Modern politics is about popularity. “Poly” means “many.” And to be successful in politics, you need many people to vote for you. You need the popularity and favor of the many! A basic dictionary search for the definition of politics yields:
- The art and science of governance
- The activities of those who lead governments
- Methods of leadership
- Policy and decision-making strategies
- Judicial efforts
- Explanations as to who, what, and how governments are influenced
However, if you look deeper, you will find historical definitions that explain politics as human effort to gain and maintain control of people. Politics is the game of getting and maintaining power.
We get our modern word “politic” from the practices of the ancient Greek city-state rulers. Individual cities were a state (nation) unto themselves. Each city had a ruler, and these rulers decided many of the details of the people’s daily lives within the city. The people did NOT have autonomy over things as basic as what festivals they could celebrate, what foods could be grown and bartered, what trade guilds people could belong to, and who or what they could worship. The people’s religious life was tied to the ruler of the city. Sometimes, the political control went so far as to dictate what color of clothing could be worn. Literally, the city a person belonged to could be known by the color of their clothes!
Our English word “city” comes from the Greek word polis. It shares the same root word as “poly” for “many,” where we get “politic” from. There was an ancient phrase: A man without a city is not a man! This is because a man’s identity was wrapped up in the city he belonged to. A man could only belong to a city if he abided by all the city rules. And the majority of people within the city went along with all the city rules. If a person did not comply, they risked being thrown out of the city by the majority. The majority were very much invested in maintaining the political status quo.
Being political is just that: maintaining the political status quo. To maintain the political status quo is to:
- Avoid controversy
- Avoid anything that divides
- Say and do all the right things
- Take care not to offend
- Play the game, play all sides, and make sure you keep everyone happy–even if it is only a charade
- Do what is needed to get re-elected
- Definitely, do not rock the boat
- Keep the people happy
- Do nothing to upset your base
The very nature of being political requires you to do and say things that win people’s favor, win their affections and allegiance, and persuade them you are the one for the job! This is the stuff that wins votes. Many a politician has learned to play this game and win. But in the church…
This is the stuff that silences God’s TRUTH!
Where being political is doing the expedient thing, compromising, cutting corners, dodging hard questions, covering your bases, and taking the easy road, the same is true in the church. If a pastor is doing the expedient thing, compromising, cutting corners, dodging hard questions–especially today in 2023, when the whole world is on fire, literally and figuratively, this pastor is being political.
The pastor who is NOT addressing the hard issues in culture is the pastor who is being political.
The pastor who is NOT speaking God’s TRUTH to the cultural lies because they fear they will lose people is the pastor who is being political.
Jesus called us to live by His radical standard of truth. To back down from His truth for the sake of avoiding division or causing offense is the very definition of being political.
The religious and political demon spirits
In Matthew 16:5, we read Jesus saying, “Be on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees.” Then a few verses later, in 16:11-12, Jesus repeats it and the disciple’s understanding is also recorded: “‘Be on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees.’ Then [the disciples] understood that He was not telling them to guard against the yeast used in bread, but against the teaching of the Pharisees and Sadducees.”
The Pharisee’s and Sadducee’s teachings spread like yeast into everything they touch.
In Mark 8:15, we read it as, “Watch out for the yeast of the Pharisees and that of Herod.” Luke adds, “Be on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy” (Luke 12:1). In the next chapter, Luke records Jesus offering scathing criticism for Herod. He called him a “fox” Luke 13:31-32. To call someone a fox is to say they are sly, deceiving, and manipulative.
The Pharisees represent religious spirits. The Pharisee’s teachings were rules and traditions that often had little to do with the Law of God and His Covenant. They added oppressive rules and put heavy burdens on people. Many of their teachings did not come from the heart of the Father. Rather, their teachings served a religious or politically expedient agenda.
Pharisee means “separated one.” They set themselves apart, assuming superiority over the people. They set up a false hierarchical system of authority. They would use their hierarchy to control other people’s ability to do and say things. Many would twist scripture as a means to an end, religiously coercing people’s behavior. They were expert manipulators. They were bullies. They were false-humility actors–hypocrisy means false actor. They used fear as a motivator–fear is the opposite of Love as a motivator. They could put on a good show of moralistic outrage as they pretended to jealously guard God’s Law. But they had fallen so far short of knowing God and representing Him to the people.
What of the Sadducees and Herod? These represent the political spirit. The Sadducees were the wealthy, aristocratic ruling class. They sat as leaders, judges, and arbiters of the socio-cultural life in Israel. Herod was a false, illegitimate king. He had been installed by the Roman government. There was a family of six different Herods who ruled Israel on behalf of Rome. The Herods were money-hungry, power-hungry, ambitious traitors of Israel. The Herods were puppet leaders, just like Biden, Zelensky, Trudeau, Merkel, etc., are installed puppet leaders propped up by the deep state today…
If you reacted to that last sentence, even with an eye-roll, it is because, to some extent, you have believed lying demonic political spirits. If you believe these leaders are legitimate, honest, and good people, you have believed satan’s lies. You have come under the influence of the political spirit.
Much of the world is run by a shadowy evil group of people whom many call the deep state. Blindness to this shadow government and acceptance of their lies is what has led many countries into slavery to the deep state, the same way Israel was ruled and then conquered by Rome.
Religious and political spirits work hand in hand to accomplish hell’s deceitful agenda: steal, kill, and destroy.
Jesus warned us to look out for the evil influence of religious and political spirits. He warned us about their spreading influence. Many believers have not heeded Jesus’ warnings and succumbed to the religious and political spirit’s many doctrines and teachings.
Some of these people then accuse those who do speak out against the lies as the ones who are being political. This false accusation originates from their own self-deception. They do not realize they have partnered with lying religious and political spirits–demons–who work to silence God’s truth. They lend themselves to the devil’s agenda of silencing the truth.
Simple and sincere repentance and asking for the Holy Spirit’s guidance is the beginning of our walk into God’s truth.
God’s truth needs to reign in every area of our lives. If we do not allow His truth to penetrate our hearts and minds in every area, we will live susceptible to the enemy’s many lies. Any area not surrendered to Christ Jesus can be led into spiritual slavery by the enemy. We cannot afford to have any area of our life unsurrendered to Christ Jesus. Yield all to Him.