21 September 2020 Pastor Rick: TALKING POINTS – The Point After 2.0
by Pastor Rick Henderson
We’re two weeks into our series on politics, with one more week to go. If you’ve engaged this series with some trepidation, that’s OK. There is nothing wrong with approaching an important conversation cautiously. As we engage, this is our thesis, our rallying cry:
Disagree politically and love unconditionally.
I’m not surprised our church is eager to embrace unity and give grace relentlessly. Nor am I surprised many of us have practical questions. Here are few questions I’ve received. Hopefully what I have to share will be helpful to you as you wrestle through these matters.
Are we subtly trying to endorse Donald Trump or the Republican party?
No. It’s not our intent to officially or unofficially endorse any party or anyone on the ballot. I was first surprised by this question until I took a second look at our video intro. In that video, there is an image of someone holding a pro Trump sign. No one is holding a pro Biden sign.
The resources for this series, including the video, come from Northpoint Community Church. This series was first given in January 2020. The intro video was created before the Democratic nominee was selected. The video does reference both parties and a variety of issues. It is not intended to communicate any political endorsements.
Does the church have a role in promoting education among Christians? How?
Yes. It’s one of the reasons we are teaching through this series. Jesus taught that we should love God with our minds. Our intent is to do so. To that end, we will continue to promote reading, listening, and studying.
Autumn Ridge will happily affirm information and study resources related to sound Biblical teaching. If you haven’t been to the Christos Bookstore lately, come visit. While we won’t affirm or endorse resources related to the news or politics—we strongly encourage you to pursue the best, most well-rounded, factual information you can. Try not to limit your reading and study to people you believe already agree with you. Further, I’m convinced the better we know history, the better we’ll understand our own moment.
Lastly, become a student of worldviews. Ideas rule the world. We’ll only achieve understanding of social, political, cultural, and religious movements when we know the worldviews that drive them. If studying worldviews is a new venture for you, may I suggest starting with resources from Ravi Zacharias (rzim.org) and Tim Keller (gospelinlife.org).
Some Christians don’t like one candidate because of past sins he’s committed, while other Christians argue about the other candidate and the sinful policies he’s endorsed. Are you asking that we tolerate policies that we are convinced are sinful? I mean, these are people we are voting to lead our country.
No. The aim of this series is not for you to tolerate positions you are convinced violate the Law of Christ. Nor is it the aim for you to pretend differences aren’t real or meaningful. Rather, the aim is to never allow those differences to be an excuse to not hold onto unity or not extend love, especially to our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ.
Concerning the sinfulness of candidates, it’s good and wise to evaluate which candidate you find more trustworthy. It is good and wise to evaluate a candidate’s example. It’s good and wise to evaluate the impact of political leader’s moral approach to all aspects of life, personal and private. Since nothing less than the cross is required for any of our sins to be covered, it’s unhelpful at best to evaluate which candidate’s sins are worse.