I have set myself up to have a great influence among brethren in this area, and I will use my influence to ruin ____________s hopes of ever having an influence of the brethren in this area of the country. Have you ever heard a statement such as the previously mentioned one made by a brother in Christ? Maybe you have heard a different type of statement, such as: If this brother opposes me I will ruin his name and be sure that no congregation I know of hires or supports him. Maybe youve heard something along this line of reasoning: If he does not write for our magazine it is because we do not consider him one of us, because anyone who we do not let write for us, we would never recommend for Gospel Meetings, reception of outside support, or to be hired anywhere that we have an influence. Those statements are not exact word-for-word statements, but they are close to it from things I have heard over the last few years. Theses kinds of statements that are mentioned above are words you would expect to hear among worldly individuals in politics or even worldly children in secular schools, but we should not be hearing those things from the lips of our brethren.
Peter by inspiration tells us to love the brotherhood (I Peter 2:17), not form our own political parties, preach agendas more than the Gospel of Jesus Christ, or try to set up a group of men to be the unofficial universal church councils making coded laws to govern conservative-minded brethren on issues from fellowship to marriage, divorce, and remarriage. When brethren begin acting in political ways, the body of Christ suffers as does the work that Christ would have brethren to be busy doing.
When Politics are Present, Christ Takes a Backseat
When brethren practice politics, the work of the Lord becomes secondary to their own agendas. True dedication to the Lord leaves no time for sinful things such as brotherhood politics (Matthew 22:37). If brethren were always abounding in the work of the Lord (I Corinthians 15:58), there would be no time to play games. When brethren begin and continue to politic, they are showing more concern for matters of the flesh than spiritual matters. This mindset is certainly not the mark of a good Christian (Romans 12:1-2, Ephesians 6:10-17, and I John 2:17).
Just think of the mind of politically focused brethren. They see the great commission to read like this: (Mark 16:15-16 according to the Christian Politician Version) And he said unto them, Go ye into every local church, write in every brotherhood publication, and teach those things that thou has determined to be paramount in your cause and you shall be greatly esteemed among simple minded brethren. He that believeth and joins your political movement shall help you to have many more opportunities to be glorified; but he that believeth not ye shall lie about, seek every opportunity to destroy their reputation, and finally get all others in your party to do the same. While this perversion might seem somewhat unrealistic, think about how many times we have seen brethren over the years do such things.
You will notice that the focus of Christians in the first century was the preaching of the Gospel of Jesus Christ (Matthew 28:19, Acts 2:38-41; 5:42; 8:4; 20:20, Romans 1:16, and James 1:21-25), not the pushing of ones agendas. When a person or group of individuals began to push their own ideas and agendas, they were confronted (Matthew 15:1-9 and Galatians 2:11ff.). John was not going to allow Diotrephes to set himself up in a political way (III John 9-11) any more than Paul was going to allow sects to be formed in Corinth based upon who baptized an individual (I Corinthians 1:10ff.). We learn from these examples and others that the faithful must stand for Christ and against human politics. Some may say: But, this will cause divisions. Wrong, when there are politics among brethren, division has already occurred!
When Politics are Present Division Occurs
Faithful brethren who are committed to the cause of Christ are always set to defend the Gospel (Philippians 1:17 and Jude 3). One cannot serve Jesus Christ and those who desire to have their political movements taught as well. Notice what the Apostle Paul said: (Galatians 1:10) For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? For if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ. When political agendas exist, the faithful contend against those agendas, and the politically-minded individuals refuse to repent; there will be division.
Right and wrong do not, will not, and can not dwell together (II Corinthians 6:14, Ephesians 5:11, and Colossians 1:13). When brethren cease walking in the light, fellowship with the faithful is severed (I John 1:7). Marking those who are politically driven simply makes that known and warns others against the divisive acts they are pushing (Romans 16:17-18). When one fails to walk according to the word of God, they cease to have fellowship with God and faithful brethren (II John 9-11).
When faithful brethren take a stand against the politicians among us, those politicians will defend their agendas and use carnal warfare to do so, and carnal tactics certainly separate the faithful from the politicians (II Corinthians 10:4). Articles such as this one are not normally well received by politically minded brethren. I am sure that some politically minded brethren have already began dissecting this article to find something than can use to fault me for writing it. It matters not to I, for the politicians of the Lords days did the same thing to Him (Matthew 19:3, Matthew 22:17-18, John 8:5-6, etc.). False brethren do not appreciate the light of examination being shined upon their works. However, standing for the truth is not something one does to be popular (Luke 6:26). One difference between a politicking brother and a faithful brother in Christ is that the one who is faithful will say what he means and mean what he says; wherein the politically minded brother will be sure to create smooth and deceitful words to cause the faith of some to be shipwreck.
I remember a story that was told to me by a faithful Gospel preacher that will illustrate a point that needs to be made. The short version of the story goes like this. There was a younger preacher who through miscommunication was put on the radar screen of a certain political giant among brethren. This politically minded fellow felt insulted by this younger preacher and took the matter personally. The politically-minded guy was talking to this faithful brother about this younger preacher and asked the faithful brother who was putting ideas into this younger preachers mind. He charged that this younger preacher would never come up with certain ideas on his own without being led by someone else. Knowing the younger preacher, the faithful brother said that no one could put ideas into his head, for this younger preacher studies, thinks, and comes to his own conclusions. The politically-minded man responded by condemning this young fellow for not seeking the advice of wiser brethren and depending solely on his own conclusions. In essence, the young preacher would be wrong for seeking and finding information from another, and he was also wrong if he sought and found information on his own. No matter what, the younger preacher would be wrong in this politicians mind. The point is, when you get on the bad side of a politician and you hurt their agenda, they attack even the best works you will do. Therefore, the faithful need to work together to protect the church and the work of the Lord by standing firmly against the politicking going on in the brotherhood today.
By: Brian A. Yeager
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