I don't know about you, but as we enter into the campaign season for the next Presidential election in 2024, I am weary of the empty promises we hear from the politicians. Our country is in dire straits -- morally, politically, militarily, economically, and culturally. We desperately need to invite God into our situation, and we need a leader that will listen to His counsel, instead of pursuing his own power and wealth.
Recently, the candidates appeared at the Iowa caucuses, presenting their assurances of getting us back on track and restoring America to "its greatness", however that looks in the context of their political ideologies. It is my opinion that they need to be seeking God's ideas and ideals that will influence their political theories and policies. That's what I want to hear from them!
And, of course, to appease their Christian audience, the candidates met with a varied group of pastors to speak to them and advise them. Granted, I know that there are still righteous men who seek political office for the Glory of God, and I know there are Pastors that sincerely want to minister to the souls and spirits of men seeking the highest office in the land, but I am praying that EVERY candidate and EVERY Pastor heard the message from Pastor Alistair Begg, senior pastor of Cleveland's Parkside Church.
In the most straightforward and clear language possible, Pastor Begg explained to all the candidates that what they needed to know [and express to all the people of our nation] is very simple ... they need to communicate and demonstrate a Biblical worldview. That's what the people of this great nation need! I know it may sound trite and clichéd, but I want to convey to you the wise words of this Man of God. It applies to all of us.
Pastor Beggs noted that every candidate referred to "the crushing, catastrophic mental health problem that is pervasive in the nation". He thought it was interesting that out of all the topics presented, they all mentioned mental health. But how do we explain the fact that we have so many people in dire straits in so many areas of their lives? Pastor Beggs had an answer .. .When a nation turns its back on the living God, it's not because the people believe in nothing; in fact, they believe in all kinds of things, such as lies that have been hard-wired into the thinking of a number of our generations. And most importantly, there are lies that represent a hostility to a Biblical view of the world -- and it's a hostility towards those that want to live as Christians in a world that doesn't like what Christians believe.
Pastor Beggs told the candidates that if they wanted to really fix the problems of America, they needed to adopt a Biblical worldview and start from there. They need to govern from a Biblical worldview and its belief system. And if they didn't understand what that means or couldn't identify what a Biblical worldview is, he could tell them in four words ... Good, Bad, New, and Perfect. And then he proceeded to explain the truths and beliefs of what a Biblical worldview endorses.
GOOD. God created the Heavens and the Earth. He created man in His image... God saw everything He had made and it was good; it was perfect. The world is a reflection of God, the Creator, and He has spoken it into existence. There is no one in the world that can ignore He has created the world. He has made it known in His creation, in our consciences, and "set eternity in the hearts of men". (Ecclesiastes). Pastor Beggs told the candidates that they needed to believe in the truth that God's invisible power and His divine authority has been clearly perceived (Romans 1). They need to believe that it is on the basis that we have been created in the image of God that we have morality, truth, and an eternity we will one day inhabit.
He went on to explain that this is a worldview that is VASTLY different from the generations that have been brought up in our lifetime. They have been told we can't speak with any authority at all about there being a Creator God, who made us and to whom we are accountable. Instead, we are to listen to the scientists and the post-Enlightenment thinkers who want to separate the reality of our living faith from any sense of rationality at all. And they end up with nothing to say!
Stephen Hawking [the theoretical physicist whose theory of exploding black holes drew upon both relativity theory and quantum mechanics] once said that if there is no God and we've evolved by chance through millions of years, then everything that happens, good or bad, must be viewed as random and pitiless indifference. If that is true, then nothing has meaning, and everything is irrelevant. But that is where our society is headed if we don't reclaim a Biblical worldview.
BAD. Here's another truth that Pastor Beggs encouraged the candidates to consider. The world we know today is not the world as God made it. It is the world as man has spoiled it. Men listened to the lie and they doubted God's goodness. They rejected His wisdom and they rebelled against His authority. And what happened? They were banished from His presence. So now do you understand why we feel so separated and divided as a nation? Why there is such anger and animosity among the peoples? As the philosophers question, did we just invent Him as a crutch to get through life? Here's what he urged the candidates to understand ... There's an invisible boundary between us as sinners and God, who is completely holy. We can cross that boundary on our own terms or in our own time. But there is only one way there can be reconciliation, and that is if God chooses to penetrate the boundary from His side and come to meet us.
Pastor Beggs went on to say that without a Biblical worldview there is a sense of lostness in the world; a desert wasteland that can't be rejuvenated by a few man-made theological proclamations [such as "Revival is coming"!] that try and suggest that things are better than they are. Why do we have that sense of lostness? Why are we so incredibly angry? Why is it that we, mere mortals, have decided we can enforce judgment ourselves? That we can decide who can be listened to?
How did this happen? The pastor thinks it's partly this ... that having decided there is no God, who is the Judge of all the earth, we will become the one to execute judgment and righteousness. Since our society has no objective reality on the basis on which He might judge, then we're going to have to do it for Him [or for ourselves]. It's not that we've decided to do it by false idols; but that we will do it in His place. That leads to this situation: people are so angry about what we Christians believe, they've just decided to cancel us. "We'll punish you; we'll fix you; we'll do what your God is supposed to do". So, ultimately, how can God look upon us without displeasure, and how can we look upon Him without fear?
NEW. But here is the Good News! Into the "badness" of a world that has rejected Him, God, Himself has come! We have to be bold enough to say this out loud ... Jesus Christ is not a figment of our imagination. He made such an impact upon history -- even though it's trendy to dispense with BC and AD -- we know there was a time before Jesus, and a time after Him. The reason He came was to make all things new. The reason He came was to die for our sins. We have to be able to say to our friends that we're all made in the image of God, without exception! Every child conceived is because of the mindful purpose of God! It doesn't happen simply as a result of sex, because it doesn't happen every time, but when it does -- GOD DID IT! We have to be able to say we are all made in His image; we're all sinful before Him; and we're all in need of a salvation that can only be provided by Lord Jesus. We can be restored by the act of Jesus who died for our sins.
But here is what a Biblical worldview understands ... to contemplate that Jesus saves us is an offense to man's pride, both intellectually (I'm too clever to believe stuff like that), and morally (I'm a good person. I don't need that). And here's where the good pastor used a sense of humor to talk to the candidate's fleshly minds. He used two Beatles songs to explain that there are two classes of people (and not Republican or Democrat). Those who say, "We Can Work It Out", and those who say, "Help".
And then he fashioned his message to political candidates to include those who are lost and in need of a Savior. He stated that it's not that our "friends" have considered the evidence of Jesus and found it wanting -- they haven't considered the evidence at all! Belief in Jesus is historical, rational, and universal. It is recorded; you don't have to disengage your mind, and it is for everyone. It's the voice that has gone out to the very ends of the earth, not just a select few. And the application of it is personal. Yet, us Christians are considered to be engaged in superstitious beliefs from a primitive by-gone age, taking our message of mythology and bigotry to the streets.
We will hear, "I thought Jesus made you perfect, but you're not a perfect person at all". My answer is this: He declared me righteous and He's in the process of making me look perfect. And speaking of PERFECT, it's the next word we must consider in our Biblical worldview. John writes that "we are now the children of God. But we do not yet appear what we shall be, for when He appears, we will be like Him". Our leaders and the unbelievers need to understand that there's going to be a new Heaven and a new Earth. We will crumble into dust and the universe will pass away.
And as for the hot topic of Climate Change, yes, we should take care of what we've got, but to the extremists, we say, "Relax, the Creator has this covered". So, if they believe there is no God, the extremists think there's no one to fix everything except them. That's why they're so anxious! But here's the truth [for the politicians] ... the perfection and longing of the human heart are all met in Jesus. After all, who wants to live in all this conflict, wars, and disharmony? The souls of a country are made up of the souls of individuals. And that was the goal of Woodstock in 1969 -- to change the soul of the country. But it's Jesus that provides the rest for our souls. He says, "Come to Me, take my yoke, learn from Me; I'm gentle and humble".
Then Pastor Beggs speaks directly to the political candidates: "If you're really serious about serving this country, you ought to be thinking about three things: Integrity, Bravery, and Humility. INTEGRITY: God is concerned about Truth in all the inward parts of a man or woman. [I'm sure that not all politicians are greedy, corrupt, or liars. But we're hard-pressed these days to believe any of them -- my opinion]. Integrity is a must among those who would lead this land.
BRAVERY: What kind? The kind that's prepared to take a stand against racial prejudice [from all sides and of any kind]. The kind that is prepared to take on the educational chaos that is represented in the schools of our world. The kind that is prepared to take on the onslaught against the unborn. The truth is that there are two patients, two heartbeats, and two separate blood supplies. The Rights of the Patient [which are plastered on the walls of hospitals all over America] extend to the tiniest of patients, too. There is no freedom in this country if a woman is able to rid herself of her unborn child. You [politicians] need to be brave enough to say, "Jesus came for the margins of society. You need to affirm the immutability of biological sex ... if you were born a man, you will die as a man, no matter what you do to yourself. And you need to be brave enough to wear a T-shirt that says, "Real women aren't men".
HUMILITY: Guess what? Presidents and Prime Ministers aren't really who they think they are. They're important and God established them, but they're not the movers and shakers of the world -- God is the One who does all the moving. The prophets have said it best: "He sits above the earth, and its inhabitants are like grasshoppers". Of course, we're not real grasshoppers because we are made in the image of God. But we need to remember this [in our humility], "Don't let the rich man boast in his riches, but let him boast in this: that he knows Me, the Living and True God".
If you're a believer, you're in Christ, living in this world as a member of another world. Candidates, it is past time to oppose the lies -- no God, no judgments, no objective truth. It's past time to oppose the lies, but at the same time showing compassion for those who have been deceived by them. It's past time to pray for a massive spiritual awakening.
Pastor Beggs then concluded his message to the candidates by praying for them. And I would like to add my own admonition to the candidates ... If you will humble yourselves to deliver [and seek] this Biblical worldview to the citizens of this country, then God can use you to turn this country around. We need a President that represents God's heart for the people of this nation in Integrity, Bravery, and Humility. But if you are going to preach your own brand of political lies and promises, then you will deliver this nation and its peoples into bondage to the Enemy of this world. Now is the time for you to take stock of where your heart lies. I will pray for you, and pray that the people of America turn their hearts to the Lord and receive His counsel on where He wants to take this country. Thank you, Pastor Beggs, for a true Biblical worldview and your honesty with these candidates. More like you need to step up for the glory of God.
Colossians 2:8 See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception [pseudo-intellectual babble], according to the tradition [and musings] of mere men, following the elementary [material] principles of this world, rather than following [the truth—the teachings of] Christ.