Don’t let politics become an idol

October 30, 2020

One of the many things I love about our country is the opportunity to participate in the political process by exercising our right to vote. While our system is not perfect, there are many places around the world that do not have the same opportunities to play a part in electing our government leaders.

I don’t have to tell you that the current election cycle has been an especially contentious one, which has been magnified by the myriad events of this year including the coronavirus pandemic, racial issues and more. In light of everything taking place in our nation, I do hope that everyone will exercise the right and responsibility they have as citizens of the United States to vote.

I also hope that those who name Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord will not allow politics to become an idol in their lives, which can be a subtle but strong temptation. I pray that as believers, we would be known more by our faith and witness for Christ than by which candidate or political party we support.

About a year ago, I read an article in a newsletter from Brentwood Baptist Church, a large, conservative Southern Baptist church in Brentwood, Tenn. The article was written by Mac Johnson, a current staff minister of Brentwood, who is someone I have known since he was a young boy. He possesses a deep love and commitment to the Lord and is an outstanding, exceptionally gifted Christian leader. While reading Mac’s article, I was reminded that our kingdom loyalty is of greater importance than loyalty to our preferred political party.

Prior to being called into the ministry, Mac served on staff with an outstanding conservative Christ-follower who is a member of Congress in Washington, D.C. Working in politics had been a dream and goal of Mac’s, but by his own admission, Mac allowed politics to become an idol in his life and distract him from his ultimate calling to Christ.

Recently, we published a version of Mac’s original article on the state convention’s website at ncbaptist.org, titled “Do politics influence your faith, or faith influence your politics?” In the article, Mac shares more of his experience and how God worked in his life to convict him of his political idolatry and lead him to repentance. I commend this article to you because I believe Mac’s testimony includes some important reminders for all of us as followers of Christ, especially during this election season.

Ultimately, may we remember that our hope does not rest in a political party or a ballot box. Our hope must always be fixed on our risen Savior who continues to rule and reign over His creation as well as all earthly kingdoms.

No matter the outcome of this current election, we can take comfort in the fact that the result will not take God by surprise nor will it cause Him to worry because God is supreme and sovereign. In these days, may we remember the biblical admonition given in 1 Timothy 2:1-2 to pray for those in authority regardless of their political party or persuasion.

Let us also examine our own hearts and apply the words of 2 Chronicles 7:14 that were written to God’s people encouraging them to humble themselves, seek His face in prayer, repent of personal sin and pursue personal holiness. Only then will we experience true spiritual awakening in our land.

“The king’s heart is in the hand of the Lord, like the rivers of water; He turns it wherever He wishes.” — Proverbs 21:1 (NKJV)


by Milton A. Hollifield Jr.  
/  Executive Director-Treasurer  /  Baptist State Convention of North Carolina

3 things I would do differently in ministry

I will soon celebrate 40 years in full-time ministry. During the course of my career, I have pastored four churches, one of which was a church plant. I am now in my third interim pastorate, and I continue to serve as a strategy coordinator with the state convention. I have often...

When the kids come back: Navigating new challenges in your children’s ministry

Your church has decided to reopen its children’s ministry for Sunday mornings. With excitement, you dust off curriculum packs and plan for a grand welcome back. Children who have been learning virtually and in person on a limited basis walk in the door and you expect a return to...

The role of pastoral health in church revitalization

The “RevitalizeNC'' podcast is hosted by Terry Long, senior consultant for church revitalization with the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina. Each episode includes an interview with a leading expert in the field of church revitalization to offer help, hope and...

Whose side are you on?

It’s human nature to divide everything into sides. We take sides in insignificant matters like what toppings to have on our pizza, or whether to drink Coke or Pepsi. (Some here in North Carolina may be a little partial to Pepsi since it was invented in New Bern.) College...

Explainer: EDT transitions, special meetings & more

A special meeting of the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina has been called for 1 p.m. on Saturday, May 22, at Calvary Baptist Church in Winston-Salem to elect an individual to serve as the next executive director-treasurer (EDT) of the state convention.The process for...

Top 5 resources for May 2021

Every month, we spotlight five helpful resources for you as you seek to walk closely with the Lord and make disciples. Many of these resources are created by the staff of the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina (BSCNC) to help meet the ministry needs of pastors and lay...

Why overcoming negativity is crucial to fruitful ministry

One of the greatest enemies of longevity in ministry is negativity. This disease presents its hideous face in many ways in our personal lives and ministries. Like many other hindrances to our walk with the Lord and our relationships with family, friends and those we lead in our...

12 ways to involve every church member in VBS

Often churches consider Vacation Bible School (VBS) to be exclusively a children’s ministry event. And yet, VBS is one of the most effective evangelistic emphases many churches offer their community each year. According to "It’s Worth It" by Landry Holmes of Lifeway Publishing,...

0 Comments

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Stay connected by signing up for the N.C. Baptist monthly newsletter.

Select Language ^

Share This

Share this with your friends!