David Reagan - Tim Wildmon on Christians in Politics
Should Christians get involved in politics? And if so, to what extent? For example, should they run for office? Or is politics something too dirty for a Christian to get involved with? Tim Wildmon, the president of the American Family Association is an expert on these questions, and he speaks from a biblical viewpoint. Stay tuned for a presentation by him.
David Reagan: Greetings in the name of Jesus, our Blessed Hope, and welcome to Christ in Prophecy. Today I have a special treat in store for you. I’m going to share with you a portion of a presentation that was made at our last Bible conference. It concerns whether or not Christians should get involved in politics. The person making the presentation is Tim Wildmon, the son of Don Wildmon, who founded the American Family Association back in the 1970s. His organization is on the front lines of the cultural battle in America today. And to show you how much our nation has changed in the past 40 years, his ministry, the AFA, was celebrated at its beginning as a great defender of traditional, biblical family values. But today, it has been labeled a hate ministry for defending such values. Here now is Tim Wildmon.
Tim Wildmon: We don’t need no more ignorant Christians. Amen. We don’t need no more ignorant Christians. My apologies to you English teachers out there. But we don’t. We’ve got enough ignorant Christians, I-G-N-U-R-T that’s how we spell it in Mississippi. Maybe that’s why were last in everything else, anyway. You know we say in Mississippi, we say thank God for Arkansas, we’d be last in everything, so. But you go to Arkansas they say the same thing about us, so, you know, whatever. Hey, it is good to be last in somethings. We don’t need no more ignorant Christians. I saw a survey the other day it is 10%, I can’t remember exactly it was Barna or somebody and they did a survey of some Christians and they said 10% of them thought that Joan of Arc was Noah’s wife.
I don’t know what you do, I don’t know, those people I don’t know. Maybe, we do have a lot of biblical illiteracy out there, don’t we? Even in our churches. It’s serious. It’s a serious problem. More so now then I think it’s ever been in our country among Christians; biblical illiteracy. And we have in the general population we have just basically have ignorance running rampant about our responsibility as citizens, and our Constitution and our history.
I’m going to read a quote to you a little bit later on about the consequences of this. But, we have a serious problem within and without the Christian community in our country. And you know sometimes it’s hard to talk about these things because it’s depressing. Am I right? So I mean how much bad news can a person take? You know you didn’t pay to come here to hear a bunch of bad news. But at the same time we live in the real world and there are some things that we can do, and we can be encouraged. And I know we have hope as the brother sang about a few minutes ago, we have hope. We know that God is working in the world today. We know that soon, and very soon, you know we will be with Jesus Christ in Heaven, amen. And there will be a New Heaven and a New Earth but until then He teaches us to occupy.
And you know as our video said a few minutes ago, our country is worth saving. It’s worth preserving. I know we got serious problems, we all see that. And I’m going to go through. We heard the last speaker talk about that. But we can’t give up. We can’t quit. One day I’m going to write a book it’s called, “No Where Else to Sail To.” Am I right? We’re taking our stand here, we are either going to win, or we are going to go down in a blaze of glory. What we’re going to do right here in this country, amen, in America. But we don’t need any more ignorant Christians.
We are as American’s as American Christians we are facing serious problems both from without and within, without and within. We know what’s going on from without its secular liberalism, or secular humanism, progressivism, it goes under different names. But it’s–my Dad and others started speaking on this in the 70’s, but the movement of this secular humanism started way before that. But that is kind of when it began to manifest itself publically with the break down in moral values in our country, which many of you saw firsthand. I see a lot of grey hairs out there, and you’ve lived through it, you’ve seen the changes in our country that have come in the last–which have been dramatic. I’m turning to morality I’m talking about, and values, and decency and those kinds of things that used to be unquestionable in our culture.
Remember Ricky and Lucy slept in separate beds. Huh, that’s how, truly, that’s how times have changed. They slept in separate beds on television because they didn’t want to do anything coming close to being inappropriate on TV for children to see or for adults to see either for that matter. But you’ve seen the changes that have come in the last 30 or 40 years. But fundamentally at its core secular humanism, if that is what you want to call it politically it is called progressivism, but it’s the idea that man is god. God does not hand down His moral values, but man makes up his own. And that’s what dominated, man is god; secular humanism began to become front and center in our culture. And it took the place, it either took the place or it is taking the place depending on your perspective of the Judeo Christian worldview. The Judeo Christian value system that our country was built on is being replaced by secular humanism which is of Satan. Ok, I believe in the Devil, and Satan. Jesus did too so we have some of our fellow Christians who are teaching doubt in that today. I don’t even know if they are Christians, but just to be generous here. You know what I’m talking about, it’s going on in a lot of our churches they teach–they don’t teach that Satan even exists but I think this is a satanic; secular humanism is from Satan because the idea that man is god, man makes his own rules.
But we are facing serious problems from within and without. You see sadly what has happened in some of our mainline church denominations over the last, since secular humanism has gotten into our pulpits and into our seminaries, and into some of the training places for pastors. I know many of you probably maybe you go to independent churches today, or you go to conservative churches today. But some of you may of grown up like I did in the Methodist church. Or you grew up in the Presbyterian Church, or some of you may even be Episcopal, Lutheran, those denominations. And those denominations which used to be called the mainline Protestant denominations were very vibrant for most of our countries history.
In fact those denominations and the Baptist of course, the Southern Baptist has not left like these other churches have, left the fundamentals of the faith in many regards. But those denominations I just mentioned many of you were raised in and you were taught the Word of God in. And I know at one time the Methodist had churches in every county in the United States because they took their mission of evangelism and spreading the Gospel the old circuit riders, you remember that from the 1800’s of trail blazing and other denominations too, the Gospel throughout all of America. And many of those denominations can be credited for leading our country to become a Christian nation. As it was a Christian nation, not Christian were not a Theocracy never have been. But, the people most of them were Christian, and if they weren’t they at least respected the Christian faith in America. That’s why we are known as a Christian, had been known as a Christian nation.
In fact in 1892 the Supreme Court of the United States said we’re a Christian nation. The Supreme Court of the United States said, “Hey, it’s clear that this is a Christian nation.” So, when people say we’re not a Christian nation you know Dr. Jeffress goes on TV they’ll be somebody on there telling him, “This is not a Christian nation, never has been.” Well, no, not in the sense that we’ve ever been a you know a Theocracy as I said earlier, but we have been a Christian nation in the sense that the majority, the vast majority of people were Christian and our institutions reflected Christianity. That is true, that is an absolute fact.
But, you know there are two extremes here–what I was going to say about the mainline Protestant denominations is that they have lost millions, millions of members in the last 25 or 30 years. And the reason is, as I say I was raised in, my Dad was a United Methodist minister so I know this because they’ve left the Gospel. I mean if you don’t believe anything anymore how do expect somebody to want to come to church? Go golf, or fish, or stay home watch TV or something. If you don’t if you’re not going to believe and teach things that are life changing and you are going to water it down to all roads lead to God, you’re not going to stay in existence. That’s what I’ve often wondered a lot of these churches just for self-preservation you think they would, they would at least step back and say, “You know what we must be doing something wrong here, because we are dying. You know we’re not going to have any members in 20 years.” And a lot of churches are going to be that way. So that’s what I mean from within the Christian community, we have problems.
But quite frankly I think most of us would agree in this room you’ve come to the point now where you’re not going to go to those. Some of you may be still trying to hang on and change those churches. God bless you if that’s what you want to do. I got out myself even though my Dad was a minister in one of those denominations because I just couldn’t support it any longer, couldn’t go on any longer. But, the other extreme is are people who they are conservative as you and I are on doctrine, ok, they believe in the fundamentals of the faith. They love the Lord, but they have this idea that Christians are supposed to be separatists. You’ve talked to people like this. They believe in basically getting out of the world completely, staying out, having their own little communes. I’m not talking about the Amish here. I’m talking about people like us and they just don’t want to have any, they don’t believe in politics, or government, or anything. You know what I’m saying? They believe in government, they don’t believe in being involved. You know what I’m talking about. And then they’ll put the spiritual guilt trip on you right? And they’ll say, “Oh, God doesn’t care about those things. Those things are going to burn. You know God only cares about sharing the Gospel, so you’re wasting your time.” I’m talking about those of us who care about politics and government, and culture and those kinds of things. And you know like somebody said well just because you’re going to die doesn’t mean you don’t exercise. You get the point there?
We’re all going to burn, in the sense that we are all going to die. The country is going to die one day as Robert Jeffress probably pointed out last night, you know. But does that, because I know I’m going to die, I’m going to say, well I’m just going to die. No, if the doctor tells me I’m sick I’m going to want to do somethings to preserve myself, to make myself healthier. Why can’t we apply that same principle to our country? Why must we say, well, when we take a defeatist attitude or fatalistic attitude that things are inevitably going to go downhill in the next 10, 15, 20 years or not. I don’t know. But we shouldn’t take the attitude of disengagement, we can’t.
I know a few years ago Dr. John McArthur, and I have a lot of respect for him as a Bible teacher, don’t misunderstand me so this is not a put down of him personally by any means. But he wrote a book called, Why Government Can’t Save You. Why Government Can’t Save You. And this is kind of a philosophy that permeates about 10% or 20% of our brethren and they believe that disengagement; you know that politics and government and those kinds of things are a waste of time. And I’ve never understood that philosophy because we’re supposed to be Romans 13 people, aren’t we? Ok, so we’re supposed to obey the law, right? As Christian citizens we are supposed to obey the law, as long it doesn’t conflict with God’s law. Am I right? Now it may come to that. It’s coming to that in some cases. We may have to say, “Not going to do it.” You know. But as long the law does not conflict with God’s law we are supposed to be good citizens and be law abiding citizens, law abiding people.
So I’ve never understood this idea that we are supposed to obey the law, but leave the law making to the pagans. That make any sense to anybody yet, you out here? So, you are telling me don’t waste your time being in politics and government, but obey the law. Ok. So, leave it to the unbelievers to make the laws that they tell me we’re supposed to obey. That makes no sense to me, whatsoever. And so, we need to be engaged. We need to be involved. We need to understand what’s going on. We do in our country so that we can make a difference, so that we can make a difference for God, for Christianity. So, this idea that why government can’t save you. I know that. Who thinks government can save you? Raise your hand. Nobody believes government. That is a strawman argument but our brothers and sisters sometimes will throw that up at you won’t they? Our government can’t save you, you need to trust God. I know government can’t save me but we have to live in this country. We have to live in this–public policy, decisions that are made for us matter. And if you take that attitude I have no sympathy when you lose your freedoms because you’re saying, “Don’t be involved, but yet we’re supposed to follow the laws of our country.” So, we have some problems within the church itself as American Christians. And we need to challenge people who think like that. We need to challenge our brothers and sisters who think disengagement is the way to go.
The moral collapse of our country can be blamed on unbelievers and believers alike, unbelievers and believers alike. I don’t place all the blame on the Church. I know some people do. Maybe some speakers during this weekend will say something like that. I don’t take that. I think we have our responsibilities and there is no question about it we have not been the salt and light that we are commanded to be. But also there’s a growing hostility, a spirit of the age if you want to call it that against Jesus, and Christians, and Christianity. Have you noticed this? It is getting more intense, getting more hostile. These people are getting bolder in their attacks about Christianity. I don’t blame it all on us, we’re not–because we may be outnumbered in terms of I’m talking about across the country there seems to be more and more people who are godless, then there are godly. Godless than there are godly. So in that respect we’ve got our work cut out for us. But, there is enough blame to go around. But we as Christians unlike the world, unlike the godless we have a responsibility. We have a responsibility to God and I’m going to talk about that for the next few minutes because we need to understand how we are to respond, and how we are to react.
I want to look at Hosea 4:6. “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.” We’re His people and I mentioned about ignorance inside the Church, biblical illiteracy inside the Church. “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge, and because you have rejected knowledge I reject you from being a priest to me. And since you have forgotten the law of your God,” listen, “I will also forget your children.” So, you know the old song that we grew up singing, “Trust and Obey?” What does God require of us? Trust Him, and obey Him. It’s not hard, ok, to understand what God requires of us. Now, and somewhere in the New Testament it says His laws are not burdensome. I’ve forgotten where it is exactly, but you know what I’m talking about. In other words we can do this. God gives us the strength to obey Him, and live for Him and trust Him.
And so, but if we don’t, if we reject Him, if we are disobedient He will forget our children. And you can apply that as a principle. But he was talking specifically to the Hebrew children right there but I’m thinking you can apply that principle to us today. And by that it also fits in with, “Whatsoever a man soweth that shall he also reap.” “Be not deceived God is not mocked, whatsoever a man soweth that shall he also reap,” is the verse there. And so what we sow in our personal lives we are going to reap the consequences of it one way or another, good or bad. Same thing for our country. Same thing for our country. If we sow evil, we’re going to reap destruction. And it’s our job as American Christian to raise up the standard of righteousness.
And when we do that guess what? We are going to be attacked. We are going to be attacked by the world who doesn’t want to hear it. How many people like to be told what to do? Told how to live? We don’t. It’s human to reject somebody telling us what to do, especially as Americans because we have our rights, right? But when you become a Christian, when you submit yourself to God and you have to trust and obey we die to ourselves, we yield to our desires. We want to obey God with our lives. Well when we proclaim this truth people in the world do not want to hear that and so they are going to react with vitriol often times. And they are going to react in a way that is negative.
So when we as Christians hold up the banner of righteousness we say to the world it’s wrong to kill unborn babies, for example, then they are going to lash out back at us because we are holding up a standard of God’s righteousness. When we say Jesus is the only way to Heaven otherwise you’re going to Hell. Whoa, they do not want to hear that. Huh, am I right? They do not want to hear that. Why? Because you made a judgment; you made an absolute moral judgment which is accurate according to God’s Word. But when you do that in modern day America you better be ready because the Secular Progressives, the Secular Humanists, in essence they are God haters is what they are fundamentally, they are going to come after you. They are going to believe me, we are a hate group American Family Association has been deemed a hate group because of our stand on the gay and lesbian issues, and on gay marriage. It is homosexuality is what it is, but they stole the word gay.
When you grew up gay meant happy, didn’t it? Still does mean happy but they stole the word, they stole the word. That is part of changing the culture too you know it? You know it is part of changing the culture when you start changing the language or how you describe things because people begin to think differently about them. I except in 10 years they are going to be called happy-go-lucky. I mean really they’re changing the language to describe something that I can’t even talk to you about.
This is sad really, tragic because these folks are trapped in a lifestyle of bondage of sexual immorality that will ultimately destroy them if they don’t repent and change their ways. They don’t want to hear that. You know loves wins, right? Remember we heard that a couple weeks ago? This is a–but in today’s culture if you say what I just said, especially if I go out here on a TV show then they’re going to come after you. The mainstream culture has a really hard time. They do not want to hear the things that God says about moral, morality and especially about sexual morality today. But we’ve got continue to stand and tell the truth because it’s only, amen. Because it’s only, read Romans 1 there only going, it’s only going–it’s unnatural, immoral, and unhealthy. So, what’s wrong with saying that? Unnatural, immoral, and unhealthy. But you know that’s sin like any other sin in terms of it must be repented of. We all have to repent of our sin whether we are homosexual, or heterosexual we have to repent of our sins. But we can’t call evil good.
David Reagan: Tim Wildmon is correct. Any nation that calls evil good and good evil is courting the judgment of God. You will find those words in Isaiah chapter 5, verse 20.
In fact if you want to find a biblical description of modern day America, read all of Isaiah chapter 5 and you will notice how the sins he lists are the sins of our nation today. Things like greed, injustice, pleasure seeking, blasphemy, moral perversion, intellectual pride, intemperance, and political corruption.
And Isaiah, gives the reason for the sins in verse 24 where he says, “For they have rejected the law of the Lord of hosts, and have despised the Word of the Holy One of Israel.”
That folks, is our nation today. We are in the process of rejecting God and His Word. What you have just viewed is only half of Tim Wildmon’s one hour presentation. In just a moment our announcer will tell you how you can get a copy of the entire presentation, together with five others that were made at our annual Bible conference, all of which were related to the theme of “Messages for a Rebellious Nation.”
Well folks, that’s it for today. I hope this program has been a blessing to you, and I hope you will be back with us again next week. Until then, the Lord willing, this is Dave Reagan speaking for Lamb & Lion Ministries, saying, “Look up, be watchful, for our Redemption is drawing near.”