Applying Biblical Truth Consistently
Are pastors who address abortion engaged in raw political promotion, or are they applying biblical truth to all areas of life?
Pastor Jim Osman’s book, Truth or Territory: https://a.co/d/hDxfsFg
Hello, everyone. Welcome to the Case for Life podcast. I’m here with my friend, Pastor Jim Osman. We’ve had Pastor Jim on before in the past. Some of you may remember that. And we’ve got him back again here today. He is the pastor of Kootenai Bible, actually Kootenai Community Church in Sandpoint, Idaho. I will get this right eventually.
And Jim has written several books, including this one that I really liked, Truth or Territory, which is about the true nature, the biblical nature of spiritual warfare. Not the Ghostbusters stuff that says we go looking around to buy, buying demons and claim territory for God. Rather, the systematic… And, and deliberate practice of preaching truth, mainly the truth of God’s Word, to take down ideas that exalt themselves against the knowledge of God.
And that spiritual warfare is really more about us taking captive false ideas and, and subjecting them to the truth of Scripture rather than, You know, praying hedges of protection and doing what really amounts to what feels like, I say jokingly, ghostbuster theology, but that’s what it feels like, and I appreciate that about Pastor Jim’s work, but today I wanted to bring him back on the show to talk about something that I think happens even with Bible believing people.
Thank you. Pastors who are committed to good theology. They tend to think if I am committed to preaching the bible If I talk about abortion, it’s a distraction It is taking me off the script of the bible. Although the bible does teach about Life in the womb in the sense that all human beings are made in the image of god They think the gospel needs to be the main thing and if I talk about abortion Aren’t I distracting myself and my people from the main thing?
How would you approach that objection? I would approach it by pointing out that addressing the life issue is not a distraction from the preaching of the word. It’s an application of the preaching of the word. It’s not a distraction at all. Sometimes we have to specifically and in a very focused manner, direct people’s attention toward a particular evil of our society or culture, whether that be slavery or child abuse or abortion or child trafficking, those are Ways of dealing with that and thinking about that biblically should be the fruit of expository teaching.
So you’ve listened to my sermons and you know that I don’t bring up the life issue in every passage that I preach and every sermon that I preach. Right. But it’s not the thing we do, but it is a thing that we do. That’s a great distinction. It becomes part of a well rounded philosophy of equipping people to think biblically about things.
Um, you have to be able to equip people to think biblically about marriage, about the life issue, about child trafficking, about child abuse, about parenting, about spiritual warfare, about God’s revelation, God’s truth, being a good boss, being a good. All of those things are part of a well rounded look at, um, what the Christian life looks like, how the Christian life is fleshed out, how the Christian life is understood, and how we apply it and, and answer the, the issue that is at the forefront of our culture today.
If we had lived… you know, 500 years ago, it would have been different issues that we would apply scripture to today. The child trafficking is an issue and abortion is an issue. And, and that’s what our culture is talking about, especially in the, in the wake of the overturning of Roe versus Wade. That is something that’s on everybody’s minds.
And people are talking about that. Legislation is being proposed. People are making arguments. It’s still in the culture. So it still needs to be addressed and biblical truth needs to be applied to it. Is it fair to say that Exegetical preaching, meaning the systematic teaching of the Bible, verse by verse, through the text, is our primary responsibility.
But within that, there is room for topical teaching that helps believers think biblically on these key issues. And I can see now, I mean, I’ve had people say to me, well, how does the pro life issue relate to the gospel? They say that to me almost sarcastically. How would you respond to that objection? Well, what would you give somebody who has had an abortion?
Or paid for an abortion. What are you going to, what hope are you going to give them? What answer are you going to give them for the guilt that they have? That’s where the gospel comes in. The gospel, the gospel does not stop abortion. In terms of if you and I just preach the gospel more, we doubled our efforts.
We would end abortion out there. Not necessarily. The gospel is not going to do that as a direct result. Now people’s hearts have changed and minds have changed. They won’t be getting abortions. That’s true. They would be pro life. That’s true. But we, we can. Just because we can’t do everything doesn’t mean we shouldn’t do anything.
And yes, we can preach the gospel. Yes, we do that for the salvation of souls. But the gospel is the hope that we offer to people who are post abortive or who have paid for an abortion or who have suffered a thing or have had somebody go and get an abortion and their child, the man, their child was aborted by a woman.
Um, that’s, that’s the hope that we offer them. So the gospel. Couples With that, we, we are doing both at the same time. And every pro-life case, you do this masterfully, you did it at our conference. Every pro-life ca case is a case for the application of gospel truth to that life issue. I like to think of it this way, that in the Great Commission, Christ gives us the responsibility of making disciples.
Well, what does it mean to make disciples according to the text? Let’s just follow the text, not our own definitions. Well, Jesus tells us, teach people to obey all that I have commanded you. What is one of those commands in scripture? We’re not to shed innocent blood. What is abortion? The shedding of innocent blood, therefore abortion, though not the whole of the great commission does relate to it as you have correctly stated a moment ago.
And therefore the local church dealing with abortion is not a distraction. It’s part of fulfilling that, that great commission mandate. Yeah, and you can take opportunities that maybe are not necessarily the Sunday morning service to teach your people on this issue. So we do it in Sunday school. We do it in youth ministry, which talked about last time I was on.
Um, we do it with, uh, conferences. We do it with, uh, certain types of Bible studies or home groups. And we’ve done all of that in order to equip people on the life issue. So, you know, dealing with a topical approach, I do. I do exegetical preaching, but I do expository teaching. That’s my Sunday morning.
That’s my, that’s my standard fare on a Sunday morning from the pulpit. But even a, even a. exegetical or expository message can be topical in the sense that you can deal with a certain topic, a topic exegetically and expository so that you’re exposing people to the truth and what scripture says about that issue.
And you handle the passages that you’re talking about in expository fashion. So you don’t have to take a break from exegetical or expository teaching systematic to address an issue. You can Take a break and say, okay, what does scripture say about the marriage? and Colossians 3 and 1 Peter 2 and you give an exposition of those passages to talk about the role of the man, the role of the woman, the role of the children, etc.
in a home. You can do that exegetically and expository. You can do the same thing with the life issue. Why is it that we’re pro life? Is it just because we’re Republicans and we like to carry guns and therefore we must be pro life? Yeah. Is it rooted and grounded in something that is true about human nature and about creation, how God has created us, and how God values life?
Yeah. That all comes back to a biblical understanding of truth. I had an uncle who was, he’s a Republican, he’s a conservative, he’s a gun, second amendment guy. But he’s an atheist and, and he, and the life issue, he is kind of up in the air on those things and not quite sure he doesn’t want to impose on other people.
And I have tried to make the logical case to him. Look, if you, if you believe in certain conservative ideas, this is a sort of a package. It’s a worldview issue and the life issue comes along with that. And he’s more pro life now. But for him, the pro life issue is rooted in, I’m a Republican, and so I like Rush Limbaugh, and I liked Ronald Reagan, and I want to be sort of the Republican in the Republican club, so I must be pro life.
I must be against abortion. He doesn’t see that that is necessarily rooted in an understanding of biblical truth and authority. Yeah, and I think that’s where we as Christian leaders and speakers can help people connect those dots the way you’re attempting to do there. One of the pushback issues we get from Christians goes like this.
I don’t want to convey the idea that God is a Republican. And if I start talking about pro life, I start talking about these issues, then people are going to paint us into a box and think that we’re, we’re making the case that you have to vote GOP or you’re not saved. Now, I happen to believe that, but, uh, no, I’m kidding.
Uh, but how would you help that pastor have the courage? To take on an issue like abortion when he is so afraid that politically he doesn’t want to get painted into a particular box Yeah, I would say apply that thinking to other areas of the culture and of the on the political spectrum Would you say the same thing about the homosexual agenda about drag queen story hour in your local library about?
Sex trafficking, would you say the same thing about the slave trade there are It is true that the Republican Party, by and large, at least gives a hat tip to our moral position. The Democrats are actively opposed to it, seeking to undermine it and destroy our way of life. That’s how I think it’s currently cashing out.
So, if that’s your objection as a pastor, you don’t want to be painted as a Republican, then what issue are you going to address? Because eventually… Every issue from scripture that you try and address is going to be made a political issue And you’re going to be put on the right end of the spectrum anyway Yeah, you believe in that women should be submissive to their husbands and the husbands are leaders and that your parents should discipline their children That’s obviously that obviously makes you some radical right winger If you believe in the exclusive claims of Jesus Christ that he alone is necessary for salvation.
He alone saves through faith alone. Well, that’s obviously an extreme right wing position. All they have to do to take you out of the discussion is to simply say, that’s a political issue, that makes you a right winger. Yeah, and so many of our own people run away and hide at that point. That’s right. I, I, I’m going to go out on a limb here, and you can disagree with me if you want.
You’ll be wrong, but you can. Uh, my view is… It is very hard for me to say that a mature Christian who claims to have a biblical worldview could endorse a political party that is sworn to transitioning children even through bodily mutilation, sworn to killing children in the womb, sworn to funding that overseas to the count of millions of lives annually.
It’s very hard for me to say that a Christian with a properly formed worldview could land in a position of supporting and promoting that party. And people say, well, now you’re going political on me. No, I’m just saying our biblical worldview applies to all of life, not just a little bit over here. And I think there’s this bifurcation that happens that says, okay.
The Gospel, the Bible, it applies to everything, but not political. We, we, we don’t apply the Gospel there. We don’t apply Biblical truth there. But I’m not so sure we should accept that, that division point that people want to make. I think it’s a false premise, and then all the enemy has to do is make something political.
And, and we won’t all of sudden on it. You can’t speak on our touches. The church’s witness is silent on that. If they won’t, if they can’t shut you down by putting you in prison, they will shut you down by making every position you have political, which is why everything in our world is becoming political.
Yeah. Even sports. Even sports. You can’t go to a major league baseball game or a hockey game or a football game. You can’t watch anything on TV without it becoming politicized and all the. All the corporations in America, everything wants to jump on the political bandwagon. And so if you’re not going to address those issues, then you have to be relegated to a position of silence.
And we cannot do that in good conscience. We have to address these issues, but not address them because, Hey, the Republican party, this is our platform, but address them because biblically this is true. And so I have to approach that from that perspective. And I have to proclaim that truth on the authority of God’s word, not the Republican party’s platform, because that can change.
And quite frankly, I’m as There’s only one party that hates me more than the Democrats and that’s the Republicans because they have they’ve run away from the fights They compromise on things and yeah, I’m forced to vote for candidates They’re part of that party, but that party has compromised on so many things and it is becoming a unit party system But all that the enemy has to do is get you To think that your position on this issue is a political issue and then they can silence you.
Yeah We cannot buy that premise. Yeah, and you know when people say to me, well, you you sound just like you’re a republican Well, maybe I do maybe I don’t but that’s the genetic fallacy. The question is is my position biblical and true? Is it reasonable to believe if it is whether I’m a Democrat or Republican is irrelevant?
The question is is does it line up with truth and I worry that we’ve kind of sacrificed the truth question For appearing more moderate not being aligned with one particular party I would just follow up with what you just said a moment ago I am not committed to the republican party as an absolute principle.
My support for that party is provisional And it depends on What other options are out there and to what extent are they lining up with biblical truth? No political party is perfect and I think that’s a cop out we get from some christian leaders Well, no political party is perfect That’s true But it doesn’t follow that some aren’t better than others at limiting evil and promoting the good and a properly informed biblical Worldview ought to apply to our political lives as it does our private lives.
There shouldn’t be that bifurcation Yep That’s right. And when we address these cultural issues, we have to address them from the perspective that the authority of God’s word says this, and we have to make that, we can’t hide that behind a bushel and say, or under a bushel or behind a bush and then, and then try and, and try and reach the culture as if we’re just coming to them from human reasoning or the standpoint of human methodology.
That’s what truth to territory is all about. We have to come at them with the truth. And yes, this is true. The Republican party may affirm this. It’s true. But this is true not because it’s affirmed by the republican party not because philosophically I can make the case But because god reveals this is true.
And then the fact that philosophically it works fact that logically it’s coherent The fact that it is effective and good for human flourishing Is because it is true and because god has created the world this way And these things are true, regardless of whether we affirm them, or the Republican Party acknowledges them, or whether I even know that these things are true or not.
They work because they’re true. They’re not true because they work. That’s right. That’s a great point. I think a lot of people think that just because a particular party or group adopts a position, if I adopt that, then people are going to paint me into that corner. No, we need to be people committed to objective truth, which means our statements, our beliefs should match reality, whether anybody else acknowledges them.
Whether we even know them to be true, truth corresponds to reality objectively. And it’s not true because I think it true or feel it true or speak it true. The book is called Truth or Territory by Pastor Jim Osman. I highly commend this to your reading. Hope you will get it on Amazon. Thanks for being with us, Pastor Jim.
Thank you. Thank you, everyone. Hope to see you soon. Visit us if you will. at caseforlife. com or prolifetraining. com or you can also find us on social media at Scott Klusendorf, my page at Facebook and also at prolifetraining. com. We’ll see you next time.