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Entries in Christians and Politics (5)

Monday
Oct222012

Should Christians Get Involved? Part V

For many, civil government and spirituality are diametrically opposed. Often, Christians see absolutely no reason to get involved with anything having to do with politics, even to the point of not voting. Three common reasons are:

   • The Bible has nothing to say about government, so why should I care?

   • There’s nothing I can do to make a difference.

   • Jesus is coming back in my generation, so there’s no point.

In this series we have taken a closer look at each of these statements through a biblical lens, and in post four At the Very Least...Vote! we looked at the simplest way to get involved. What follows is a guide for voting.

VOTE GOD'S WORD

If the option is available, however, we must vote for godly leaders whose views match biblical principles. Instead of voting along party lines because we’ve always done it that way in the past, we must vote based on the Word of God.

For instance, we know God is opposed to abortion and homosexuality, so in order to vote biblically, we should seek candidates who also oppose abortion and homosexuality. The Bible has something to say about every issue we face. The more we study the Word, the easier it will be to identify those candidates whose views most closely align with Scripture.

Noah Webster, known as the Father of American Christian Education, advised, “In selecting men for office, let principle be your guide. Regard not the particular sect or denomination of the candidate—look to his character.”3

And Founding Father Samuel Adams warned us about taking our voting seriously: “Let each citizen remember, at the moment he is offering his vote, that he is not making a present or a compliment to please an individual…but that he is executing one of the most solemn trusts in human society, for which he is accountable to God and his country.”4

Our voting should not be restricted only to presidential races. Those running for president were once congressional leaders, senators, or governors. Local and state races are just as critical for the future of our country as presidential elections. Also important are elections of local judges and school boards.

No one area is a more important determinate of the future of our country than the education of our children. Let’s think about the difference between a school board filled with Bible-believing Christians and one filled with godless humanists. Which would we rather have choosing curriculum and making policies for our schools?

OUR DUTY

John Jay concisely summed up our duty as American Christians when he wrote,

Providence has given to our people the choice of their rulers, and it is the duty, as well as the privilege and interest, of our Christian nation to select and prefer Christians for their rulers.5

“Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord” (Ps. 33:12). We, the church, are the ones who will determine whether or not America will stay blessed. God will hold us accountable for what we do with the government He has given us. Our job is simple, yet essential: Pray, seek God for guidance on how to get involved, and in the meantime, vote for godly leaders.

3 Letters to a Young Gentleman Commencing His Education (New Haven: S. Converse, 1823).

4 The Writings of Samuel Adams, Volume IV, Harry Alonzo Cushing, ed. (New York: G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 1908).

5 The Life of John Jay: With Selections from His Correspondence and Miscellaneous Papers, Volume II, William Jay (New York: J. & J. Harper, 1833).

This is part five of a five part series adapted and reprinted from the article "Should Christians Get Involved?" originally printed in the Fall/Winter 2012 edition of Andrew Wommack Ministries Gospel Truth magazine.

Thursday
Oct182012

Should Christians Get Involved? Part IV

For many, civil government and spirituality are diametrically opposed. Often, Christians see absolutely no reason to get involved with anything having to do with politics, even to the point of not voting. Three common reasons are:

   • The Bible has nothing to say about government, so why should I care?

   • There’s nothing I can do to make a difference.

   • Jesus is coming back in my generation, so there’s no point.

In the previous few posts we took a closer look at each of these statements through a biblical lens. Now let's take a look at the simplest ways to get involved.

AT THE VERY LEAST…VOTE!

James Garfield, our twentieth president, once said,

Now, more than ever before, the people are responsible for the character of their Congress. If that body be ignorant, reckless, and corrupt, it is because the people tolerate ignorance, recklessness, and corruption.… If the next centennial does not find us a great nation…it will be because those who represent the enterprise, the culture, and the morality of the nation do not aid in controlling the political forces.2

This statement is just as true today as when Garfield was president. So, how do we, the church, “aid in controlling the political forces”? One simple way is through voting. Those who proclaim to be Christians (including evangelicals, Catholics, and Protestant denominations) comprise one of the largest groups in America, yet they consistently constitute one of the smallest voting blocs.

Voting is not only an incredible right that we have as free citizens of this republic; it is also a God-given responsibility as stewards of this freedom. God could have had us live under a dictatorship or a monarchy, where we would have had no say in who our leaders are. Instead, He has blessed us by placing us in a country where we have the power to choose our leaders. This power to choose does not come without responsibility. Luke 12:48 says, “For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required.”

Some may argue that they don’t know enough about the candidates to vote. Others say they don’t like their choice of candidates. Neither of these excuses suffice. In today’s age of advanced technology, researching candidate profiles is a simple internet search away. The Library of Congress (www.loc.gov) contains all past and present elected officials’ voting records, speeches, and public statements. For candidates who have not yet held an office, their stance on public policy and social issues can usually be found on their websites, through their campaign headquarters, or on voters’ guides.

For those who complain about their candidate choices, the only logical viewpoint to take is that someone is going to win—like it or not! Sometimes it may come down to which candidate will do the least amount of harm in office. But casting a vote for that person is better than sitting by idly, allowing the greater possibility of evil to win.

2 The Works of James Abram Garfield, Volume II, Burke A. Hinsdale, ed. (Boston: James R. Osgood and Company, 1883).

This is part four of a five part series adapted and reprinted from the article "Should Christians Get Involved?" originally printed in the Fall/Winter 2012 edition of Andrew Wommack Ministries Gospel Truth magazine.

Monday
Oct152012

Should Christians Get Involved? Part III

For many, civil government and spirituality are diametrically opposed. Often, Christians see absolutely no reason to get involved with anything having to do with politics, even to the point of not voting. Three common reasons are:

   • The Bible has nothing to say about government, so why should I care?

   • There’s nothing I can do to make a difference.

   • Jesus is coming back in my generation, so there’s no point.

Today we'll take a closer look at the third statement through a biblical lens.

Jesus is coming back in my generation, so there’s no point

Ever since the early church, each generation has genuinely believed that it would be the one to see Jesus return. Christians worldwide are anticipating His return in their lifetime. While it’s good to be looking forward to the day of Jesus’ return (Phil. 3:20-21), the Bible also makes it clear that “ye know not what hour your Lord doth come” (Matt. 24:42). Jesus further stated, “But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only” (Matt. 24:36).

The problem arises when well-meaning Christians take no regard for their futures because they don’t believe they will live to see them! This point of view keeps many from doing practical things like saving money for retirement or planning for their children’s futures, even though Proverbs 13:22 tells us “a good man leaveth an inheritance to his children’s children.”

It also gives many believers a handy excuse for not being involved in the future of their countries. They see no reason to protect the foundation of godliness in their nations. But instead of gazing into the sky looking for Jesus, we need to follow His command to “occupy till I come” (Luke 19:13). We must be about the Father’s business of building His kingdom on earth, which includes driving out the unrighteousness in our cities, states, and nations.

Consider these sobering words of Reverend Matthias Burnett in 1803:

Ye…whose high prerogative it is to…invest with office and authority or to withhold them and in whose power it is to save or destroy your country, consider well the important trust…which God [has] put into your hands. To God and posterity you are accountable for them...Let not your children have reason to curse you for giving up those rights and prostrating those institutions which your fathers delivered to you.1

What if we’re wrong about Jesus coming back in our generation? What kind of legacy will we leave our children and grandchildren? And will they curse us for not fighting for the principles upon which our Founding Fathers built this great nation?

1 Matthias Burnett, An Election Sermon, Preached at Hartford, on the Day of the Anniversary Election, May 12, 1803 (Hartford: Printed by Hudson & Goodwin, 1803).

This is part three of a five part series adapted and reprinted from the article "Should Christians Get Involved?" originally printed in the Fall/Winter 2012 edition of Andrew Wommack Ministries Gospel Truth magazine.