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Religion As a Prop

Religion is often used as a prop by politicians during election times.

Recently we read in the public press, “President Obama and his family headed out to church this morning for the third time in a month, the latest sign that the president may be using religion to boost his image as the campaign heats up.”

Lest we be accused of discrimination, let us acknowledge that the current president is not the only one who finds the public show of religion convenient to his ends.

It is interesting that when public show or public religious testimony is made, it is almost exclusively done with the invocation of Christianity. Why is it so?

According to the article, “The Christian narrative is appealing to a key demographic that fled Democrats en masse during the 2010 midterm election–white working-class voters. Obama will need to bring members of this group back into the fold if he hopes to prevail in critical swing states like Indiana, Ohio, North Carolina, and other must-win states in the Midwest and the South.”

There is a reason why at election time we hear a pitch made to “Catholic” voters or to voters who are characterized as “Evangelical.” That they get away with it also says something about the gullibility of those who sit in the pew!

Would we prefer in the White House or State House someone who is a serious confessor of Christ, a faithful witness in word and deed of the Lord Jesus Christ rather than an atheist, a Muslim, or someone of another religious persuasion? Certainly!

In a purely political sense, however, on this side of eternity we would be pleased with someone who says what he means and means what he says or someone who tells the truth not only when it is convenient. Even a rogue who administers the laws of the land justly and equally and whose concern is the welfare of the state and the country is preferable to a mealy-mouthed professor of Christianity who promotes his political agenda or uses Christianity to appeal to constituents who produce the most financial support, holler the loudest, and protest the most!

Most obnoxious to Christ-believers (we did not say “Christians,” for even that definition has largely lost its meaning today) is the use of the name of God and the invocation of the name of Jesus to attract votes. This is particularly so as the same “Christian” politicians slander one another with impunity and otherwise reject the doctrine of our Lord Jesus Christ. Further, it is a perversion of the house of God when preachers or politicians stand in pulpits—frequently with a cross behind them—to promote political agendas, a certain politician, or to appeal for votes.

As Jesus cast the moneychangers out of the Temple (John 2:14-15) and in that way manifested a zeal for the house of God and rejected that which defiled His house, it is not a stretch to believe that if Jesus should walk into a house of God today, He would cast out the politicians and all who defile His house in the pursuit of a political agenda or a vote.

As we observe and hear the name of Christ used in the political arena for political ends, we cannot help but believe that such
abuse of the name of our Lord comes under the indictment of
Exodus 20:7, “The Lord will not hold him guiltless that takes His name in vain.”

Somehow it seems apropos to apply Luke 14:46 to those—politician or not—who use the house of God for their own purposes and rob the hearer of the sweet comfort of the gospel of Christ:
“My house is a house of prayer, but you have made it a ‘den of thieves.’”