrams, Park, or those who agree with them are not people of faith. However, I do want to say that those views are entirely inconsistent with the Scripture that guides the Christian faith.
The Bible is abundantly clear from Genesis 19, Leviticus 18:22 and 20:13, Romans 1:18-32, 1 Corinthians 6:9-11, 1 Timothy 1:8-11, and more that homosexuality is an affront to God’s design. Just as it is true that “all have sinned,” including myself, it is true, from Scripture that God views homosexuality as a sin and violation of His law.
Similarly, Scripture is also clear about the importance of life (Psalm 139:13-16), the responsibility of parents (Proverbs 22:6), the mandate to protect young children (Matthew 18:6), and God’s intentional design of gender (Genesis 5:2).
Yet, despite this clarity, the leftist ticket is running in direct opposition to these tenants- all while claiming a Christian faith.
So, how did we get here?
The Church, once a clear voice on the issues of the day, began shrinking away from cultural battles. And, we are seeing the sad results. Polling shows that the values and beliefs of evangelical Christians are increasingly moving toward those of the rest of the world. The story is even worse when you specifically look at younger evangelicals- barely indistinguishable from non-believers.
Frequently, pastors or study leaders will push away discussion of cultural issues, deeming them “too political.” Yet, when those issues aren’t spoken to in the churches, it’s easy for the ideology of the world to take root. When church leaders refuse to speak about sexuality, God’s intentional design, the value of human life from conception, or the calling He places on parents, Christians will look to fill the vacuum of information from sources outside of Scripture.
That’s why I am writing to you. No, the Bible is not a political book, and it doesn’t say whether Christians should vote Republican or Democrat. But, it does lay out a clear set of principles and values that believers should stand for. It’s time for the Church to, once again, find its voice on these issues.
As a church leader, I’m asking you to help the Church regain its “saltiness.” Speak on cultural issues within a biblical context. Talk about the Christians’ role in culture. And, make it clear that positions counter to Scripture cannot come from a position of Christian faith!
This coming election is a great opportunity for you, as a church leader, to address this. It’s appropriate, legal, and biblical to encourage your congregation to engage in voting, look at where the candidates stand on issues vital to our faith, and to stand up for our values.
We want to partner with you and serve you in this effort. In the coming months, we will be unveiling our plans to establish an active network of church leaders, and, if you are interested, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
It breaks my heart to see the way our culture has gone. However, it breaks my heart all-the-more to see issues counter to Scripture be claimed by people of faith. The Church needs to do more. We need to embrace the call to be “salt” and “light.” It’s time to awaken.
For a Stronger Church,
President and Executive Director
Paid for by Family Policy Alliance of Georgia
In a political environment where one’s principles are all-too-often defined by fidelity or opposition to a single individual, I firmly believe the following two sentiments are true:
- God showed immense grace to the United States of America in November of 2016 when Donald Trump defeated Hillary Clinton. Despite leading a largely immoral lifestyle for most of his years, the argument can certainly be made that President Trump has done more to stem the tide against the radical anti-family agenda of the Left than any other president. Praise God!
- While we can be thankful for numerous Trump Administration policies, the Church is nonetheless called to denounce his rhetoric and actions when they run counter to the Gospel. It is biblical for believers to speak truth to power, hold leaders accountable, and place the cause of Christ at a place of preeminence. When President Trump, whom many of us support, undermines the advancement of the Gospel, it is our duty to uphold our Christian witness.
Such an instance occurred this week when President Trump referred to former staff member Omarosa Manigault Newman as a “dog.” This is both unacceptable and indefensible, and, as believers, it damages our witness if we back away from condemning such rhetoric.
Well, when we support the right to life, we do so because we believe that all human beings are made in the image of God, have dignity, and are worth defending. How significantly does it undermine our argument if we hesitate to condemn derogatory statements? Can we uphold the Family Policy Alliance vision of a nation where “life is cherished” if we shy away from being critical of a political ally who demeans another human being?
Now, let me be clear, Omarosa seems to be far from trustworthy and appears to be a deceptive and vindictive individual aiming to soak up the spotlight and make money while achieving some sort of revenge against the White House. Truth about her words and motivations can and should be spoken. But, she remains someone who possesses the image of our Creator, worthy of dignity, and deserving of civility.
So, how do we move forward?
To varying degrees, I imagine that most receiving this email are supportive of President Trump- or at least the pro-family policies that have emerged from this administration. My encouragement to each of you is to review your public persona- your social media accounts and what you say publicly- to determine if your unsaved friends and colleagues would identify you more as someone that is a “Trump supporter who will stand by the president no matter what” or a “Christ follower who is engaged culturally because of a sincere belief that all people are made in the image of God.” My hope is that all of us will advance the Gospel through the latter.
This distinction matters, and it applies to us right here in Georgia. Over the coming months, we will forcefully stand with conservative candidates and oppose the liberal agenda seeking to take over our state. Among the opposition are candidates who are “radical,” “anti-life,” “anti-family,” “anti-God,” “leftist,” “socialist,” and many other descriptors that would do great harm to our state. Those descriptions- grounded in policy and actions- are fair and important. We won’t shy away from speaking the truth, and we can’t seek to disarm the church by seeking to be “nice and fluffy” with our campaigns.
There are, however, no “dogs” and no one running that is not deserving of our compassion and Christ-like love. Even those whose lifestyle or belief system are most opposed to our King are nonetheless made in His image and possessing every ounce of dignity of those of us who know the truth. While we will not hesitate to be forceful in our opposition, we must do so with God-glorifying civility.
May our winsome engagement reflect this truth and point others to our Creator!
For His Glory,
President and Executive Direector
Are you feeling exhausted by the political scene? If you’re searching for some hope amid the mudslinging, you’re invited to attend a special live event October 18 in theaters nationwide.
Revive Us 2016 will feature Dr. Ben Carson, Francis Chan, Eric Metaxas and others for an empowering and interactive evening of inspiring messages, prayer and music. Tickets are on sale today.
Religious freedom on the ropes. God being pushed out of the public square. Families struggling to survive, let alone thrive. The current state of our culture can often leave one wondering if there is any hope left for America.
Dr. Wayne Grudem, says there is much to be hopeful about. He spoke at the Family Policy Alliance annual FPC conference this summer and we thought you’d like to be encouraged, just like we were.
The fact is, all of these principles – the Golden Rule, the Second Greatest Commandment, the Fruit of the Spirit – are required in politics and they are practiced more frequently than you know, particularly when the television cameras are not rolling. The reason is that these are rules for human behavior, designed by the Creator of human behavior. They draw people together, allow them to talk through differences and to listen, really listen, to the objections of opponents.
Sometimes these principles lead to political agreement, though many times not, given the ideological chasms that divide the political parties these days. But the New Testament teachings do lead to other important outcomes – to respect, to trust and even to one of the most unlikely things in politics: to humility.
Politicians who figure all of this out often emerge as leaders. Many of them, unsurprisingly, are Christian people who have found success in politics and brought credit to the Cause of Christ.
This summer, your support will bring a half dozen of these leaders together to teach a group of the best and brightest young legislators (and those aspiring to run for office) – Christians all. This week of intense training will be our inaugural Statesmen Academy. You will be building an enduring fellowship of Christian Statesmen and women who can learn from – and lean on – one another as they stay the course and transform our system of government from the inside.
Our politics sorely need such people.