In a recent conversation with Jim Davis at The Gospel Coalition, Pastor of McLean Bible Church in the DC area, David Platt offered his assessment of the political tensions within the American Church that warrants a biblical critique. Platt attempted to identify an emerging “idolatry of personal and political convictions,” suggesting that such convictions cause “unnecessary divisions” among Christians. Platt’s narrative, however, demonstrates a wavering approach that leans far more towards compromising God’s word than holding fast to what is true.
When it comes to politics, the Bible is not ambiguous or nuanced and it provides clear instructions on several key issues of our day, particularly issues such as abortion and the LGBTQ movement. It is not the individual believer’s prerogative to stray from God’s teachings on these subjects—doing so is unquestionably sinful. As Christians, we’re obligated to seek God’s position on these issues and hold fast to it—God’s word is truth. Despite Platt’s claim, the clear line between biblical commandments and political issues is not blurry or negotiable.
To take Platt’s comments further, he said, “we are really quick to divide over what I would call the idolatry of personal and political convictions.” This argument suggests that political positions are not deeply intertwined with our Christian faith. This perspective is fundamentally flawed. The Bible does not merely offer suggestions or perspectives—it provides the absolute truth by which all else must be measured. For believers, there is no middle ground where political issues are not also biblical issues.
Many would like to say that there are certain political issues that the Scripture does not address directly. However, on these significant concerns, where the Word of God has provided clear instruction, there is no room for deviation. The Bible is not a buffet where one can select the palatable parts and disregard the rest. As true followers of Christ, our duty is to accept the entirety of God’s Word and live by it, even when it contradicts contemporary societal norms or political ideologies.
Platt further stated, “And so we have all kinds of people… with a lot of different convictions and opinions.” This statement opens the door to moral relativism, a dangerous path that leads away from the sure foundation of God’s Word. God’s truth is not malleable, nor does it bend to cater to various opinions. In Ephesians 5:6-10, Paul explains,
Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. 7 Therefore do not become partners with them; 8 for at one time you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light 9 (for the fruit of light is found in all that is good and right and true), 10 and try to discern what is pleasing to the Lord.
Platt is clearly trying to deceive us with empty words and he does not want you to discern what is pleasing to the Lord, rather he wants you to compromise on biblical convictions and look past the rampant sin taking place within our churches. This is a huge problem, and Platt is doing nothing to address it.
Paul commands the church to unite around the truth—to not be unequally yoked with unbelievers who reject the clear teachings of the Scriptures and twist the Christian faith just enough to make it appear sincere while demonstrating no regard for what is truly good. “For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness?” Paul posits in 2 Corinthians 6:14. Today, that could posited as “what partnership has righteousness with the pro-choice movement?” Or, “what partnership has righteousness with the LGBTQ
This call to unity does not imply conformity in all matters, particularly in politics. Yet those holding political convictions opposing the Word of God, for instance, those advocating for the legality of abortion, have exhibited a lack of unity with the Body of Christ, straying from the commandment in Ephesians 5. The true idolaters are the ones who forsake what God commands and turn to themselves for instructions in righteousness—righteousness in their own eyes. They believe that can kill children, have aberrant sexual desires, or steal from other people while causing racial division, and be right with God.
David Platt’s approach appears more concerned with preserving a false semblance of unity at the expense of biblical truth. The Church must hold fast to the revealed Word of God, refusing to let the shifting sands of political or personal convictions undermine its adherence to biblical truth. We must not sacrifice our biblical convictions on the altar of political or personal preferences. We are followers of Christ first, and everything else comes second.