Twenty-five years ago I was far more idealistic than I am today. I suppose that’s the normal course of growing older. I was a staff pastor and had an encounter with a group that wanted to distribute political information about an upcoming election. I don’t remember what the subject of debate was but I was uncomfortable with comingling our time of worship and community with politics no matter the topic. I just didn’t think the church was the right place to talk politics.
I also thought it was sort of unnecessary for Christians to participate in politics. After all, if God is in control what’s there to worry about? Proverbs 21 says, “The heart of the king is in the hand of the Father.” To me, that meant it didn’t really matter who sat in the Oval Office. God was going to work through him so that everything would wind up exactly according to the Master Plan.
Yes. And no.
I still don’t think the church should generate political debate from the pulpit, but I now think it is a mistake to not create a forum for Christians – in community – to discuss the changing political landscape and the ramifications those changes would have on our lives as Christians in America.
Our freedoms and values are being attacked from every direction today. We are being persecuted for our beliefs and forced into the margins by those who think our views on family and morality are offensive. The far Left hates us. They see religion, especially Judaism and Christianity, as a threat and an obstacle to the utopia they want to create in America. They don’t want “one nation under God” because, in their arrogance, they believe our country would be better without God, and those who believe in Him, in it.
Let’s be clear about one thing. There are Christians on both the Right and the Left of the political divide. But we aren’t talking about mainstream Republicans, Democrats, and Libertarians.
It is imperative that we remember “In Essentials Unity, In Non-Essentials Liberty, In All Things Charity”, but if you care about the fast eroding Judeo/Christian foundation of America it’s time to stand up and defend our rightful place in EVERY discussion that shapes this nation.
I am not suggesting that we go around beating people up with scripture. Scripture is meaningless to an unbeliever. Besides, we aren’t defending “scripture” we are defending the principles founded in them. The right to life. Family values. Prayer. Rule of Law. Love of Country. Respect for authority. Freedom of Religion and the right to NOT have our children indoctrinated with ideologies inconsistent with our beliefs in public schools. Just to name a few.
Throughout the story of mankind, we see God’s people suffer times of persecution and despair over and over again. Each time of suffering was preceded by years of apathy and disobedience. God didn’t preordain the suffering, He only allowed it. There is no reason for us to believe that God ever WANTED us to live as slaves or in exile or wandering 40 years in the desert. Don’t believe for a moment that God WANTED His son beaten then hung on a cross or His followers thrown to the lions.
God has two goals. 1. He wants His people to live in right relationship with one another and with Him. 2. He wants our lives to shine so brightly that we light the way for others to do the same.
We are meant to be Salt and Light in this crazy world.
13 “You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.
14 “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden.15 Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven. Matthew 5:13-16
This nation was built on a Judeo/Christian foundation. Don’t let anyone tell you that isn’t true. It most certainly IS true. There were more than 50 Founding Fathers of America. Only THREE of them were not considered Christians. Even they agreed that this nation would succeed only if we would remain “a moral and religious people”.
Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.
The greatest obstacle to evangelism today is the poor reputation of our Christian Community. We have to overcome that and do better! We have to shine like Jesus shined.
It isn’t enough that our neighbors know we go to church every Sunday. We should be touching their lives in meaningful ways. Serving them. Loving them. Inspiring them. Being the hand of Jesus extended to them.
Now, more than ever, it’s time to be courageous in our faith.
Our lives must generate light for others. There aren’t any awesome Christians making headlines today. No famous Christians doing the heavy lifting so the rest of us could take it easy. It’s up to us. Every single one of us.
I’m not asking you to BE the light. Just that you would live a life that reflects it well.
In His love and service,