Columns, Features, Pastorate, Theology

The Resistance Continues

By now most of you know that all the major media outlets have called the presidential election for Joe Biden. With the Biden-Harris ticket securing wins in key battleground states, the Democrats will be taking control of the executive branch (baring any successful legal challenges by the Republicans).

With all that’s changed, and will change in the months to come, this much we know: the pastor’s job description remains the same.

Regardless of who’s in the White House, the pastor’s job is to shepherd God’s people into deeper degrees of discipleship. Of course, we do this in many ways—ways that don’t change with transitions in Washington. We will continue to preach the Word, teach sound doctrine, care for the saints, evangelize the lost, and mobilize our churches for global missions. In other words, we will continue, by the grace of God, to help our churches live like pilgrims and exiles in this world in our holy pursuit of another.

As pastors we are always aware of being part of a resistance movement. What are we resisting? The world, the flesh, and the devil. And this resistance is always necessary no matter what political party holds office.

This is not to say there are not unique challenges for God’s people depending on who leads our secular governments. To be sure, a Biden presidency has the potential to accelerate godless trends in our nation that will call on the church to act in specific and courageous ways for righteousness—just as it was the case under a Trump presidency with its unique challenges for the church. Because our citizenship is in heaven (Philippians 3:20) we must never be at ease in Zion (Amos 6:1) no matter who sits in the Oval Office. Indeed, this world is not our home and as pastors we labor to help our people be increasingly homesick for heaven.

The 2020 presidential election has the potential to be a galvanizing time for pastors as we remember again for the first time what our job description requires. It is a job description that does not change with the changing of the guard in Washington. Our job is to help our churches resist the world with its pattern of rebellion against God, the flesh with its indwelling sin, and the devil as he prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. We do this gospel work grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken (Hebrews 12:28) because our God reigns never subject to term limits.

Week in and week out pastors call their churches to join the resistance. This has never been easy work because the opposition comes at us with a relentless fury and cunning. But it is work worth every ounce of blood, sweat, and tears for the reward is great. As one of the foremost leaders of the resistance has written, “Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him” (James 1:12).

Join the resistance, and look forward to receiving the crown of life.

Filed under: Columns, Features, Pastorate, Theology
Michael Pohlman

Michael Pohlman (PhD, Southern Seminary) is professor of Preaching and Pastoral Ministry and chair of the Department of Ministry and Proclamation at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. He is founder and executive director of Some Pastors and Teachers.

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