Rock Dillaman preached a timely message from Philippians 3:20-21 as the presidential elections of 2008 approached.
It was timely then. It’s been timely ever since.
First the Scripture text…
Philippians 3:20-21 (NIV) But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body.
And some quotes from the message…
I want to remind you that no matter which candidate finally gains the presidency he will not be able to profoundly impact the spiritual strongholds that are the source and the sustenance of our national problems. Because, as Paul said, the weapons — the only weapons — that work in spiritual warfare are spiritual weapons. The anointing of the Holy Spirit. The power of the Holy Spirit. The sacred Scriptures. Prayer. Fasting. Discernment. Prophetic gifting. Those are the only things that work when you’re facing spiritual strongholds. And the last time I checked Washington doesn’t specialize in spiritual weaponry. They function with the inevitable compromise of political expediency.
And so…real change in this nation must originate with a God-empowered spiritual movement in the hearts of the only people through whom God can and will accomplish that, the Church. Real change will come from Spirit-led grass-roots efforts that “rush up,” not political decisions that “trickle down.” A good example would be the civil rights movement. It didn’t start in the halls of congress. It started in a pulpit in a church. And that’s where spiritual change has to come from — from the people of God.
When you say to be Christian is to vote this way, to endorse this candidate you have just politicized your faith. And that isn’t patriotism, that’s blasphemy. That’s heresy. Be thankful you don’t live in Old Testament times, they would have stoned a lot of people today.
Dear friend, God is not Republican nor is he Democrat. To suggest he is either is blasphemy…. God is not liberal or conservative, though he has been accused of being both…. God is not a citizen of the United States of America. And the United States of America is not the kingdom of God; we are just one more sinful, fallen nation-state.
To attach God’s name to human political structures is to use his name in vain.
The fact someone disagrees with your political persuasion doesn’t make them evil — doesn’t mean they are the spawn of hell…. If you are eager to pronounce hell on somebody else, you are probably flirting with it yourself.
Don’t politicize your faith. We’ve done so much politicizing of our faith, there’s a whole bunch of Americans who won’t listen to us talk about Jesus ’cause they assume what the church is about is the Republican party and trickle-down economics and so on. They won’t even give you a hearing. That’s what happens when you politicize your faith — you shut down evangelism.
My President will not be elected in a few weeks. My President ascended to his throne a long time ago and declared that he is King of Kings and Lord of Lords. He’s already given his inaugural address — it’s called the Sermon on the Mount. And I live as a citizen of heaven waiting for his return when he will subject all things to himself. In the meantime, my beloved, beloved brothers and sisters, be Christian and don’t be heathen and know who you are and live like you’ve read the Bible rather than letting it collect dust on your nightstand. And don’t lose your soul in an election. Because when the election is over the work of the Church will remain.