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Christianity is Not a Political Movement: A Conversation with Pastor Jeff Vines

by | Wed, Feb 28 2024

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Times are changing—rapidly. Society is moving further away from the Gospel, making it more difficult for Christians to express their faith. Christian persecution is on the rise. The movement to push God out of the picture is fuelled by a belief that society is advancing as it frees itself from the shackles of religion. This movement, led by people like Yuval Harari, who believes that A.I. (artificial intelligence) can create a better world, a much better bible, and world peace, is delusional at best.

Pastor Jeff Vines joined Phil Edwards at Vision Christian Media to discuss how we can’t win souls by forcing people to comply with Biblical principles through politics and changes in legislation.

Jeff points out how churches have also failed to stand strong when tested with issues that go against Biblical principles. Unfortunately, many have compromised God’s Word and are reaping the consequences.

‘Pastors are not respected in the way they used to be. Some of that we brought on ourselves, especially with some of the tension that has existed in the church with leaders who perhaps didn’t have the best interests of their people in mind as they made decisions. So that’s hurt us,’ said Jeff. ‘I’ve got to get to the point where I’m not shocked or surprised that I may lose friends. That doesn’t mean that we become jerks all of a sudden. … We still compel people toward our Saviour. We don’t repel them. So, I’m not saying, as Christ-followers, we take up the picket sign and start marching against everything.’

The world is not accepting Christianity as it once did. Even though Christians have been persecuted for years, there are currently 300 million Christians suffering intense persecution around the world. Some Christians are being slaughtered in the thousands by extremist groups who are threatening that the West is next—the days of living a privileged life as Christ-followers are coming to an end.

Jesus Came to Serve, Not Conquer

One of the reasons Jews rejected Jesus when He walked the earth was because they were looking for a political saviour to overthrow Roman oppression. But at that time, Jesus’s mission was to serve and die as the sacrificial lamb to atone for the sins of all humanity and reconcile us back to God so we could spend eternity with Him. It is His second coming when He will come as the Lion of Judah to rule His people.

‘We’ve started to confuse the mission. Somehow, we began to think that our job is to almost force—through legislation or political activity—the world to be Christian,’ said Jeff. ‘The biblical mandate is to not ever assume that Christ-followers are going to take over the world. If Jesus wanted to do that, he would have done it the first time. We’re supposed to be pulling people out of the world system that is marching away from God into a kingdom that is unshakeable. When those two things try to come together, when you start trying to think that you’re going to change the world through politics or legislation, what happens is the world starts to identify you as a political movement rather than a Christian movement. At that point, they’ll discard you completely if they don’t agree with your politics.’

Jeff believes in being truthful with people by explaining that there is always going to be sin in the world regardless of how many Christians inhabit the earth. There are sinners in politics, in society and even in churches. The world is full of sinners, and Christians aren’t perfect. What Christians should focus on is showing people the contrast between what the world offers and what the Kingdom of Christ offers.

‘People aren’t perfect, but we’re forgiven. And we’re trying to do the best we can at being the people God has called us to be, which means loving people who disagree with us. So when I shout at you because you’re not on the same political affiliation as I am, and I call myself a Christ-follower, and I call you the devil, and I demonise everything you believe. I don’t think I’m going to be very successful pulling people out of the kingdom that is shakeable into the one that is unshakeable,’ said Jeff.

The Jews wanted a thundering Messiah, not a suffering servant. But Jesus came to serve, not to be served. And that’s what we, as Christ followers, are supposed to do—serve people and compel them to Christ, even if they don’t like us. As Christians, we have been given the gift of the Holy Spirit to help us evangelise when we get the opportunity. The Holy Spirit will give us the right words to say at the right time. It starts with building relationships.

Protection in God’s Word

Deception is everywhere. The Bible tells us:

‘Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.’ 1 Peter 5:8 NIV

The way to protect yourself from deception and temptation is to study the Bible every day. We need to know the Word for ourselves so we are not relying on someone else’s interpretation. God’s Word speaks to us personally. It’s our direct connection with God. If we didn’t eat every day to fuel our bodies, we would become physically weak and eat whatever food was presented to us to stave off hunger—regardless of its quality. It’s the same with our spiritual needs. The best spiritual nourishment we can get comes from reading God’s Word and praying often. Pray for yourself, your friends and family, your country and political leaders. Then watch God at work!

This article was written as a follow-up to Jeff Vine’s interview with Phil Edwards. To hear Jeff’s full interview, click the link below:

Related articles:

Saving Souls Through Love in Action: A Conversation with Pastor Jeff Vines – Vision Christian Media

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