God has ordained three institutions: the family, the church and the government.
It seems strange that the church is free to talk about the church, and the church is free to talk about the family, but the church is told to keep silent on matters of government. How has such a distorted view come to prominence? Has not God established all three? Is God silent about the purpose and design of any one of these divinely created institutions?
To be sure, politics can be a dirty battlefield. Many have been hurt and relationships within churches have been damaged. But that is not an acceptable excuse for Christians to abandon all political involvement.
To abandon dirty arenas is to give victory to the forces of evil. Jesus neither taught nor modeled a strategy of “giving up” to sin’s curse. Christians must be involved at every level of government. We cannot be salt and light if we are not touching corruption and penetrating darkness (Matt. 5:13-14).
Scripture teaches, “When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice; but when a wicked man rules, the people groan” (Proverbs 29:2, NKJ). Are the citizens of our nation rejoicing or groaning? Righteous people need to be in places of authority!
In my previous editorial (June 9), I stated, “The 126 days from July 4 through Nov. 6 afford us a window of time to address the spiritual needs of the United States of America in an unprecedented way.” I called on pastors to use this time to speak boldly and biblically on the issues that are destroying governments and societies.
There are some things we can encourage Christians to do.
First, register and vote. The American system of government revolves around free elections. The influence of the people cannot be known without our involvement in the voting process.
Daniel Webster was a leading statesman in the time prior to the Civil War, and twice served as Secretary of State. He said, “Impress upon children the truth that the exercise of the elective franchise is a social duty of as solemn a nature as man can be called to perform; that a man may not innocently trifle with his vote; that every elector is a trustee as well for others as himself and that every measure he supports has an important bearing on the interests of others as well as on his own.”
Second, educate yourself. It is not difficult to do your homework on issues and personalities.
The material is easily available on the Internet or by contacting appropriate organizations. Be careful to deal with the truth. Politics is a breeding ground for huge doses of deceit. The one who spreads false information will eventually be exposed and discredited. Stand on principle and get your facts straight.
Noah Webster (not related to Daniel as far as history shows) gave us this statement, “In selecting men for office, let principle be your guide. Regard not the particular sect or denomination of the candidate – look to his character. … When a citizen gives his suffrage to a man of known immorality he abuses his trust; he sacrifices not only his own interest, but that of his neighbor, he betrays the interest of his country.”
Third, involve yourself in the process. It is important to communicate with elected officials. Let them know your concerns and views. Participate in a political party. Volunteer to work for a candidate. Find your level of ability and get involved with issues that are compatible with the Christian worldview.
Apathy never forges moral progress. Moral progress moves on the tracks of personal involvement.
Now is the time to preach on the Biblical principles of God’s plan for the family, the church and the government.