The US Presidential Election 2020 is receiving worldwide attention. Perhaps there is no issue that occupies the minds of the American people more than who will be the next President of the United States. Political processes can sometimes be chaotic, and these conflicts will have to be resolved in some way, if at all.
The government needs to be free to do what it has to do and the church needs to do what it is free to do. The government is not the master of the church and the church is not the servant of the state. Neither is the church the master of the state nor is the state the servant of the church. We want a free church and a free state.
Our mission is to preach the gospel to all people, and we cannot become confused with our duty or keep silent with our message. We can never identify the church with a political party. The church needs to be free and independent to tell any political party, Democrat or Republican, to repent whenever necessary. The church should be free to tell everyone, including Hollywood, Google, Amazon, or any political leader, that they need to get right with God.
As members of the body of Christ, we must be courteous and respectful, but we can never be silent. Moses warned Pharaoh. Nathan chastised King David. Elijah rebuked King Ahab. Eliezer prophesied against King Jehoshaphat. Daniel declared the prophetic events to King Nebuchadnezzar. John the Baptist admonished King Herod. And when our nation is wrong, the church needs to speak up and tell them. When our nation does right, the church needs to also speak words of encouragement.
But while they are killing babies and practicing infanticide, we must never stay quiet. We have to say what God says about this sin from His law. As long as we have a government that is working to normalize sexual perversion in America, we must never be silent. We must warn sinners to flee from the wrath to come. As long as public schools distribute condoms and other birth control measures to our young children, we must never keep quiet. We must call sin by its name. And when the state calls for Sunday laws to be passed, we must protest the enforcement of false worship.
“Toward those who fall into sin, the church has a duty, to warn, to instruct, and if possible to restore. ‘Reprove, rebuke, exhort,’ the Lord says, ‘with all long-suffering and doctrine.’ 2 Timothy 4:2” (Desire of Ages, p. 805).
And yes, the time may come when we will have to tell government leaders that political correctness is not always morally correct. But in order to fulfill our duty to preach the word of God, we cannot be tied to earthly political entanglements or worldly confederacies. On this issue we must be clear. We have been given clear counsel regarding this matter.
“Whatever the opinions you may entertain in regard to casting your vote in political questions, you are not to proclaim it by pen or voice. Our people need to be silent upon questions which have no relation to the third angel’s message” (Letter, 4, 1898).
Regardless of whether you feel it is your civic duty to vote or participate in political forums, as God’s commandment-keeping people, we are told not to agitate political questions that have nothing to do with the Three Angels’ Message. We are also told not to advance personal political sentiments through pen or voice. So then what should we be proclaiming with “pen or voice?”
“It is at this time that the true Sabbath must be brought before the people both by pen and by voice. As the fourth commandment of the Decalogue and those who observe it are ignored and despised, the faithful few know that it is the time not to hide their face but to exalt the law of Jehovah by unfurling the banner on which is inscribed the message of the third angel, ‘Here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.’ Revelation 14:12” (Evangelism, p. 281).
This means that there is a difference between sounding the Three Angels’ Message to the world and engaging in political agitation and propaganda. The church has been warned not to get entangled into politics or be controlled by party interests. We have a great work that God has called Seventh-day Adventists to do, proclaiming the final warning message to the world. Political struggles, campaigns, alliances and agitation are not our responsibility. In the end they will leave us disappointed.
Let the Bride of Christ instead present the principles of the gospel in their purity and beauty. Let’s do this in a way that represents God’s church here on earth. The government will do what it is supposed to do, and God’s people must do what we are commanded to do. Donald Trump and the Republicans and Joe Biden with his Democrats will once again find themselves embroiled in controversy and hostility. Unfortunately, these conflicts will never cease.
Our job is to present the true principles of the kingdom of God to the people. Our responsibility is to emphasize truth and righteousness. It would be depressing to see what is happening in our nation, if we didn’t know Jesus. It is sad to see the state of our union, and I’m sure Jesus felt the same pain. However, what gives us a sense of comfort is knowing what Jesus knew when He said:
“My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, My servants would fight, so that I should not be delivered to the Jews; but now My kingdom is not from here.” John 18:36.
And as our nation deteriorates and becomes more chaotic, as divisions increase and political conflicts escalate, like Abraham, let us look “for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God” (Hebrews 11:10).