Rock Dillaman on Guarding Your Soul in an Election

Over a decade ago, Rock Dillaman had a timely message from Philippians 3:20-21.

It’s as timely today as then.

First the Scripture text…

Philippians 3:20-21 (NIV) But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body.

And some quotes from the message…

I want to remind you that no matter which candidate finally gains the presidency he will not be able to profoundly impact the spiritual strongholds that are the source and the sustenance of our national problems. Because, as Paul said, the weapons — the only weapons — that work in spiritual warfare are spiritual weapons. The anointing of the Holy Spirit. The power of the Holy Spirit. The sacred Scriptures. Prayer. Fasting. Discernment. Prophetic gifting. Those are the only things that work when you’re facing spiritual strongholds. And the last time I checked Washington doesn’t specialize in spiritual weaponry. They function with the inevitable compromise of political expediency.

And so…real change in this nation must originate with a God-empowered spiritual movement in the hearts of the only people through whom God can and will accomplish that, the Church. Real change will come from Spirit-led grass-roots efforts that “rush up,” not political decisions that “trickle down.” A good example would be the civil rights movement. It didn’t start in the halls of congress. It started in a pulpit in a church.  And that’s where spiritual change has to come from — from the people of God.


When you say to be Christian is to vote this way, to endorse this candidate you have just politicized your faith. And that isn’t patriotism, that’s blasphemy. That’s heresy. Be thankful you don’t live in Old Testament times, they would have stoned a lot of people today.


Dear friend, God is not Republican nor is he Democrat. To suggest he is either is blasphemy…. God is not liberal or conservative, though he has been accused of being both…. God is not a citizen of the United States of America. And the United States of America is not the kingdom of God; we are just one more sinful, fallen nation-state.


To attach God’s name to human political structures is to use his name in vain.


The fact someone disagrees with your political persuasion doesn’t make them evil — doesn’t mean they are the spawn of hell…. If you are eager to pronounce hell on somebody else, you are probably flirting with it yourself.


Don’t politicize your faith. We’ve done so much politicizing of our faith, there’s a whole bunch of Americans who won’t listen to us talk about Jesus ’cause they assume what the church is about is the Republican party and trickle-down economics and so on. They won’t even give you a hearing. That’s what happens when you politicize your faith — you shut down evangelism.


My President will not be elected in a few weeks. My President ascended to his throne a long time ago and declared that he is King of Kings and Lord of Lords. He’s already given his inaugural address — it’s called the Sermon on the Mount. And I live as a citizen of heaven waiting for his return when he will subject all things to himself. In the meantime, my beloved, beloved brothers and sisters, be Christian and don’t be heathen and know who you are and live like you’ve read the Bible rather than letting it collect dust on your nightstand. And don’t lose your soul in an election. Because when the election is over the work of the Church will remain.

Posted here with permission from Rock.

Spending the Day with Others

In his book, Life TogetherDietrich Bonhoeffer has a rather lengthy chapter titled, The Day with Others.

As he unfolds his thinking, it’s evident that he is teaching his readers how to be the Church – in whatever environment find themselves.

When I say, “how to be the church,” I am referring to experiencing God’s presence together — as friends, as a family, as a couple. It’s what we do Sundays, on Susquehanna Avenue, when we can.

Bonhoeffer is pretty straight forward in this area. He speaks of several practices that believers should enact together — as believers.

Some of those practices are…

  • Reading the Scriptures — with others
  • Singing the New Song — with others
  • The Fellowship at the Table — with others
  • Noonday and Evening — with others

This video speaks about some of those practices.

Had you given any thought as to how you might begin to do these things in your home during this unusual season of human history?

God might enable you to do things you’d otherwise never considered.

And such things might come with an unexpected blessing.

What just happened? We were just talking!

As someone who’s been around computer technology since my teen years, I remember a day before the internet. A day before Windows. A day before digital communication.

That’s what I want you to read, “A day before digital communication.”

In the early days of digital communication, a new phenomenon was born. Some of us called it flaming – a situation when a casual conversation became emotional enflamed and blew up into something those involved didn’t intend.

How did that happen? We were just talking.

There were a lot of reasons for this, but one reason was because without nonverbal cues, some of us tend to read a conversation with an emotional tone that matches our own feelings at the moment.

It happened all the time, at first.

Good friends were suddenly estranged.

I’ve seen seeds of this returning with the advent of the coronavirus: Good people being disrespectful and short with one another in digital conversations. I feel like they don’t even know why it’s happening.

Beyond the long standing reason for flaming, there are a couple other causes in place right now.

First, whether you want to admit it or not this is a stressful time to be alive. There are a lot of worries. If you enter into a conversation with someone without the aid of nonverbal cues and you’re feeling worried and stressed, you will think they are stressed. You will suppose they are worried. You will assume they are what you are.

Second, for many this is the most they have ever communicated via digital text. Sure, they’ve texted. But now they’re communicating about things that may be a little more important than “What’s for dinner?” So when someone types that there there’s no toilet paper left at Walmart, the reader is left to ascribe an emotion to those benign characters. If he’s already stressed out, he will likely assume that the sender is stressed out and angry.

If you’re getting stressed out and angry reading this, that’s on you. I’m not that guy. At least not in this blog post. 🙂

Think back over some of the digital conversations you’ve had on social media, WhatsApp, Signal, group chats, email, and other text-based communications. Did you come across the way you intended? Were you misunderstood? Did you misunderstand someone else?

Or did you think someone was stressed out when they were simply asking a question? Did you ascribe your emotions to someone else and find difficulty in the communication as a result?

How can you avoid that next time?

Maybe take a moment and pray before you type.

Or at least think before you hit send.

That’s how the digital pioneers managed these situations.

We can probably do the same.