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Home The Light Articles from 2000 Unnecessary Discord

Unnecessary Discord

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Unnecessary Discord

Brother Fred Kirbo warned us many times to stay out of politics. He often reminded that friendship and fellowship have been all but destroyed because of divergent political views. He would often illustrate this with an incident that occurred in an Oklahoma congregation many years ago when a sister’s husband (an unbeliever) ran for sheriff. He would also often remind us that except for one preacher, the entire preaching brotherhood was agreed that brethren had no business involving themselves in politics. I realize there is currently a growing disdain for older preachers and even the memory of those deceased, but truth is a stubborn thing, and bro. Kirbo’s remarks were true regardless. We need to remember that when they were made, he included preachers in our fellowship currently, as well as those who believe in the divorce exception. (I know not what the number would be among them now, but "back in the old days," when brethren were conservative, Fred’s observation was pretty much on target. It included a sizeable number.)

Brother Kirbo’s objection is as true today as ever. I know one brother who is very active in the Republican party. I know of other brethren who live and breath the Democrats. So what do we have? Conflict. Hard feelings. Heated arguments. Sometimes, open disdain. Where both party enthusiasts exist in a given congregation, think you that this friction and disagreement will not affect the congregation? It is a very very unnecessary strife. The Lord has given us His word that He will take care of the political mess anyway.

Paul drew a contrast between civil government and the Christian in 1 Corinthians 6:1. Civil government is designated as being composed of the unjust, while the church is composed of saints. In verse 6 Paul refers to civil authorities as unbelievers, leaving no room for the Christian’s involvement. If we have no place in the government itself, is it reasonable that we attempt to control the government with the ballot?

Romans 13:1-7 identifies Christians as subjects of government (loyal, obedient), but not a part of government. In verse 4, we find civil authorities (law enforcement, etc., actually the entire judicial system) named as a revenger of wrongdoing, or, an "avenger," as is revised. But chapter 12:19 teaches Christians must not be an avenger of wrongdoing; thus again, a clear and definite distinction is drawn. This is a work for the world, not a work for the Christian. The world cannot do the Christian’s work, neither can Christian’s do the world’s work. With this so, how can we assume the right to participate by proxy through an elected official?

 

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