View Full Version : The strange spectacle of the pastor turned politician

01-10-2008, 07:03 AM
(or Why I think evangelical Christians should be uneasy about Mike Huckabee)

Someone once said “Who, having been called to be a preacher, would stoop to be a king?” The point is that the work of preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ is the most glorious calling in the world - even more glorious than the work of ruling a nation.

Well, many would disagree, but surely every Bible-believing evangelical Christian would affirm that the proposition is true. The apostle Paul wrote, “I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes,” (Romans 1:16) and “the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.” (I Corinthians 1:18) The gospel is the power of God which saves people from sin. He wrote “If I preach the gospel, that gives me no ground for boasting. For necessity is laid upon me. Woe to me if I do not preach the gospel!” Paul was called by God to be an apostle and to preach the gospel, and so he dedicated himself to that task and did it to the best of his ability to the end of his days. It is impossible to imagine the apostle setting aside his calling, even had, for example, he been offered the governorship of the province of Cilicia. And had his good friend Timothy decided to leave the full time pastorate in order to take on a roll in civil government, one suspects that Paul would have promptly sent him a third epistle telling him to stop running away from his calling to preach the gospel, and urging him to stick to the great work God had given him to do.

Which brings us to the strange case of Governor Huckabee. I am sure that he has explained his reasons for leaving the pastorate to go into politics. I a sure that many Christians have accepted these reasons. But I cannot help but having doubts. And I wonder why more Christians do not have doubts. What does he think he is doing? Liberal theologians have often taught that we can build the Kingdom of God through works of mercy and socio-political action, but Bible believing evangelical Christians do not. Why, having been called to be a preacher, is he stooping to be king?

There are further concerns. Does he speak like a preacher of the gospel, or like a politician? Consider this excerpt from Mike Huckabee’s interview on the O’Reilly show http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xmb3TleQHJw

O: A lot of evangelicals say you can’t get to heaven unless you believe in Jesus. And if you are president are you going to tell Jewish Americans and Muslim Americans “you’re not going to heaven”?
H: It’s not the roll of the president to tell people whether they are going to heaven or going to hell. It is the roll of the president to lead this country ... and let people believe what they want to believe.
O: But do you think the voters have a right to know about your religious beliefs?
H: Absolutely
O: Do you believe that Jewish and Muslim aren’t going to heaven because they don’t believe in Jesus?
H: I think that’s something they will deal with, but again it’s not the roll of the president to start telling . . .
O: But do you believe that
H: Do I believe people...
O: Who don’t believe Jesus is God can go to heaven
H: I believe Jesus is the way to heaven. That’s what the Scripture teaches. Again, if somebody else has a different belief, and they figure out how to
get there apart from that. . . that’s the only way I know how to get there.
O: So you say that you are secure in your own beliefs, but you are not telling anybody else they are or are not going to heaven
H: That’s not my job. My job is to make sure I make it on my . . . uh . . . convictions . . .

It’s not a bad answer. But it is evasive. The point is, Mike Huckabee does not want to give a direct answer to the question. In fact, he does not want to answer the question at all. To say “I think that’s something they will deal with . . . .” is trying to duck. In the end, he does answer the question, but the answer is the answer of a politician, not a pastor. Huckabee has ceased to be a fearless proclaimer of the gospel. He has, effectively, ceased to be a pastor.

And then there is the business about preaching in John Hagee’s church. Hagee says “Jesus did not come to earth to be the Messiah.” Well, it seems to me that this is very obviously unbiblical, false teaching. Now, a pastor is supposed to be a shepherd. That’s what the word ‘pastor’ means. A shepherd is supposed to protect his flock from wolves, from false teachers. But does Mike Huckabee warn anyone that John Hagee is a false teacher? No. Instead, he chooses to associate with him, and thereby sends the message “Hagee is OK.” Does Mike Huckabee think that it saying “Jesus did not come to earth to be the Messiah” is true? Does he think that it is a minor matter that Christians should not get worked up about? I don’t know. But it seems to me that in associating with Hagee, Huckabee may be being politically smart, but he is not being what a pastor should be. I don’t know whether this is because Huckabee was never the best pastor, or whether going into politics has been a trap for him. But neither is good.

I think that Christians should be involved in government. But when a pastor gives up the pastorate and goes into politics, I think Christians should be a little uneasy about it.

Christians, pray for your brother in Christ, Mike Huckabee. He needs prayer. But I don’t think you should vote for him.

01-10-2008, 07:15 AM
Someone once said “Who, having been called to be a preacher, would stoop to be a king?”

I think the actual quote is, "If God calls you to be a missionary, don't stoop to be a king."

;) (I like that quote!)

Anyway - yes, Christians should definitely be uneasy about Huckabee, and keep in mind that politicians will sometimes use religion, to get people to trust them. As Jesus said, we need to be wise as serpents and gentle as doves.

01-10-2008, 07:23 AM
I think the actual quote is, "If God calls you to be a missionary, don't stoop to be a king."

Hi, and thanks for that. They could probably be considered two different quotes, and one is probably based on the other. I'd really like to know who first said it, but googling didn't provide me with a definitive answer. Thomas Carlyle and C H Spurgeon are among the suspects.

01-10-2008, 09:36 PM
It’s not a bad answer.

Yes it is. He is ashamed of the gospel. He is ashamed of the fact that people are sinners in the hands of an angry God. He had an opportunity to preach the gospel to a national, perhaps international audience, and he didn't. Unfortunately I don't know if Paul would answer the question any better. But at least its clear that for a pastor, he has a greater zeal for politics than he does for the gospel.

I appreciate your post. I agree completely. I wish I had sent in a question for the youtube debate that asked him specifically why he stepped down from the pulpit for a seat in the white house.

Someone told me that he has some kind of biography in which he says he left the pulpit because he wanted to do more, because he thought politics would be more effective at solving the world's problems. If this is true, then he obviously doesn't have a very high view of the gospel.

I listened to a very good sermon on John 18:33-38 called "The Church and Politics"

I also taught recently at my church on John 18:28-38 if you're interested, I'd love some feedback

-I see you're tuning in from Scottland. How's Paul's support over there?

01-11-2008, 04:03 AM
Yes it is. He is ashamed of the gospel.

OK - I'm being generous :) But it could have been a worse answer.

He is ashamed of the fact that people are sinners in the hands of an angry God.

Ahhh. You sound like a JE man. Good!

I see you're tuning in from Scottland. How's Paul's support over there?

Nobody has ever heard of him - but his message would not go down well among most Scots. Most modern Scots believe in BIG government: cradle to grave welfare state, government to create lots of jobs, etc. etc. On the other hand, they would agree with him on the Iraq war and the need for the US to have a humble foreign policy.

01-13-2008, 01:24 AM
You might be interested in this John,

01-23-2008, 01:26 PM
Brandon - thanks for the links. Some very good material there.

02-01-2008, 04:16 AM
Thank you for sharing some deep thoughts you've obviously wrestled with in regards o Mike Huckabee's bid for the Presidency.

Please see "Christians Expose Huckabee" http://www.freewebs.com/daughtersofsara/christiansexposehuckabee.htm