This letter comes from an actual email that was sent to members of Living Word Church near Detroit, Michigan. In it, Pastor Randy Duncan offers his congregation spiritual insights and practical advice that all American churches — and individual believers — would do well to heed as this heated election season comes to an end.
I am writing this to you from the campus of the Seminary in Fort Wayne that trained me to be your pastor. So you can blame them! LOL! I am filled with nostalgia and vision for the future. I am thinking of you and I love you all very much. I am honored to be shepherd of the flock named “Living Word Church.”
I pray you know that although I have great joy in the Ministry, I also take on this calling with a deep sense of responsibility and duty. As a pastor, I am called to feed, protect, and lovingly challenge the flock entrusted to my care.
There is something grieving my heart at this time. It has to do with the coming election. Believe it or not, my grief has nothing to do with who might or might not be President. It has to do with how Christians are responding to the election.
I don’t know if you have noticed, but emotions are running high concerning the coming presidential election. It would be very easy for Satan to use these emotions to create disunity in the church. I have seen Satan produce deep depression and fear among Christians as their candidate’s polls rise or fall. I have seen believers “nuke” each other in e-mails and on Facebook.
People of God, here’s a reminder: The hope for our nation is not in who is seated in the Oval Office. The hope for our nation is the One I pray is enthroned in your heart. Make sure you place your hope squarely on the person of Jesus Christ. McCain and Obama do have one thing in common. Neither one is the Savior!
The Word of God warns of a “party spirit” (often translated as “factions,” as in Galatians 5). Party Spirit has nothing to do with beers in the church (which I don’t recommend), but rather jeers in the church! It has to do with being quick to speak, slow to listen, and quick to become angry — which is the opposite of the biblical mandate (James1:19).
Although some of us may be strongly Republican or strongly Democrat, God’s Spirit is neither. He is the Spirit of Truth and Love. Make sure you keep the political party spirit in submission to Christ.
The apostle Paul said:
“I appeal to you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another so that there may be no divisions among you and that you may be perfectly united in mind and thought. My brothers, some from Chloe’s household have informed me that there are quarrels among you. What I mean is this: One of you says, “I follow Paul”; another, “I follow Apollos”; another, “I follow Cephas”; still another, “I follow Christ.” Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Were you baptized into the name of Paul?” (1 Corinthians 1:10-13, NIV).
Question … Was McCain crucified for you? Were you baptized into the name of Obama?
For sure, there will be disagreements among us. There will be high emotions. But be careful. “The anger of man does not achieve the righteousness of God” (James 1:20). Don’t be more concerned with “rightness” than “righteousness.” You can be “right” and still deeply grieve the heart of God through your attitudes and actions. Satan is getting a foothold into many congregations through this election. I will fight him tooth and nail from getting a foothold in ours!
I am not saying that it is wrong for Christians to engage in politics. I think as a Christian citizen of America it is wrong for you not to vote! Be the Salt of the Earth and the Light of the World! Speak out on moral issues! Just don’t get seduced by the world system. Don’t just fight the fight; fight the good fight!
If you are highly charged because of this election, it may be because the Lord is laying a burden or anointing on your life for certain issues. For example, if your burden is protecting the life of the unborn, then don’t get derailed if your guy doesn’t become President. Volunteer at the Crisis Pregnancy Counseling Clinic. Assist an unwed mother. If your burden is social justice, help collect food and clothing. Be an advocate for the homeless. Visit the shut-in. Give towards a benevolence fund in our congregation. This year’s mantra in politics is “CHANGE.” You be that change agent!
Pray, Saints, Pray! Pray against the darkness! Pray for His Kingdom come! Pray that our country would be on His side (not that He would be on ours). Speak to those who disagree with you politically, and even theologically, with gentleness and respect. Remember, your primary and ultimate citizenship is heaven. Place your hope, joy, and peace in the Ancient of Days, not in Election Day. Jesus is still King, no matter who becomes President!
I love you all so very much!