10 Reasons Why I Address Cultural and Political Issues
On a daily basis, I receive words of appreciation from people of faith who appreciate the cultural stands we take and the way we take them. They let us know how grateful they are that we address moral and cultural and political issues from a biblical perspective. Others, however, are not happy, telling me, “Your calling is the gospel, not politics.”
Is there merit to their concern? Allow me to provide you with 10 reasons why I address cultural and political issues. I hope this will prove helpful, as I have neither the need nor the desire to defend myself. My whole purpose is to be of service to you.
1) God called me to do this.
As a follower of Jesus and an ordained minister, the first and foremost reason I do anything in life is obedience to God. Like many of you reading this article, my goal is to please the Lord, to honor Him and to glorify Him. And so, my only question is, “Lord, what do You want me to do?”
Some people will love what I do; others will hate it. But my only goal is obedience to the Master, the one who purchased me with His own blood.
And just as He called me to do Jewish apologetics and evangelism; just as He called me to do scholarly research and writing; just as He called me to take the gospel to the nations; just as He called me to raise up Bible schools and send out laborers for the harvest; just as He called me to help spark revival in the Church — He also called me to do this, quite clearly and distinctly.
2) Why should believers have to look to the world for moral and social guidance?
All of us live in this world. All of us have to deal with social issues on a regular basis. Most all of us are involved in some level of political discussion. Most of us also vote. And who among us doesn’t have an opinion about President Trump?
Why, then, should Bible-believing followers of Jesus have to rely exclusively on Fox News or Rush Limbaugh (or, if you’re on the other side of the spectrum, CNN or Rachel Maddow) for helpful perspectives and insights? Why can’t there be (really, why shouldn’t there be) Bible-based commentary as well?
3) There are hundreds of thousands of others already preaching and teaching in our congregations.
There is no shortage of preachers and teachers in America. There is no shortage of gospel-themed books and TV shows and podcasts and blogs. (Yes, we might debate the depth and quality of some of the content, but there’s surely content aplenty.)
Why, then, must every ministry leader be consigned to the pulpit alone? Surely some can be called to speak to the culture as well.
4) We rightly resist the false separation of church and state.
The world is constantly saying to us, “Stay out of politics! Keep your hands off our culture! Remember the separation of Church and State!”
In response, we say, “What our Founders intended was to keep the State out of the Church, not the Church out of the State.”
Yet the moment some of us seek to bring the truths of Scripture into society, others in the Church say, “You’re mixing politics with religion! Stay with the gospel.”
We can’t have it both ways. (For the record, I address political issues because they intersect with moral and cultural issues. Politics itself is not my concern.)
5) My ministry is literally flooded with questions about moral and issues, with more requests for help than we can answer.
My administrator recently told me that the vast majority of notes of appreciation we receive and the vast majority of requests for help we receive relate to moral and cultural issues.
This is something we didn’t ask for or seek out. It came to us by way of calling, and the fruit speaks for itself.
In recent years, I have been asked to address LGBT issues by leaders in America, Canada, Peru, England, Germany, Italy, Hungary, Faroe Islands, the Netherlands, Singapore, S. Korea, India, the Philippines, Australia, in some cases, meeting with government leaders as well.
And whenever I address these issues in a public setting, there’s a line of people waiting to talk with me, some of them in tears. Their stories are heartbreaking, and they’re looking for godly wisdom.
Sadly, this indicates to me that too few of us are addressing these important issues. As one man recently expressed, “You’re a moral voice against the immoral insanity that is poisoning America.” Would that there be many more voices!
6) This is part of our prophetic calling.
Are we not called to be like the sons of Issachar who “understood the times and knew what Israel should do” (1 Chronicles 12:32)? Are we not called to hear God’s voice (through the Word and by His Spirit) and share what we hear with the world around us?
Many believe that the Lord is judging our nation for her many sins. How, then, can it be, that we are not supposed to address the nation concerning those sins? How, then, can it be, that we are not to help the rest of the Body address those sins? How, then, are we not to provide a way of redemption and restoration?
7) This is part of being salt and light.
As salt, we provide a moral conscience to the society and we help preserve the society. As light, we expose darkness and show the way.
We will be hated and maligned and persecuted for this, but it is certainly part of our calling (see Matthew 5:10-16 among other passages).
8) I can address moral, cultural, and political issues and continue to preach and teach and take the gospel to the nations and reach out to my Jewish people.
By God’s grace, I continue to do Jewish outreach; I continue to teach in ministry schools; I continue to preach in churches and at conferences; I continue to travel around the world with the gospel.
Yet, to repeat, almost wherever I go around the world, people will express their appreciation to me for addressing moral and cultural issues. So, again, all to the glory of the Lord, we are obviously filling a need.
9) The Bible addresses these issues.
In the days of slavery (or segregation) in America, did the Bible have something to say about it? How about today? Does God’s Word have anything to say about abortion? Human trafficking? Corrupt politics? LGBT activism?
Simply preaching through the Scriptures would force us to tackle many of these pressing issues.
10) Our children and grandchildren need answers.
A few days ago, I received a text from a pastor in England, stating, “Since you came [to speak at our church] over a dozen folks have come to Christ, and this Sunday we had our full sex change person come in. We want to stand for truth and be full of grace and truth.”
Well, not only are pastors and congregants dealing with questions like this but our children (and their children) are as well.
Virtually every day, they’re confronted with confusing messages on TV, online, at school, on the job, and among their friends, and if we don’t have answers for them, they’ll get them elsewhere.
A pastor in California told me that none of his children, all older teens or young adults, agree with him on homosexuality, even though they were raised in the faith. It looks like the culture was more powerful than their upbringing — at least when it came to this subject.
Drag queens are reading to toddlers in libraries. Kindergarteners are sent mixed messages on gender. Teenage stars on reality TV take their viewers on a journey through sex change. Videos watched hundreds of millions of times on YouTube proclaim a very different gospel. Dare we sit idly by?
These, then, are just some of the reasons why I speak up and speak out, and by God’s grace, I’ll not step back an inch.
If you differ with me on this, God bless you. I hope that I can serve you in other areas of life and ministry.
If you agree with me and find our material helpful, thank you for your love, your kind words, and your prayers. Together, we are making a difference!