My political posture has not changed.

I posted a picture like this under Trump, and I post it now under Biden. My prayer for Biden, as it was Trump, is based upon 1 Timothy 2:1-3

I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people— for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior.

I am praying regularly for Biden and both Republicans and Democrats. I hope you are too.

But 1 Timothy 2:1-3 is not my biggest prayer.

My biggest prayer is for revival of true discipleship in North America—whatever it takes. It is the only thing that ultimately matters.

I am praying that disciple makers will influence the culture. True disciple making disciples can show a better way. True disciples of Jesus – and an increasing number of them – are the best way to influence our culture.

Politics are downstream from culture.

H.L. Mencken put it something like this: “In a democracy, people deserve the government they get.” Whether it was Trump’s bombastic tirades or Biden’s woke policies, there are huge segments of our culture that think these men and their ways are the answer. But at best they all fall short; at worst, they create damage. Politicians reflect back to people what the people want. Stated differently, politicians give to people what our culture desires and/or what our culture tolerates.

Whether we get bombastic Trump or woke Biden, the roots of our culture are changing, and we are seeing strange postures in politics. We are leaving our Judeo-Christian heritage and we are not sure where it is going to lead.[1]

Stated succinctly again: politics reflects culture.

Mark my words: the new political and cultural winds in America are strong. A culture is a common narrative of beliefs, values, and practices taking hold in education, HR departments, art, and the media. The new culture’s roots are fundamentally opposed to the way of Jesus found in scripture.

The truth is that our new culture is out-discipling the local church.

The culture will not turn back to a more friendly posture toward the church by us yelling at it. People only give up one culture if they find a better one. That alternative culture requires an alternative set of beliefs and values, as well as disciplines and practices and narratives. These help to re-disciple the minds of people—but many people in the West no longer care about the church or they actually hate the church.

What can we do?

A godly solution – create a counter-cultural community to show the ways of Jesus in the lives of disciples called the local church.

A false solution – react like the ancient Israelites, who believed that human kings, kingdoms, presidents, and prime ministers provided the ultimate solutions. Politics is always a secondary solution to core problems. Republicans or Democrats, Marxists or strict constitutionalists, liberals or conservatives all have the same problem – they have a flawed vision, a flawed story, and a flawed way.

Let’s cast a better vision, tell a better story, and show a better way.

I encourage everyone who considers themselves to be a true disciple of Jesus to work on their local church culture, to raise up true counter-cultural disciples. A strong culture of disciples following King Jesus in the local church—above all else—is God’s plan (Matt. 28:18–20; Col. 1: 27–29).

Disciples and churches must turn back to King Jesus, calling everyone to give him our highest allegiance, as we are made into true disciples in the local church.

I am talking about true disciples, real-life disciples, tough-minded, and faithful disciples. Churches that form people living in those churches are the only places that can demonstrate the changes needed in the culture of our country.

Again, we have to show them a better story and wisely, lovingly tell them a better way – and live it out in front of them.

We are talking about a culture of disciples following King Jesus, above all else—above the Constitution (yes, I meant to say that!), above democratic ideals, above republican ideals, above socialistic ideals, above libertarian ideals, above Trump, above Biden, and above any other political philosophy or leader.

Jesus is King of kings and Lord of Lords, and he alone is Head of the local church.

The local church, with disciple making at the core, is God’s primary political entity to change the world.

A strong culture of disciples following King Jesus in the local church is God’s plan “A.”

Everything else is secondary – or worse – just shouting and spitting into the cultural wind.

[1] Two Caveats: 1) the West was never truly Judeo/Christian, but the Bible was a dominant cultural influence for good after World War II for at least seventy years, and 2) politics can help force things into a culture by working backward through laws (think gay marriage in the USA), practices, and advocacy. But it will not work backward for long if a culture is against what the political party wants. Unless a culture supports a certain political party, in a democracy no particular party can last.