Talking Points, Part 1: What Is Jesus’ Take On Politics? // Andy Stanley

– So today we begin
this three part series, designed to make you
uncomfortable and
hopefully, better. It's entitled, "Talking Points," and I came up with
the sub title myself, "The perfect blend of
politics and religion." We'll see how perfect it
is, that will be up to you. Now, I have found it very
difficult to stay away from the topic of
religion in church. (audience laughing) But I found it very
easy to stay away from the topic of
politics in church. But whenever something
Jesus says specifically intersects something that
we're wrestling with in culture or wrestling with specifically
at a time like this in the life of our nation,
I have to talk about it. Or I should say I
have talked about it, I get to talk about it, I look
forward to talking about it, because the words of
Jesus are so relevant and they are so
extraordinarily relevant with everything that's happening
in our nation right now. And, the division, that's
no new news, right? The division in the
church created by our current political
context and climate, intersects directly with
something that Jesus taught.

So we're gonna look at it. And, since we are a
large and more and more diverse and geographically
dispersed group of network churches
in the Atlanta area and now more and more
all around the country, it's even more important
for me to talk about this because we are set
up to be divided, because of what we're
about to experience in the next few months. Now I became, I dunno, I don't
wanna say painfully aware, I became extraordinarily
aware of the diversity of political views
in our churches; actually the Sunday
following the 2016 election. So here's what happened. So if you can go
back in time, okay, it's the Sunday after
the 2016 election, which meant churches in
primarily Republican counties, they sang so loud on that
particular Sunday, right. I mean, they were
just singing, right.

And churches that were filled with primarily non-Republicans, they probably didn't even have
music that Sunday, I dunno. You remember it
was so emotional, everybody was in
shock and awe on both, you know, going both ways. And so, you know, we plan
our services way ahead, and so we kind of, you
know, we got to Sunday, and we just kind of
did our regular thing, that's what we do. We just rarely interface with
what's going on in culture unless it's, you know,
something big and dramatic. And we just, you know,
went with the program. So anyway, after the service,
I'm sitting there in my truck, at one of our more
suburban campuses. For those of you who are
watching from all the country, we have like nine or 10 churches
all over the Atlanta area. So right on the outskirts. And I'm sitting
there in the traffic, in park, just so you know, with my phone scrolling
through Twitter.

And the cool thing
about Twitter, when you preach
with one of these, is you find out if people
are paying attention to your main points. It's like, it's so good. So I'm like, yep
yep yep, anyway. So I get a mention from
an African American woman who attended our church
that's more toward town. And this is essentially what
her text said, she said: I came to church this morning
looking for reassurance.

I'm scared. And no one even
mentioned the election. I feel abandoned by my church. And of course, as a pastor, really as her pastor,
I felt terrible. But, you know, the Republicans,
who would read this, if you're Republican
and you would read this, and you would say,
and this isn't, I'm not, you know, this is gonna be uncomfortable, so listen, go ahead and
be uncomfortable together. You're like scared of what? We won. Scared of what? Now if the Democrats
had won the election, now that would have been
something to be afraid of. That's what, you know,
if you're Republican, that's what you're
thinking, right? But she's thinking something
entirely different. She has experienced this in a completely
different way, right? Because, nothing
divides like politics because, nothing
divides like fear. As you know, because you've
been a victim of this, or maybe you've
been a part of this, you can raise a lot of
money pedaling fear.

You can't raise this much money if you're not
pedaling fear, right? I mean the Republicans
are gonna take away your opportunity to vote, and the Democrats are gonna
take away your guns, you know, for $25 or $50 or if you
check $100, you know. You know, if the
president is re-elected, you know, the end of the world. If a Socialist
Democrat is elected, you know, it's the
end of the world. For $25 or $50 or $100, right? I mean you pedal enough fear, you could raise a lot of money. I'm not trying to
give you any ideas, I'm just telling you, it works.

But here's the question. What exactly, just
within the context of, you know, the United
States of America, what exactly do we fear? And I tell you, I
know the answer, because the answer is
the same for all of us, you know, at the macro level. It's this, it's loss. We fear something is
gonna be taken away. We fear loss, we fear
the loss of control, the loss of opportunity, the loss of the future
of our children, the loss of our culture, the loss of our freedom, the loss of our progress, because we've made progress
in some areas, you know? White people, we fear
what might happen.

Brown and black people fear
what has already happened. For them, it's not,
you know, theory. For them or for
you, it's history. And it wasn't that long ago. So there's fear for all of us, and it's the fear
of the unknown. And you can't raise
very much money if you don't pedal in fear. So we're in this culture, we're in this season in
the life of our nation, where everybody is
pedaling in fear.

And if we're not careful,
we will be victims of that. And not only will we be victims, we will be, this is what
we're gonna talk about, we will be divided. So back to my story. So I see this text and
I'm like, oh no, you know. Is there something that
we could have done, or should have done? It was at, you know, a
different one of our churches, but still, you know. So the traffic starts moving. So I put my, I'm in
my pick-up truck, I put my truck in gear, and I'm behind another
pick-up truck and I look, and on the back window
of the pick-up truck, on the left is an NRA sticker, and on the right side is a very
unflattering bumper sticker that has to do with
Hilary Clinton.

We'll just leave it like that. And I thought to myself,
this is all those years ago, here we are, here we are. We have the complete,
pretty much, you know, political spectrum
in our churches. And I gotta tell
you, I love that. In fact, I would say
this, and maybe this is– I don't wanna say
this too strongly, but if you're
looking for a church where everybody is
the same, (chuckling) you're in the wrong church,
okay, let me just tell you. And if you're looking
for a group of churches where everybody
agrees politically, you're in the wrong church, and I hope you never ever ever
attend a church like that, as we're gonna see
in just a minute.

Because what this means for us, because we're big and
we're influential, thanks to what you've
done all over the country, and really all over the world, we have an unprecedented
opportunity. We have an unprecedented
opportunity to model for our community
and maybe our nation, what it looks like to
disagree politically, because we are going to continue
to disagree politically, and love unconditionally. Now, here's the question. And I don't want you
to answer it out loud, I don't want you to say amen, I don't want you to say hm mm, I don't want you to do anything. I don't want you
to throw anything, unless you're at one
of the other churches, you can throw stuff
at the screen, I'll just keep on
preaching, okay? (audience laughing) So this is for you and I
really want you to be– Because here's the thing, what we're gonna
talk about today, I understand, I'm in
the audience with you.

What we're gonna
talk about today, you think you've got
it, I know you do. That's why we're gonna
spend three weekends talking about this. You think you're fine,
like I think I'm fine. But I want us to really dig down and maybe face some things
we've never faced before, and they're gonna be
a little bit scary, a little bit terrifying. I'm not gonna ask you to
change political parties. I just want you to think a little bit differently
as a Christian. And the question I
wanna ask you is, do you, don't answer out loud, do you want to do this? And do you think
you can do this? To which, on the surface,
it's like, oh yeah, I can do this, I do it all
the time.

Just hang with me. And I don't mean tolerate
people from other parties and other persuasions, even
those that are kind of out on, you know, the fringes,
and are super extreme. Not tolerate, not
just be nice to, with an eye roll, you know. Let me ask you in a different
way. And this is more pointed. And I think this goes
to the heart of it. Are you willing to
evaluate your politics, through the filter
of our historical collective Christian faith? Are you willing to
evaluate your politics through the filter of your faith rather than create
a version of faith that supports your politics? Which is what most
Christians do. As we're gonna talk
about next week. Everybody wants a
piece of Jesus, right? I mean in the United
States of America, Jesus is part of
every political party.

He is in lockstep. No matter what your thing is, if you're a Christian at all or any kind of version
of Christianity,
it's like, oh yeah. And again, we're
gonna see next week, anywhere in the bible, you
can find something Jesus said, or somewhere in the bible, to
support your political view. The real issue is, are you
willing, and am I willing, to put our political
filter behind, instead of in front
of, our faith filter? Are we willing to evaluate
and re-evaluate our politics in light of what specifically
Jesus has taught? Let me say it a different way. Are you, and can you be, but are you willing
to follow Jesus? I mean that's the
mission of our church, is to inspire people
to follow Jesus. Are you willing to follow Jesus, when following
Jesus creates space between you and your
political party, your party's platform, and
your party's candidate? And I'm just telling you, most Christians are
not able to do that, especially in the climate
that we're in now, and in months that
we have ahead.

Because it's so
easy to be divided, and it's so easy to
rush to the corner, and it's so easy to just assume that God and Jesus are
in lockstep with us. Now, any questions so far? Good, okay now, Jesus,
this is what's so amazing, this is why I have
to talk about it. Apparently, Jesus
saw this coming. Not the election, not that part. What Jesus saw coming
was the division. In fact, this is extraordinary. After Jesus had his
final passover meal
with the disciples, he prays a prayer in John; Matthew, Mark, Luke and John; actually records this, sometimes it's called
the High Priestly Prayer, and in this prayer, there's
two interesting things. Number one, he prays for us; we're gonna look at
that in just a minute.

But number two, Jesus
has a prayer request. Now if you grew up in church, you know what a
prayer request is. You're sitting in a circle, you're about to finish
your Sunday School class, or your small group, "Anybody have a prayer request?" Somebody raise their hand,
you share a prayer request. Imagine sitting in a circle
(chuckling) with Jesus? "Anybody have a prayer request?" Jesus says, "I have a request." It's like, "Really?", "Yeah." Jesus had a prayer request, and in this passage that
John records for us, we discover what Jesus
asked the father for. Now wouldn't you like to
know what Jesus prayed for, when Jesus pray? We know
what we pray for, you know, "Thank you for this day, "you know, get us to school, "help my kids," you
know, that stuff. What did Jesus pray for? And so here he is, this is cool, he's at the very end, in a few hours, he's gonna be arrested,
and tried and crucified.

Everything moves really
quick after that. So he's praying here at the end, and he asks something
of his heavenly father. And what he asks of
his heavenly father has everything in the world
to do with any of you, any of us, who consider
ourselves Jesus followers. This is remarkable. Here's what he prays: Father, the hour has come. Here we are, you know, three,
three and a half years, of walking around
with these guys, trying to explain
what you're like, and explain what the
kingdom of God is like, but here we are at the
end, the hour has come. Glorify your son, he's about to be
arrested and crucified, again, it moves really quick. Glorify your son, in other words, light
me up in such a way that people recognize who I am, that your son may light you up, so that people recognize
we're connected.

And the interesting
thing is the hour, when Jesus was crucified, that he's referring to here, the hour in which God
was most glorified, we would have been
most horrified. We would have looked away. And God never looked better. Because he sent his
son to redeem mankind. And Jesus' like, okay,
we're at that hour, but before all those
events kick off, there's something I gotta ask
you to do, O heavenly father. Here's what he says. It goes on, verse 11, he says: I will remain in
the world no longer, but they, the disciples,
are still in the world, and I'm coming to
you, I'm leaving them. And he's told them, I'm leaving,
I'm leaving, I'm leaving, and Peter kept saying,
where are you going? Where are you going,
where are you going? And Jesus like, "Where
I'm going, you can't go." Peter's like, "I'm going
with you everywhere." And Jesus is like,
"No, you're not, okay?" But what comes next is amazing and I think, this
is just my opinion, I think what comes next,
most Christians don't know.

So you're gonna be an overly
educated Christian after today. Now it's been in the gospel
of John this whole time, you know, it's like
Dorothy, it's like, that movie should have
lasted, what, 20 minutes? I got the ruby red slippers,
I'm back in Kansas, right? So, this has been
here the whole time. Here is Jesus' prayer request
to the father at the very end. Here's what he says: Holy father, protect
them, these 12 guys, by the power of your name, the name that you
gave me, so that, in other words, here is the
purpose of the protection. Here's specifically how I
want you to protect them. Now the interesting thing is, he's already given
them some bad news. Okay guys, here's what
your future looks like. You're gonna be arrested,
flogged and beaten, some of you are gonna be killed. That's your future. Oh great, wish you had
told us that earlier on. Ah I know I kinda held back 'cause I knew you
wouldn't follow me.

But anyway, that's your future, but now they're in it, right? But here he is praying that
God would protect them, and he's not praying for
their physical protection. He's praying for
something he thinks is more important than
their physical protection. That they may be, here it is: Holy father, protect them
by the power of your name, the name that you gave me, so that they may be, this
is his one prayer request, here is what he wanted protected
more than anything else, that they may be one, as we are one.

At the very end, the thing that Jesus
was most concerned about was their unity, and their oneness. Because here's what he knew, and here's what he's gonna
say in the next few verses. He knew that as long as they
were in lockstep together, and in lockstep with
his heavenly father, the world would change. But if they ever got
divided and splintered, things would stall out.

Then, in verse 20, skipping
down if you're following along, he prays for you and he prays
for me and he prays for us. This is amazing. My prayer, he says,
is not for them alone. Not just these 12 guys. I pray also for those
who will believe in me through their message. In other words, that next
generation of Christians, and the next generation
of Christians, and the next generation
of Christians, leading all the way up to us. And what do you think
he prays for us? And the answer is, not
what we pray for us. In fact, here's something
that's really sad, I mean it's convicting to me.

My hunch is
virtually none of us, who consider ourselves
Jesus followers, virtually none of us
have ever asked God for what Jesus asked God for. Virtually none of us have
ever prayed the prayer that Jesus prayed even
though he modeled it, and clearly, this was
so close to his heart, and so important to him
in those final hours. Which may be the problem. Because we're gonna discover, maybe if the church, maybe if people like me, have been begging God for this, leading toward this,
pleading toward this, the world would be a
different and better place.

My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those
who will believe in me through their message. That all of them, all of them. In the first century, that
meant Jew and gentile, and rich and poor and
slaves and free men, and military leaders and
soldiers and tax gatherers, and those from whom the
taxes were gathered, and the educated and the
uneducated, everybody. In the 21st century, it means
Republicans and Democrats, the privileged, the not-so
privileged, the independent, the indecisive, the
libertarians, the librarians, you know, the black and
brown and white and beige, privileged, married, single;
in other words, all of us. That all of the people
who call me Lord, no matter where they're from,
what they've experienced, or how good life
has treated them, or how poorly life
has treated them, connected, disconnected, I pray that all of them,
in this vast array, this extraordinary
dispersion of people with different experiences, I pray that somehow,
all of them, this is amazing, may be one.

Which sounds impossible. But Jesus was convinced, we're about to see this
because he says it. Jesus was convinced, as
impossible as that may sound, it was mission critical. Which meant, even though
it seemed impossible, it was absolutely imperative. This was not an add on, this was not a wouldn't it be
nice if we just all got along? Which means we should
become intentional about ensuring that there
is unity in local churches and unity in the church. Because this is what
Jesus prayed for. And it doesn't come
naturally, does it? And the reason it
doesn't come naturally is because well we
only know what we know and we were raised by
who we were raised in, and we've experienced
what we've experienced.

And we tend to run
to our little corners politically and relationally
and every kind of way, right? And Jesus' like, oh my church
is gonna be so diverse, and my church is gonna
be so international, and my church is gonna have
so many different languages and so many different colors, and so many different cultures. If there is anyway
they could remain one? And then he
continues his prayer: Father, just as you are
in me and I am in you, may they also be in us so that, another purpose clause. Do you know why he
prayed for oneness? This is the shocker. The reason he prayed for oneness really doesn't even have
anything to do with us. He prayed for oneness because
of what he wanted to do through us.

And there can be a lack of
unity in a local church, and the church will survive, but if there's a lack of unity in a local church
or in the church, the will of God will not be
accomplished through the church. Look at what he says. The reason I want
them to be one, is so that the world, not
the people in the church, so the people
outside the church, the people outside the faith, the people that roll their
eyes and drive on by, so that when they see the unity
in spite of the diversity, when they see the unity
in spite of the diversity within the church
and between churches, they may actually come
to the conclusion, they may believe, that is,
they might be convinced, that you have sent me.

Look, this isn't an add on. This is mission critical. The way the world is gonna
sit up and take notice of this beautiful diverse
thing we call the local church, is when the church works
together and is unified, even though we disagree,
and agree to disagree. Even though we've been
raised in such different ways that we will never see
the world the same way politically and other ways, and yet, at the same time, there's this beautiful,
magical, unusual unity. And Jesus is, I'm telling you, this is the way forward, this is what will eventually get the attention of the empire. This is what will eventually get the attention
of the pagan world. There's never been
anything like it. And you can't sacrifice
your unity for anything. You know what he was doing? He was actually asking
his heavenly father to come along later and
nudge us and, you know, nudge that generation
of Christians and the next generation
of Christians, to nudge us toward what he
had just commanded us to do a few minutes
earlier when he was having passover meal
with his disciples.

Because in that conversation
with his disciples, he said: Look, I'm
about to leave. Peter, shh, you're not going. I'm about to leave. And here's the one thing I
don't want you to forget, I'm gonna give
you a new command, we talk about this all the time, I'm gonna give
you a new command, I'm gonna establish
a new covenant, and the new command's gonna
replace all the other commands and it's very simple, nobody
even needs to write this down, he would say, ah ha,
he could have said, because it's so simple. And my new command is this, you're to love one
another, right? To which they would have
said that's not really new. And Jesus would say
I'm not through, you're to love one another, as I have, look at this,
as I have loved you.

You don't get to make this up. I've modeled this for you. As I have loved you,
you're to love one another. And this was a new command, it was not a new suggestion. These were our marching orders. Again, it's not even about us,
because look at what he says, and the reason I want
you to love each other isn't just so you
would get along. Because by this, by this kind of unique
love for one another, even though you're
not like one another, because of this unique kind
of love for each other, the world will know that
you're my disciples. If, you love one another
as I have loved you. So now Jesus, after
he's given them, given us this
command, he's going: Father, please help
them to get this right. Please help them, as this
thing expands and grows, and goes from Judea to Samaria, to the outermost
parts of the world, please help them
to love each other, as different as they're
gonna be in so many ways.

Back to John 17,
his prayer, he says: I have given them the
glory that you gave me, that they may be
one as we are one, there it is again, and I in them and you in me, so that they may be brought to, look at this, to complete unity. Not political unity. Unity of purpose. Unity of a world view. That they would see each other
the way I see each of them. That they would see me
the way I'm to be seen. Then suddenly, this world view that includes a
God that loves them and a savior that dies for them, that would be so
encapsulating that it would define and redefine
everything for them. And then look what he says: Then, here it is again,
it's not about you, it's not about me,
it's not even about us. Then, the world will
know with certainty that you sent me
and have loved them, even as you have loved me.

He's saying: Heavenly
father, you and I know, everything rides on their unity. Not around their politics, not around their culture, not around their language, not around bits and pieces
of their world view, not around how they
do baptism, communion, or not around how they
sing or when they sing, or what time of
the day they meet. We know, there is a core that
they must be unified around, and if they are, the
world's gonna change. And here's the cool thing. After the resurrection
of Jesus, it happened. I mean, after the
resurrection of Jesus, the apostles went to the
streets of Jerusalem, and clearly, they
went with one purpose.

Their purpose was to make
disciples of all nations. And they went with one message. The message was that
Jesus is the messiah, Jesus is the king that has come to reverse the order of things. He's come to bring the
kingdom of God to Earth, and then he laid down his life, unlike any other king, he laid down his life
for his subjects, to create an on-ramp
to the father. And they went to the
streets of Jerusalem with this one single command. To love each other, the way
they had seen Jesus love them. See, here's the thing. I mean you're all very
intelligent, smart people. So you know this, but let
me just say it anyway, okay? Your candidate, your
political candidate, for president or for everything, your political candidate,
your candidates, will win or lose based on
how American citizens vote on a Tuesday in November. But the church will win or lose based on our behavior
every single day between now and then.

I'll say this again. Your political candidate,
and I hope everybody votes, will win or lose based
on how the citizens of the United States vote on
a single Tuesday in November. But the church wins or loses, the community wins or loses, in some way, our
nation wins or loses, based on how we treat each other and love each other
and love our world every single day
between now and then. That's why, and I say it strong
because Jesus was so clear, we must not, it's not an add
on, it's not a nice-to-have, we must not allow
anything to divide us, and we must not allow
anyone to divide us.

Remember this. We're gonna talk about this in
the third week in particular. Remember this, this
is so important. It was Christianity, it was Christianity, it was this unique upside
down doctrines of Christianity that shaped Western
civilization. Almost no one
disagrees with that. Even staunch atheists will agree that it was the
message of Christianity that shaped Western
civilization. It wasn't American politics, it wasn't Republicans
or Democrats. It was Christianity that
shaped Western civilization. It was the teaching of Jesus, not our political parties, that laid the groundwork
for our modern sense of justice and fairness
and the dignity of every single individual. And we've not gotten
that right all the time, and we continue to get
it wrong in some corners, but the hope is not the
perfect political party, the hope is the message
and teaching of Jesus, because it was Jesus,
that it was the church, that introduced these values
in these ways in the beginning.

So why in the world? Why in the world would we opt
for something less than that? And why in the world
would we allow ourselves to be divided over that? Listen, throughout our
very short, you know this, throughout our very short
history as a nation, and it is oh so short, both political parties, both
our current political parties, have gotten it wrong, right? During our oh so short
history as a nation, both of our current political
parties and their leaders have gotten it wrong.

They've failed us morally, they've failed us in
terms of their leadership. We've had some great leaders, we've had some not so
great leaders. (chuckling) And then there's this,
you know, we forget, during our oh so short
history as a nation, several parties
turned out the lights because their party was over. Are there still any
whigs around here? Federalists, any
Federalists in the room? See, here's what we figured. We're so short-sighted. There were entire
political parties in our short history as a nation that were so adamant
about certain things, and they kind of went away.

So here's the question, why would we, as followers of an eternal king, allow ourselves to be divided by temporary political systems and temporary political leaders, and temporary
political platforms? Why would we allow ourselves
to be divided by lesser kings? And here's the most
embarrassing thing to me. Why would we allow ourselves
to be divided by fear? Jesus' most oft
repeated command was, fear not, fear not, fear not. And you know what? So many of us are so
afraid of a potential something out there in the
future to be afraid of, let's just pause for a moment
and think about the context in which Jesus said fear not. You got the temple on one side, that can't wait to
have you arrested, and you have the empire
on the other side, that is gonna perform
the execution.

And in the middle of
those colossal forces, Jesus says to his apostles,
and smiles, and says: Guys, ignore them. Fear not. A king has come. And when the king's people rally around the message of the king, we know extraordinary
things can happen because something extraordinary
did happen in history. Why, come on, why would we
allow any political view, a view that you might outgrow, a view that you might abandon, isn't it true that
every 10 years or so, or every 15 years
or so, your views, your political views,
have changed and adjusted and things that you
were all adamant about, is kind of like,
well maybe I dunno.

I mean, don't you, a
few of you thinks– Why would we run the risk? Why would we allow
any strongly held or not so strongly
held political view divide us from a
living, breathing, you? Why would we do that? When Jesus' single command is, look, believe what
you wanna believe, vote for who you wanna vote for, but don't you dare mistreat
someone made in my image. Why would we allow
a political view to divide us from an
actual living breathing you that Jesus died for,
the you beside you? The you that lives
next door to you? The you that works,
you know, next cube, next office over
from you? (chuckling) Or worst of all, the you
that is related to you.

Why, come on, this
is common sense. Why would we not fight
for, struggle for, and sacrifice for, the
unity our king prayed for? It was the unity of the church that got the attention
of a pagan world. And eventually, the
empire responsible
for crucifying Jesus, embraced him. So, (fingers clicking) don't answer out loud, just in your heart, do you wanna do this? Do you wanna do this? Let me just say this, I
don't say this about much, but I can say it
with confidence. This is God's will for you. This is God's will for us, and this is God's
will for every church because this is what
Jesus prayed for.

So I wanna make two suggestions as we start off this journey
together, two things. Would you pray
like Jesus prayed? Because most of us
have never prayed a prayer like this before. Would you pray for oneness? I'm gonna give you a little
prayer, and it's kind of, you know, it's not the
best prayer in the world, but it's short and you may
want to take a picture, I'm just gonna have us
all pray it out loud because this is
God's will for us. Heavenly father, make us one
so we can influence many. This is not about church growth. This isn't about getting
more people in a building. This is about the
universal church. He said, hey, if
they'll stay one, the world's gonna
know what I'm up to. If they'll be one, the world would pay
attention and look up. So we should pray. And I want you to pray
this for your local church, wherever you attend church. Heavenly father, make us one
so we can influence many. This was the prayer
of our savior, who hours later, died.

This is what he wanted
protected even more than the lives of his closest
first century followers. So let's just get started. Let's just pray this
together, all right? I mean just say this together, ready, all together: – [All] Heavenly father, make us one so we
can influence many. – Yeah, one more time. – [All] Heavenly father, make us one so we
can influence many. – Second thing I want you to do, and for some of you,
this will be like, yeah, I do this all the time.

Okay, you can do
this all the time, but I just wanna kinda
push you a little bit. I want you to look
for an opportunity, because you're gonna have
to look for an opportunity, I want you to look
for an opportunity to love unconditionally
someone with whom you disagree politically. You're like, well I
don't even know anybody I disagree with politically. (audience laughing) That's a problem, okay? (audience laughing) That right there should kind
of get you started, right? Let me just kinda
push a little bit, that's why you haven't
learned anything in 15 years. (audience laughing) Ooh, that's why you're so
convinced you're right, and you just can't understand, now I've told you this, "I can't understand how
anybody could believe that." Well you just made a confession.

There's something
you don't understand. "I don't know how anybody
can behave that way!" You just made a confession. There's something
you don't know. So, heavenly father,
heavenly father, I pray for oneness that we
can be influencing many, and then I want you to
look for an opportunity to love unconditionally
someone with whom you disagree politically, and that may be harder
than it normally is, because we're more divided
than we've ever been. And when you find somebody that you can serve and
love unconditionally, your light's gonna shine
a little bit brighter because we're so divided. Now I'm gonna close with this. I know that some of
you are thinking, and I understand
this, I really do, this isn't a
criticism, I get this. Some of you are thinking, Andy, okay, cool sermon, great,
you know, appreciate that. But come on, Andy, you have
to say things like this, you're the preacher. (audience laughing) I mean this is your job, right, you're just doing your job.

You know, Jesus said this, you're gonna tell
us what Jesus said, you wrap it in a
political wrapper, and that's a good, but
come on, Andy, Andy, aren't you being a
little bit naive? To which I would say to you, no. Let me give you an example of
something that's really naive. Let me tell you what naive is. Naive is this. A first century rabbi, from nowhere, as far away from the epicenter
of activity as he could be, way way way up north, standing
out in that hot Syrian sun, surrounded by 12 guys who
were younger than him, and they got no political clout, they don't have
anything going for them, and right out there in
the blazing hot sun, this first century
rabbi says this: Guys, I'm gonna build
my church, my movement, my assembly, my congregation, which by the way was illegal, I'm gonna build my church, and the gates of Hades
will not overcome it. Now that is naive. (audience laughing) They looked around like, us? You're gonna do what? I'm gonna start a movement.

And guys, you're
gonna be part of it. And neither Rome,
nor the temple, nor any culture, nor any
nation, will ever stop it. Now that's naive. But he did, and it didn't. And we are part of it. And our unique
sacrificial oneness, is the key to fueling
it in our generation. So, disagree politically, love unconditionally, and pray for oneness. Disagree politically, love unconditionally, pray for oneness. Disagree politically, but love unconditionally, and pray for unity. And most importantly, don't miss part two
of "Talking Points." (audience laughing).

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