Would you make a deal with the devil if he promised to promote Christianity?

Would you make a deal with the devil if he promised to promote Christianity?  The answer’s obvious, right?  Wrong!  It seems to me there are two answers right now.  Most, hopefully, say “No way!”  Sadly though, I believe many are pretty much doing that right now.  It’s a sobering view of Christianity in the U.S. right now.  It’s very sad.  Scary even.

Would you make a deal with the devil if he promised to promote Christianity?I dare say, anyone who even claims to be Christian says no to that question.  My concern though is that we don’t all examine what we’re doing through lens of the Bible.  What Jesus taught.  The examples He gave us both through His own life and through His words.  Not do we always pay attention to the letter written in the New Testament by Paul, James, Peter, Etc.  If we did, I think we’d be shocked.  Dismayed by what we’ve been doing.

See the guy in the image?  Let’s say he’s running for President.  He certainly doesn’t look like the devil.  But that doesn’t mean much, does it?  Of course, he’s not literally the devil.  The real question we should be asking is about his character. 

No candidate for any political office is likely to be running as a true Christian, following in the footsteps of Jesus.  After all, Jesus wasn’t political.  He never told us to go to Caesar to promote, or even to make our Christian lives easier.  Far from it.  Jesus told us to go to God, not to Caesar.

No, trying to have a pro-Christian political candidate is something we made up.  Kind of like an attempt to create Jesus in our image.  Even though we all know, or at least Christians should know, we are created in God’s image.

And so, we end up with candidates that pander to our Christian faith, in an attempt to get us to vote for them.  Ultimately, that makes them tools for the devil.  Knowingly or not, that’s what ends up happening.

Would you make a deal with the devil if he promised to promote Christianity?

With that in mind, let’s go back to the original question. Would you make a deal with the devil if he promised to promote Christianity? Would you make a deal with the guy in the image, presenting two sides of himself to voters, if one side promises to promote your brand of Christianity? For many of you, the answer is obviously, “Yes!”

Just look at some of what comes out of Trump’s mouth. And as you read it, ask yourself, is this guy really a Christian? Is he, even by his words, a good witness for Jesus?

Kissing people at a campaign rally during the COVID epidemic. Including men.

“I’m immune. I could come down and start kissing everybody,” he said. “I’ll kiss every guy. Man and woman. Look at that guy, how handsome he is. I’ll kiss him. Not with a lot of enjoyment, but that’s okay.”

Talking about saving white suburban women from black criminals

“Can I ask you to do me a favor: Suburban women, will you please like me?” Trump said. “Please. Please. I saved your damn neighborhood, okay?”

People don’t like Trump, but will vote for him anyway

In Michigan, about a third of those who say they are voting for President Trump also say they dislike the way the president handles himself. 

Jacque Hinds, who owns Blooms By Jacqueline in Kent City doesn’t like either candidate, but she plans to vote for the president because she opposes abortion rights.

“I don’t know what (Trump) says is true. I don’t know what to believe and I guess sometimes when he speaks things that he says aren’t very polite,” said Hinds. “I’m just not a fan of him as a person.”  [1]https://www.cbsnews.com/news/trump-michigan-election-2020-voters-dislike-voting-anyway/

This is almost like knowingly making a deal with the devil.  We know something’s wrong, but we don’t take the time to really examine the problem.  

For this person, it’s about abortion.  For a lot of people, it’s the same issue.  However, as I’ve written before, I don’t believe passing laws banning abortion is truly the Christian thing to do.  It’s turning to Caesar, not God.  It’s not loving, it’s hating.  And ultimately, it does nothing for of the souls of either the mother or the baby!  Isn’t that what we, as Christians, should be primarily concerned with? 

Some people may believe I’m making a deal with the devil on this one, but if we look carefully, I don’t believe that holds up.  Rather, I believe what I’m saying here does follow what Jesus would have us do in situations like this. 

Maybe you remember the passage below.

 

Unbelief of the Jewish Leaders

Jn 7:45 Finally the temple guards went back to the chief priests and Pharisees, who asked them, “Why didn’t you bring him in?”
Jn 7:46 “No one ever spoke the way this man does,” the guards declared.
Jn 7:47 “You mean he has deceived you also?” the Pharisees retorted. 48 “Has any of the rulers or of the Pharisees believed in him? 49 No! But this mob that knows nothing of the law—there is a curse on them.”
Jn 7:50 Nicodemus, who had gone to Jesus earlier and who was one of their own number, asked, 51 “Does our law condemn anyone without first hearing him to find out what he is doing?”
Jn 7:52 They replied, “Are you from Galilee, too? Look into it, and you will find that a prophet does not come out of Galilee.”

The earliest and most reliable manuscripts and other ancient witnesses do not have John 7:53-8:11.

Jn 7:53 Then each went to his own home.
Jn 8:1 But Jesus went to the Mount of Olives. 2 At dawn he appeared again in the temple courts, where all the people gathered around him, and he sat down to teach them. 3 The teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought in a woman caught in adultery. They made her stand before the group 4 and said to Jesus, “Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery. 5 In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?” 6 They were using this question as a trap, in order to have a basis for accusing him.

But Jesus bent down and started to write on the ground with his finger. 7 When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, “If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.” 8 Again he stooped down and wrote on the ground.
Jn 8:9 At this, those who heard began to go away one at a time, the older ones first, until only Jesus was left, with the woman still standing there. 10 Jesus straightened up and asked her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?”
Jn 8:11 “No one, sir,” she said.
“Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.”

There are some things to remember here.  Jesus is concerned about the woman’s soul.  He isn’t saying she was innocent.  He is asking the Jewish leaders a serious question though.  Who are they to condemn this woman, even for adultery, when they have committed sins themselves?  Given that we are supposed to be like Jesus, isn’t it reasonable to think He wants us to live the same way?  

And what about when He asks us that same question?  Will we have a good excuse for why we would condemn her?  Making a deal with the devil, or the devil’s agent, isn’t a good excuse.

Further, what if it’s a different sin?  Surely, adultery isn’t the only sin for which this reasoning applies.  Adultery can’t be the only sin for which Jesus asks, who are you to condemn anyone for sin-x when you’ve committed sin-y.  

It’s not a question of guilt or innocence.  It’s a question of someone’s soul! 

Do we really want to be like the Jewish leaders, condemning someone’s soul to Hell, when our task on this earth as Christians was to lead someone to Christ and live for eternity with Him, and presumably us, in Heaven?  Don’t know about you, but I don’t want to go down that path.  Whether it’s adultery, abortion, gossip, lying, slander, Etc. – my concern is with the soul, not that someone is rejected and effectively banned to Hell.

For a look at the issues, and for an example of a women’s clinic that I believe does what we Christians should be doing about abortion, I highly recommend reading How do I justify Joe Biden and Kamala Harris’ stance on abortion?  

Supporting voter suppression in some states, while promoting voter confusion in others

A U.S. federal appeals court panel on Monday upheld Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s order to shut down dozens of mail ballot drop-off sites weeks before November’s election.

The ruling comes after a federal judge on Friday halted the order, which allowed for only one absentee ballot drop off location for every county, regardless of its size.

Trump’s people support 1 ballot drop-off point per country in Texas, where the objective is to make it difficult for poor democrats to vote.  In fact, it’s impossible for anyone in at least one Texas county, where Houston is located, to walk to a ballot drop-off location!  It’s in a parking lot, and for “safety” reasons, they don’t allow people to walk in! 

That also means no bus rides either.  The busses don’t go into the parking lot, so people can’t ride the bus and walk in either.  This same county is larger than the state of Rhode Island!  And they have one, yes one, ballot drop off point!

That’s what can happen when we make a deal with the devil’s agent.

Meanwhile, here in California where I live, Republicans are setting up fake “official” ballot drop boxes.  Yes, fake.  Claiming to be official, but they aren’t.  Who knows what’s going to happen to the ballots going in those boxes.  The State has put out :cease and desist” orders, since they are illegal.  The Republican party has refused to do so, even knowing they are violating the law. 

SOunds like another deal with the devil’s agent.

One question for sure – what happened to the “law and order” President?  I guess that’s the other head in the image.

To make matters even worse, some of these illegal fake ballot boxes are being put up in Christian churches!  Can you even imagine Jesus proposing that?  Where’s the outcry from Christians over the illegal acts by the leadership of these churches?  It’s not there.  Silence.  As if we’ve made a deal with the devil’s agent.

Does anyone even remember this scene from the Bible?

Jesus at the Temple – Matthew

21:12-16 pp — Mk 11:15-18; Lk 19:45-47

Mt 21:12 Jesus entered the temple area and drove out all who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the benches of those selling doves. 13 “It is written,” he said to them, “ ‘My house will be called a house of prayer,’ but you are making it a ‘den of robbers.’’”
Mt 21:14 The blind and the lame came to him at the temple, and he healed them. 15 But when the chief priests and the teachers of the law saw the wonderful things he did and the children shouting in the temple area, “Hosanna to the Son of David,” they were indignant.

Mt 21:16 “Do you hear what these children are saying?” they asked him.
“Yes,” replied Jesus, “have you never read,
“ ‘From the lips of children and infants
you have ordained praise’ ?”
Mt 21:17 And he left them and went out of the city to Bethany, where he spent the night.The Parable of the Lost Coin

While some church leaders are turning their / our / God’s churches into dens of robbers (election robbers), where are the children crying out, Hosanna to the Son of David?  Where is the praise for the God we promised to believe in and follow when we were baptized?  Instead, we’re literally doing something we’d have to do if we made a deal with the devil himself.  Does we, as Christians, really not realize this?

Trump encourages his supporters to commit a felony by voting twice

Mr. Trump encouraged people to send in an absentee ballot and then go vote in person on Election Day.

“Let them send it in and let them go vote, and if their system’s as good as they say it is, then obviously they won’t be able to vote,” the president said. “If it isn’t tabulated, they’ll be able to vote.”

“That’s the way it is,” he added. “And that’s what they should do.”

Voting twice in the same election is illegal.

Yes, it is illegal.  It’s a felony.  And the candidate that so many Christians are supporting is asking people who support him to commit that felony! 

What’s wrong with this picture?  Is that really who we, as Christians, should be supporting?  Is that how we act as Jesus’ representatives here on earth?  Committing felonies?  

Talk about making a deal with the devil!  

Maybe this is so the people voting twice can do outreach while they’re in prison, but I seriously doubt that.

Conclusion – Would you make a deal with the devil if he promised to promote Christianity?

I could include more of the seemingly deal with the devil, but I think that’s enough. Some will consider what I said. Some won’t.

But consider this. Trump has done a lot for the political interest of certain Christians in the U.S. Especially white Evangelical Christians at or above a certain socio-economic level, and especially who live in the suburbs. But there’s a lot more to Christianity that the political interests. In fact, I don’t think Christians should be pushing our political religious faith in the political arena. Especially when our faith is, I believe, rooted in politics and personal biases rather than in the Bible and what Jesus taught and said during His time on earth.

While writing this, I’m especially reminded of two of the seven churches in Revelation. You know, the ones Jesus sent letters to?

Here’s the first one. When it comes to politics and religions, I think it’s fits us in the U.S. all too well.

To the Church in Ephesus

Rev 2:1 “To the angel of the church in Ephesus write:

These are the words of him who holds the seven stars in his right hand and walks among the seven golden lampstands: 2 I know your deeds, your hard work and your perseverance. I know that you cannot tolerate wicked men, that you have tested those who claim to be apostles but are not, and have found them false. 3 You have persevered and have endured hardships for my name, and have not grown weary.

Rev 2:4 Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken your first love. 5 Remember the height from which you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first. If you do not repent, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place. 6 But you have this in your favor: You hate the practices of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate.

Rev 2:7 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes, I will give the right to eat from the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God.

For an in depth look at this letter, I invite you to read Revelation – The letter to the loveless church in Ephesus.

The bottom line though, is this. The church in Ephesus has forgotten their first love. They’ve forgotten Jesus. They turned into the modern-day equivalent of the Pharisees in Jesus time on earth. Essentially, they forgot about love.

Christians may remember,

Treasures in Heaven

6:22, 23 pp — Lk 11:34-36

Mt 6:19 “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

Mt 6:22 “The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are good, your whole body will be full of light. 23 But if your eyes are bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness!

Mt 6:24 “No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money.”

We can’t serve two masters.  As in, we can’t serve God and politics any more than we can serve God and money.  We will end up hating God and loving politics.  Why?  Because in order to serve politics, we must give up on love.  And when we give up on love, we give up on God.  Eventually, we will, even in unwittingly, make a deal with the devil.  The next thing we know, or maybe aren’t even aware of, we hate God because love gets in the way of our political master.

Then, Jesus does what He is warning the church in Ephesus about.  He will remove their lampstand.  Only now, it’s removing our lampstand.  That means Jesus is removing us from His Church.  That’s what can and will happen when the Church rejects God and loves politics.

 

The other church I’m reminded of from Revelation is the one in Sardis. The church that had a reputation of being alive. And yet, Jesus told them they were dead.

To the Church in Sardis

Rev 3:1 “To the angel of the church in Sardis write:

These are the words of him who holds the seven spirits of God and the seven stars. I know your deeds; you have a reputation of being alive, but you are dead. 2 Wake up! Strengthen what remains and is about to die, for I have not found your deeds complete in the sight of my God. 3 Remember, therefore, what you have received and heard; obey it, and repent. But if you do not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what time I will come to you.
Rev 3:4 Yet you have a few people in Sardis who have not soiled their clothes. They will walk with me, dressed in white, for they are worthy. 5 He who overcomes will, like them, be dressed in white. I will never blot out his name from the book of life, but will acknowledge his name before my Father and his angels. 6 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.

This church thinks they’re doing really well.  What some would call today “being on fire for the Lord”.  Unfortunately, Jesus says that fire is out.  Dead.  Extinguished.  Why did their fire for the Lord go out?  Because they’re now on fire for politics and man’s law, just like we read above.

I said previously, this can happen and we don’t even realize it.  That’s exactly what happened to the church in Sardis.  They lost their fire, but didn’t have a clue.  We know that, because Jesus said He would come like a thief.  We should remember something about that.  It’s in the passage below.

The Shepherd and His Flock

Jn 10:1 “I tell you the truth, the man who does not enter the sheep pen by the gate, but climbs in by some other way, is a thief and a robber. 2 The man who enters by the gate is the shepherd of his sheep. 3 The watchman opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. 4 When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice. 5 But they will never follow a stranger; in fact, they will run away from him because they do not recognize a stranger’s voice.” 6 Jesus used this figure of speech, but they did not understand what he was telling them.

Jn 10:7 Therefore Jesus said again, “I tell you the truth, I am the gate for the sheep. 8 All who ever came before me were thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen to them. 9 I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. He will come in and go out, and find pasture. 10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.

Yeah – the thief who comes to steal, kill and destroy.  One of the things stolen will be our very souls.  That’s because we sold our souls to the thief when we made a deal with the devil.

Jn 10:11 “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. 12 The hired hand is not the shepherd who owns the sheep. So when he sees the wolf coming, he abandons the sheep and runs away. Then the wolf attacks the flock and scatters it. 13 The man runs away because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep.

Jn 10:14 “I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me— 15 just as the Father knows me and I know the Father—and I lay down my life for the sheep. 16 I have other sheep that are not of this sheep pen. I must bring them also. They too will listen to my voice, and there shall be one flock and one shepherd. 17 The reason my Father loves me is that I lay down my life—only to take it up again. 18 No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This command I received from my Father.”

Ultimately, it comes down to a question of who we are for. Are we for Christ? Or are we against Him. There aren’t any other choices. We saw that already.

The devil loves to make deals. Promises all sorts of things. We read that in the Bible. We also should know, when we make a deal with the devil, we lose. Big time.

It’s not too late. In both of the letters, to Ephesus and to Sardis, Jesus told us how to overcome. And what the reward is for overcoming. It may not be easy. But it’s more than worth it. And that’s a promise from God, so we know it’s true.

 


Image by Merio from Pixabay


 

References

1 https://www.cbsnews.com/news/trump-michigan-election-2020-voters-dislike-voting-anyway/

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