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Jesus Politics: A Manifesto to Win Back the Soul of America

Jesus Politics: A Manifesto to Win Back the Soul of America

by Phil Robertson

Learn More | Meet Phil Robertson

Chapter 1

A Kingdom Manifesto

It was not a typical morning on the river. I’d rolled out of bed early, just like any other Louisiana morning. I’d brewed a pot of coffee, black as tar. But this morning I wasn’t heading out to the shop or down to the fields. I wouldn’t be walking through the cypress groves or picking mayhaws on the banks of the Ouachita. I wasn’t headed anywhere but to my La-Z-Boy, in fact, because the river had spilled out of its banks and flooded most of God’s country.

In late April the storm clouds typically come and stay awhile, soaking northern Louisiana in their annual floods. But that day the driveway in front of the house was underwater. The river had risen into Miss Kay’s pavilion less than twenty yards from the backdoor. I was all hemmed in.

I switched the news on and Joe Biden filled the screen. He had a message for America, he said, but before he got to it, he replayed the 2017 footage of some white supremacists carrying torches and spewing hate in Charlottesville, Virginia. He shared President Trump’s comment after the attacks, in which the president said there were “very fine people on both sides” (a comment I don’t believe the president was ascribing to tiki-torch-carrying white supremacists). Mr. Biden said that President Trump posed a threat to this country and that the American people were locked in a “battle for the soul of the nation.” What’s more, he implied that he was the solution to the perceived problem, and if America didn’t vote for him, America would fall apart.

It is true. The white supremacists carrying the torches around Charlottesville in August 2017 were sinners slinging demonic hate and vitriol. It is also true that America was locked in a battle for its very soul. But what wasn’t true was that Donald Trump had created the problem or that a long-serving politician could somehow be the solution to it.

Liberals, that is, the ones who promote the slaughter of their children while saving the whales, they’re the fix for America’s problems?

The folks who legalize all sorts of sexual immorality and perversion, they’re the ones with the moral authority to govern this country?

The people who spew as much profanity and filth as anyone, they’re the alternative to hateful speech in our country?

The party who booted God out of the public schools, they’re the ones who can save us?

Hey, Mr. Biden, your hypocrisy is showing!

There’s no doubt we’re locked in a battle for America’s soul. And Mr. Biden, if you’re reading along, pay attention. The problem with our country isn’t a problem that can be solved by any particular political party. After all, America’s problem isn’t a flesh-and-blood problem; it’s a powers-and-principalities problem.

As I wrote in The Theft of America’s Soul, the evil one is working overtime to convince America that God is dead or, at the least, God is unnecessary. The evil one’s convinced us that our freedoms weren’t founded in God, but rather they were granted to allow us to chase our every desire. The evil one twisted those desires and used them to influence the way we vote. As a result, the Enemy has sneaked into America through politicians who reflect the character of its people. And what is that character? The apostle Paul put it this way:

For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like a mortal human being and birds and animals and reptiles.
Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. They exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. (Rom. 1:21–25)

What are the characteristics of those who follow the evil one? They are a people who don’t worship God. A people whose hearts are foolish and darkened. A people who worship the animals, the environment, maybe even the climate. A people who are sexually immoral, who serve every lust. Sound familiar?

Yes, Mr. Biden, we’re certainly locked in a battle for the soul of America. If we’re going to win that battle, though, we need a spiritual solution, not one born from the hearts of men. And as people of the King, as citizens of the kingdom of heaven, we need a strategy for bringing that spiritual solution “on earth as it is in heaven.” We need a common strategy, a statement of purpose. What do we need? We need a kingdom manifesto.

The Power Of A Manifesto

In 1848, Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels wrote a pamphlet that changed the world—but not for the good. That pamphlet served as the basis for their now-famous work The Communist Manifesto, which led to the rise of godless red states such as the USSR, the People’s Republic of China, and Cuba. It was a document meant to highlight the problems with capitalism and Western democracy, and it argued that those forces oppressed disadvantaged people by controlling property, production, and the political elite. It made a case for a socialist revolution and claimed that when the people rose up, when they redistributed wealth, land, and education, a great utopia would arise. But who would oversee the redistribution? The writers of the manifesto and their followers, of course.

The great communist utopia would follow. How’d that work out for you, Russia?

It was a manifesto bound to fail from the beginning because there was no God in it, no room for the Almighty to work through it. It was a political philosophy that led the people to place their faith in government, but a government made up of wicked men. Marx himself was no Christian, and when his manifesto was adopted by Vladimir Lenin, it became an even more atheistic document. In fact, quoting Marx, Lenin wrote, “Religion is the opium of the people—this dictum by Marx is the cornerstone of the whole Marxist outlook on religion. Marxism has always regarded all modern religions and churches, and each and every religious organisation, as instruments of bourgeois [the materialistic ruling class] reaction that serve to defend exploitation and to befuddle the working class.”1

Befuddle is a word that should have been applied to their political ideology but was instead applied to the things of God. See how twisted their thinking is?

The Communist Manifesto was a provocative document. It didn’t mince words and it called for action. And I guess you could say it was successful in moving people toward a certain philosophy, even if that philosophy was foolish and bankrupt. Even today we still have socialist and communist countries, including China, North Korea, and Cuba. Even today we have politicians like Vermont senator Bernie Sanders and New York representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez who promote communist ideals under the moniker of democratic socialism.

Old Marx’s manifesto has fooled the fools. I wonder if he’s laughing in his grave.

Karl Marx and his commie buddies corrupted the word manifesto. But what if we reclaimed and redeemed the word? After all, a manifesto is no more than a declaration of intent, whether for good or bad. It’s a decisive, provocative statement of action. Manifestos typically aren’t politically correct. They don’t coddle those who disagree. And manifestos aren’t just for the communists. Maybe we Christians, the citizens of the kingdom of heaven on earth, need our own manifesto. Maybe we need a unifying call to action for all citizens of the kingdom of heaven on earth.

Do We Really Need A Manifesto?

I trust old Noah Webster, an early American educator who understood the power behind a just form of government. In his 1834 book Value of the Bible and Excellence of the Christian Religion, he wrote:

The command of God is, “He that ruleth over men must be just, ruling in the fear of God,” 2 Sam. 23:3. This command prescribes the only effectual remedy for public evils. It is an absurd and impious sentiment, that religious character is not necessary for public officers. . . . But in representative governments, if rulers are bad men, it is generally the fault of the people.2

Webster was an educator at heart and a godly man, and he did his best to promote and preserve a tradition of biblical governance. He knew that America’s success was dependent on the people electing just, wise leaders. He also knew the religious character of a country is derived from the religious character of the people. If old man Webster could look at our country today, don’t you think he’d agree that we need a manifesto?

Webster created the first American dictionary, a dictionary that did not shy away from religious or political terms. In that dictionary, he defined the term manifesto as “a public declaration, usually of a prince or sovereign, showing his intentions, or proclaiming his opinions and motives; as a manifesto declaring the purpose of a prince to begin war, and explaining his motives.”3 A strong definition, wouldn’t you say?

But considering Webster’s definition, maybe you’re wondering, What gives you the right to create a manifesto, Phil? You’re no prince. Maybe that’s true in the earthly sense, but consider the spiritual truth laid out in the Scriptures. The apostle Peter calls me a member of the royal priesthood, a man called to “proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness and into his marvelous light” (1 Peter 2:9 ESV). In other words, the Bible itself includes us in the royal line, and it gives us the authority to proclaim, declare, and promote the will of King Jesus. As part of the royal line, we’re to pronounce the truth of the King, warn of his coming judgment, and help create an environment conducive to the spread of the kingdom of heaven on earth.

As a member of the royal family of King Jesus, I’m advancing his purposes by offering a clear declaration of intent for voting Christians. It’s a sort of new political manifesto for the citizens of the kingdom of heaven on earth, and it addresses how we ought to assert our heavenly citizenship through the democratic process. But before we get started, you need to know this: I didn’t get the terms of this manifesto from the Republican National Committee or the National Rifle Association or any conservative political action committee. I didn’t get them from Laura Ingraham or Sean Hannity at Fox News. (The truth is, I reckon they see me as something of a strange duck.) Nor did I crib the ideas of this manifesto from the platform of any political candidate. No, the positions contained in this Kingdom Manifesto were not provided by any human. Instead, these are the talking points I believe that come straight from the Almighty, derived from his Bible. These are the answers I’ve come to after forty years of studying God’s Word.

A Declaration Of Intent For Christians

In this book, we’ll dig into the pressing issues in the current American political landscape. We’ll address those issues by answering three simple questions in each chapter:

  • What’s the problem?
  • What’s the King’s answer to the problem?
  • How do we put the Kingdom Manifesto into action?

In the final chapter, we’ll collect each of the statements of intent, each of the declarations into a final Kingdom Manifesto, a manifesto that embodies the politics of King Jesus. We’ll use that manifesto as a statement to guide our votes and ensure that we promote those who protect and advance the principles of King Jesus. And if there’s no perfect candidate on your ballot, no godly man or woman running for a particular office, we’ll identify the candidate who lines up the closest with the Kingdom Manifesto and cast our vote accordingly.

It’s true, we are in the thick of a war for America’s soul. It’s a real war with serious consequences. This book is a call to all citizens of the kingdom of heaven on earth to wake up spiritually and politically and join in the battles of that war. It’s a call to come together and move with intent. After all, this country won’t make it another generation unless a mighty throng of Christians uses their democratic freedoms to advance the policies of King Jesus. Are you ready to join that throng as part of the kingdom of heaven on earth? Are you ready to learn what Jesus Politics is all about and use your vote in a way worthy of the King? Come on. Let’s join together in creating a Kingdom Manifesto.

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