Politics and the Gospel
July 6, 2023 Blogs by: Tim Jennings, M.D.

A War of Two Worlds

We are entering into another election cycle here in the United States. Every day, the news headlines are filled with polls and political stories about this candidate versus that candidate. We have seen all kinds of manipulation, propaganda, and misuse of power, law, and government by individuals across the political spectrum—all for the purpose of gaining more power for themselves and their party. Various outrageous claims are presented with the intention of inflaming powerful emotions in order to recruit people to support one party or candidate over another.

As this political season heats up, should we Christians get involved in politics? Should we write about and speak about issues that are politically divisive? What is the line between politics and the gospel?

Jesus said, “My kingdom is not of this world. If it were, my servants would fight to prevent my arrest by the Jews. But now my kingdom is from another place” (John 18:36 NIV84).

When we surrender our hearts to Jesus, we change our citizenship, loyalty, and identity from the kingdoms of this world to the kingdom of heaven (Matthew 5:3)—we become children of God (John 1:12, 13), citizens of heaven (Philippians 3:20). We are to experience a change of loyalty, and we are to leave behind the methods, practices, and principles of this world and, instead, apply and live out the methods, practices, and principles of God’s kingdom. 

Though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ (2 Corinthians 10:3–5 NIV84).

As citizens of heaven, as members of God’s family, as people who have had the methods of this world replaced with the methods of God in them, we do not live like the world, we do not value what the world values, and we do not advance God’s cause through the means, methods, practices, and principles of this world. We are in the world, but we are not of the world.


Behind Enemy Lines

But although we have been reborn with new hearts loyal to God and His kingdom, we still live in this sin-sick world. This means that we face all the sin, injustice, abuse, conflicts, sickness, evil, exploitation, crime, manipulation, propaganda, pain, suffering, and trickery that the evil one can throw at us.

Yet we face all these problems of the world with our minds focused on Jesus, our hearts surrendered in trust to Him, our loyalties devoted to advancing His kingdom. And we do this by actively choosing to live out God’s methods in how we deal with the problems of this world, in how we treat others—and God’s methods are not the methods of this world.

Because this is the reality—our reborn Christian selves living in an unregenerate, sinful world with people warring against God—over the years, I have written and spoken on a variety of real-life topics that challenge Christians. Some of these topics have been issues used by various worldly political parties, such as my blogs:

Writing on these topics has caused some people to believe that I am being political rather than advancing the gospel. But I would suggest such a conclusion occurs only when people confuse the subject matter with the methods, principles, and processes being employed in relation to that subject matter. In other words, if the subject matter is one that is used politically, and I speak about that subject matter for the purpose of exposing ungodly methods being employed to confuse minds and ensnare hearts, then some misunderstand and conclude that I am being political.


The Methods of Politics and the Gospel

Let me point out the defining difference between being political and advancing the gospel. Politics is about power—earthly, ungodly, dominating, manipulative, coercive, and controlling power exerted over others. It is the use of any means or method one deems necessary to manipulate and rule over others. According to dictionary.com, politics is the:

“use of intrigue or strategy in obtaining any position of power or control, as in business, university, etc.”

In contrast, the gospel “is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes” (Romans 1:16 NIV84). The gospel is about applying the methods of God into the hearts and minds of people in order to free and empower them to be self-governing citizens of heaven. The gospel is about turning selfish people who use politics to empower themselves and exploit others into loving people who live in harmony with God and practice His methods of sacrificing self for the good of others.

Politics and the gospel are diametrically opposed and cannot be harmonized.

  • Politics uses lies and propaganda—the gospel wields the sword of truth.
  • Politics imposes laws to force its way—the gospel invites people into loving friendship while leaving them free.
  • Politics seeks to take from the many to empower the few—the gospel seeks to empower the many through the great sacrifice of the few—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
  • Politics seeks to weaken the minds of people and turn the masses into serfs—the gospel seeks to develop the critical reasoning of people so they become image-bearers of their Creator (Hebrews 5:14).
  • Politics seeks to darken and control minds with opinion—the gospel seeks to enlighten and free minds with objective truth.
  • Politics uses fear to restrict liberty and impair thinking—the gospel uses love to cast out fear and advance liberty and true wisdom.
  • Politics divides society to create power bases—the gospel unites people in love and truth.

If you examine our materials with these distinctions in mind, you will note that in all of our blogs, presentations, books, and lectures, we consistently apply the gospel—the truth to expose lies, love to cast out fear, and liberty to resist coercive control.

We never seek to organize people into groups to pass laws, coerce consciences, or empower the few. We never seek to divide based on anything other than the quality of one’s character. We always advocate for people to be persuaded in their own minds about what action God would have them take in governance of self on any given matter.

Politics is the opposite; it is using any means necessary to manipulate the masses for the benefit of the few, while often leading the masses to cooperate and collude with their own destruction.

Politics is the greatest con in all of human history—the great organizational sleight of hand that manipulates minds into believing that the people are being empowered and uplifted, while in reality, the people are being exploited and diminished.

We at Come and Reason Ministries oppose politics because we actively promote the kingdom of God, which is the advancement of God’s design, methods, purposes, and intentions that, when applied and experienced, result in the restoration of the image of God in people, the development of critical-reasoning skills, true wisdom, discernment, the ability to think clearly and act rightly—in other words, mature Christlike people who have full freedom and governance of themselves.

So, if you are ever tempted to think we at Come and Reason Ministries are being political, look past the subject matter being discussed and consider what we are calling people to do—are we calling people to organize into action groups in order to force their way upon others, to take from the many to empower the few, to incite fear, to divide and conquer? Or are we calling for people to be fully persuaded in their own mind, to advance whatever agenda they have through the application of God’s methods of truth, presented in love, while leaving others free?



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Tim Jennings, M.D. Timothy R. Jennings, M.D., is a board-certified psychiatrist, master psychopharmacologist, Distinguished Life Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association, Fellow of the Southern Psychiatric Association, and an international speaker. He served as president of the Southern and Tennessee Psychiatric Associations and is president and founder of Come and Reason Ministries. Dr. Jennings has authored many books, including The God-Shaped Brain, The God-Shaped Heart, and The Aging Brain.