The Gospel Coalition continues to set itself up as the authority on civil political engagement within the Church. Every election cycle as we approach election day, The Gospel Coalition begins its “nuanced” approach to politics and tries to make the case that Christians are “free” to “vote their conscience” and that churches shouldn’t interfere with how Christians think about politics. Of course, since the Evangelical Church is historically conservative, this opens the door to allowing leftist politics—which are incompatible with biblical thinking—to run rampant in Evangelical churches.
Arguing that preaching against political positions is a type of “seeker sensitivity” that churches should avoid, Trevin Wax writes in his latest article, Beware the New Seeker Sensitivity, “Moral issues have, of course, always been the purview of the church. Wherever the Bible speaks to an issue of righteous living—whether murder, adultery, theft, or love for neighbor—the preacher ought to speak too.”
But then he argues that “We cannot (and shouldn’t try to) establish a clear divide between morality and politics because public policy is always based on a moral vision. And that’s where it gets tricky.”
The reason he argues this way is that he, like so many Evangelical talking heads, has bought into the notion that politics is merely different ways to reach the same moral goals. For example, Pro-abortion Evangelicals like Dwight McKissic and Veggie Tales creator, Phil Vischer would say that abortion is evil, but that instead of making it illegal and punishing those who have one with the justice system, we should instead “make abortion unnecessary” by giving handouts to unwed mothers. They believe that this would drive down abortions. Therefore, in their minds, Christians can disagree about the political approach so long as they have the same ultimate goal.
But, of course, that isn’t biblical and it’s this mindset that corrupts the Church. No Christian in their right mind would make the same arguments about murdering innocent toddlers or elementary school kids. But this demonstrates that these people who hold to such unbiblical thinking on the issue of abortion and come to the conclusion that keeping abortion legal and replacing punishment with bribes for mothers to keep their unborn children hold to an un-Christian worldview. Their thinking is flawed and incompatible with God’s commandments to protect the innocent.
“It’s easy to conflate the clarity of the Bible’s moral vision with the specifics of supporting a candidate or pushing a public-policy priority,” Wax continues. “Instead, Christian liberty requires that individual Christians are free to wisely discern—and sometimes disagree about—how best to apply moral principles to political action.”
No, that’s exactly not what Christian liberty requires. In fact, Christian liberty is about eating meat and celebrating holidays, not about killing babies, celebrating homosexuality, and stealing from people with a good work ethic to give to the sluggard. The best way to apply biblical moral principles to these issues is to steward a vote well in a way that restricts these evils and honors God.
The reason Trevin Wax and his gaggle of effeminate leg-crossers at The Gospel Coalition desperately try so hard to separate political ideology from sound biblical theology is that they seek the approval of men. They love the applause and praise of men whether they be on the right or the left. They exist as mouthpieces in the church for the sole purpose of building unity between two opposing sides—the Church and the world.
“I’m not saying Christians should stay out of politics or that pastors and leaders should remain silent on moral issues of public importance,” he continued. “I’m also not saying Christians should stay silent or “above the fray,” as if there’s a moral equivalency between the two parties in the United States right now.”
“But pastors should work hard to resist the pull into the whirlpool of all-politics-all-the-time,” he added, as though this is really a thing. Literally, no real pastor worth the time of day does this. There are a few “pastors” out there who constantly rail against political issues at the expense of the gospel. But those are not pastors who are taken seriously in actual Evangelical circles. But what Wax is trying to do is paint a scenario where pastors who actually take the time to speak to the immorality of the Democrat party while urging their congregation to steward their vote well are actually neglecting the gospel by doing so. In his mind, that’s “divisive” and should be avoided.
Here’s the thing; people who believe the Scriptures should believe all of it. The Bible speaks to political issues and people who have been transformed by the renewing of their minds (Romans 12:2) approach politics with the goal of honoring God. Our purpose isn’t to shape culture and it isn’t to implement a theocracy that forces pagans to live by Christian standards. But our goal is to think biblically about societal issues and God has clearly implemented the civil government to restrict certain evils and to do so in a certain way—by punishing the wicked. It’s also very clear in the vast majority of cases that which way one casts his vote will honor God in this way. Two opposing ideas cannot both honor God as God is not a God of confusion.
“Once you lose sight of the great drama, the earthly stakes of little dramas are raised,” Wax writes. “Suddenly, all our partisan debates have heightened significance. Every day is another battle between heroes and villains. No longer are we aware of the powers and principalities on the spiritual battlefield that put our earthly squabbles in perspective.”
No, the issue here has nothing to do with elevating “partisan debates” to a “heightened significance.” When we look at it from a biblical and church discipline perspective, we understand that wrong thinking needs to be corrected. But it doesn’t just need to be corrected at the voting booth, we need to get to the root of the unbiblical thinking.
What is it that causes some who profess Christ to believe that keeping abortion legal is a godly approach to politics? What is it that causes someone who says they’re a Christian to believe that voting for Democrats who believe that indoctrinating your children in schools with LGBTQ propaganda or sending kids to be molested by drag queens in public libraries is morally acceptable? What is it that causes someone who sits in a church pew year after year to believe that the government forcing people with a good work ethic to hand over their income to sluggards who refuse to work is acceptable?
This is where the debate needs to begin and this is absolutely an issue of the black-and-white spiritual battle that should be not addressed from the pulpit, but those who demonstrate an unwillingness to think biblically about issues ultimately disciplined out of the Church altogether as they’ve demonstrated they do not have the mind of Christ. There is no ambiguity in Scripture; morality is objective and how one stewards their vote is a very significant expression of one’s understanding of morality. It’s really not as difficult as The Gospel Coalition wants you to believe it is. But, then again, The Gospel Coalition was created for the purpose of muddying the waters around these issues and causing confusion.