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Ive been bothered lately by the juxtaposition of the Church and the ministers therein promoting opinion (political,

personal, and otherwise) into civil law. Moreover, they are promoting these ideals to the congregation, which remain outside of Scripture and stand as personal opinion alone. They claim that its what Christ asks of us or what has been revealed to them. Ive already spoken before about the dangers of personal revelation lacking Scripture, so I will not delve into that area as I feel my position is already well known by now. Rather, I will speak about the dangers of speaking opinion or agenda to the congregation from the pulpit. We must not, under any circumstances, confuse, confound, mistake, or be led astray into believing that the Church has (or should have) any power other than its ecclesiastical office. To confuse these two offices (civil and ecclesiastical) is to openly invite war, insurrection, and persecution. The offices must stay separate. If they do not stay separate, no matter of whichever dominates the other, tumult will follow with a complete certainty. It seems illogical to think that the Church governing would be a bad thing as the Church is holy and ordained by Christ to exist, yet even Christ understood that they should be separate from the governing authorities (Matthew 22:17-21). He says this because Christ understood the necessity for the authorities to rule as they are ordained by God as well to retain their office and govern the people (Romans 13:1). Scripture also teaches us that we must submit to them and their office (Romans 13:5) and to rebel against them is to rebel against God directly (Romans 13: 2). Now, it could be asked, What if the Government is ungodly? That is a fair question. Let us assume that the governing authorities are, in fact, ungodly. Scripture teaches even further that we should live righteously among them (1 Peter 2:12) and still submit to them (1 Peter 2:13-14). If they are harsh or unjust, Scripture teaches us that you still must submit to them (1 Peter 2:18-22) just as Christ submitted Himself to the governance of the Pharisees unto His own death. Submission is a part of Christianity. It is, in fact, one of our chief ordinances. If you disagree, I urge you to provide Scripture promoting the act of rebellion to a governing authority by the power of God. Since this point is established, let us move to the act of speaking politics in the Church to the congregation. As I said earlier in this essay, this is a very dangerous act. The congregation is very dedicated to their beliefs and they receive their beliefs (or, at the very least, the explanation of them) from the minister himself. As Christ tells us, Whoever listens to you listens to me (Luke 10:16). These words of Christ denote a natural human action. As a minister, you are the representation of Christ to the congregation. Whatever you say, they will believe it is in accordance with what Christ spoke. The congregation has no other option than to accept that their minister, of whatever religion, speaks truth from God as he stands in the pulpit. This is why it is dangerous to promote an agenda while in the Church, as your agenda or opinion will be seen as coming directly from God and the congregation will be inclined to obey. It is true that each individual has his choice to obey or deny the minister. This is not the issue. The issue is that the minister has an obligation to people and a duty to God to not lead the congregation astray by any means, whether by politics or personal opinion. The purpose of congregation is not to promote a political soapbox, but rather to promote only three things: faith, love, and the law. If he is ministering or promoting anything other than faith in Christ, love

of all mankind, and submission to the law and governing authorities thereof (whether civil or ecclesiastical), then he is overstepping or, at the very least, miscommunicating his office. Understand, the purpose of both entities is to safeguard the people, but in different aspects. Civil government deals with other things than the Gospel. The civil rulers do not defend minds, but bodies and bodily things against manifest injuries, and restrain men with bodily punishments in order to preserve civil justice and peace and prevent civil unrest. The Church is granted, not bodily, but eternal things, as eternal righteousness, the Holy Ghost, eternal life, etc., having to deal with matters of the heart, mind, and salvation. This is one of the main reasons they must remain separate as they have different responsibilities. The Church has no concern with corporeal matters as the congregation are citizens of Heaven, according to Scripture (Philippians 3:20), and the government has no concern with salvation as they work only to preserve the body as opposed to the spirit. My only advice is this: To the congregation: remain faithful. Do not allow falsehood or political devices given by one man, a group of men, or all men in all the earth to affect your faith. Those are not matters of faith, but rather matters of the world that should not concern you in your walk with the Lord. If you desire to fight wrongdoing, consider 2 Corinthians 10:4, The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. Also, consider 2 Corinthians 13:5-8, Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you unless, of course, you fail the test? And I trust that you will discover that we have not failed the test. Now we pray to God that you will not do anything wrongnot so that people will see that we have stood the test but so that you will do what is right even though we may seem to have failed. For we cannot do anything against the truth, but only for the truth. Keep this sacred. To the ministers: caution yourselves that you are not given over to your own prejudices. Rather, give yourself over to righteous teachings. You may see wrongdoing in the world, but consider if the wrongdoing is by body or by spirit. If you see torture and persecution, know it is of the body. Pray for those who persecute that they may find salvation and request the same of your congregation. If you see commandment to sin (and understand COMMANDMENT to sin is not LICENSE to sin), then pray for the strength of the congregants to resist sinning. Safeguard yourself from becoming false in the eyes of God. Speak only of faith, love, and the law. If asked about your politics (and only when asked), speak truthfully and have it be understood as Paul does in 1 Corinthians 7, that this is only your opinion and not the Scripture. People, en masse, will confuse the two very easily, as stated above, by their reverence for you. Take care: faith, love, and the law. I pray that you read this in good faith just as I have written it in good faith. I pray the Lord bless and keep you that you may prosper and live well in Him. I pray that He gives you strength of mind, body, and spirit. Amen.

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