SOMERSET, Ky. (KT) – The theme of the 2023 Kentucky Pastors’ Conference was “Contend: The unchanging gospel for an everchanging world.” Speakers were tasked to discuss the cultural issues facing the church from a biblical perspective.
The president of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission addressed politics, identity and the Christian’s true allegiance.
“In so many communities across our country we are falling short of discipling our people how to think politically in ways that are informed by Scripture,” Leatherwood said.
He noted that partisan identity can take command and drive the lives of many believers, overruling their spiritual identity in Christ.
“I submit that this, in short, is idolatry,” Leatherwood said, because the heart of the Christian faith is the declaration that Jesus is Lord.
“This simple statement is incredibly political because when it was written, to say (it) meant that Caesar is not,” he added. “Saying Jesus is Lord today means that the Democratic or Republican party is not. Saying Jesus is Lord today means that Andy Beshear is not. Saying Jesus is Lord today means that Mitch McConnell is not. Saying Jesus is lord today means that Joe Biden is note. Saying that Jesus is lord today means that Donald Trump is not.”
When Christians confess this truth and conduct their lives in accordance with the gospel, they will find themselves in opposition to partisan dogmas.
And we can do that because our identity is not found primarily in who we voted for, but in who we believe will reign at the end of the age and that actually frees us up…to be the best citizens we can be…because our first allegiance…is to the principles of truth, goodness and justice as exemplified in the life of Christ and commanded in Scripture.Brent Leatherwood
Leatherwood added that political priorities for the Christian, whether pastor or lay member, are shaped by Scripture. He noted 1 Peter 2 as a practical example.
“Part of what it means to declare Jesus is Lord is to care about the things our Lord cares about…go about politics in a way that is right and honoring to him.”
Ultimately, believers are to be a people who know where the true power lies, Leatherwood said: “In a gospel that transforms the heart and changes lives, spreading from individual to individual through the work of the Holy Spirit, and in that work, we know that the Lord’s arm, indeed, is not too short.”
Read the Kentucky Today full article here.