Government: Does the Christian Even Have a Place in it?
This is not the usual sort of thing I would write and post here, but in the greater interest of my passion for the Gospel, I felt compelled to produce and share it. God bless.
It doesn’t take a genius to see that there are a whole lot of problems in the world in which we live today, at just about every level and aspect of life. The vast majority of people, including Christians, seem to blame these problems, to a very large extent on corrupt and/or incompetent government leaders. I would argue that there is a great deal of truth to this. I will also say that this problem in no way extends to just one political party.
My mother, a seasoned saint, was recently expressing her disdain for much of what she had been hearing from pulpits over the years regarding the Christian’s position in politics. That being some pastors stating right from the pulpit that the political arena/government is no place for Christians. The more I think about it, I share her disdain, especially here in the USA where opportunities to most, if not all public offices are open to the public at large. This post will focus directly on issues of the USA, however I believe that many of the overarching principles discussed here could apply anywhere.
Except in revisionist “history” literature, you will read that most of the founding fathers were Christians, and those who weren’t, were not atheists and they adhered to Judaeo-Christian principles. I think that it would have been interesting to have heard the reaction of George Washington if some pastor were to have told him that the Christian had no place in Government.
I hear and read Christians rightfully complaining about the corrupt moral state of this nation’s leadership from the White-house, right down to the local school board. Why ARE things such as they are? I think that one could make a strong argument that a great deal of the cause of this problem is that there are very few Christians who practice what they preach, who are running for and holding public offices. Perhaps too many of us Christians have been taken in by too many sermons of the type that I described above. Perhaps we as Christians have become complacent.
The United States Government is not a democracy, as is so often erroneously stated, even by respectable statesmen. It is a constitutional republic; meaning that the USA is governed by a body of laws (the US Constitution); not just the whims of whomever may be the “majority” at any given time. We do indeed elect our officials via democratic process, as outlined by said Constitution, but laws and policies are not to be subject to a “mob rules” mentality nor a dictator. The US Constitution was founded on Judaeo-Christian principles; principles that also include the freedom to worship whoever or whatever you want in whatever way that you want, Judaeo-Christian or not, as long as you are not legitimately harming someone else. Without these principles, soon we Christians, or anyone else who may disagree with the state position, would not even be permitted to speak our minds, without fear of very harsh persecution (have a look at the news and look what is happening, particularly in the Muslim Middle East). It is because of people with strong Judaeo-Christian principles; from the Puritans to the Founding Fathers, that all Americans are supposed to be able to enjoy the freedoms, particularly those of speech and worship, which we seem to be taking for granted now.
I strongly believe that if this current lack of Judaeo-Christian-minded leadership [I am just going to say “Christian” from now in in this context] continues, we here in the USA will in the not-too-distant future find ourselves looking back longingly at those lost freedoms that we currently enjoy and all too often take for granted. Why would we as Christians think that we don’t belong in government leadership? I would say that perhaps it is at least partially because Satan does not want us in government leadership, and he has convinced many of us that being involved in it is a waste of time and energy. He would like nothing more than to silence us in any way and in any context that he can; anything to have more people falling into despair and have fewer people hearing the Gospel. It is much easier to spread the Gospel in a properly functioning constitutional republic than in a more oppressive and corrupt form of government. Incidentally, NOWHERE in the US Constitution is the horrendously over-invoked and contextually twisted “separation of church and state” axiom found.
Most of us, myself included, do not relish, or perhaps even loathe the idea of campaigning for, much less holding a public office. For most of us, holding public office is indeed not our calling, nor is it within our skill-sets. However, this is most certainly not so for all. If you feel that the Holy Spirit may be calling you to step up to serve Him in this respect, please don’t ignore Him; seek Him in prayer and ask others to diligently pray with and/or for you about it. Also, becoming President, governor, senator, mayor, etc. may not be in the future for you, however, becoming a precinct delegate, county commissioner, or a local school-board member, etc. indeed may be. Much can be done for good at these levels. Just think of the positive change that responsible Christian led school boards could provide for the culture of the local schools that are educating and preparing our future leaders!
Let me please emphasize some things to those of you who may indeed run for office and get elected. Please do not go in with a vendetta against a particular person or group, or any other vendetta for that matter, and act upon it accordingly. I have seen this happen all too often with the overarching result being tension and division among members of the given community, with another strongly opposing candidate rising up and getting elected with their opposing vendetta and score to settle, and so-on. This results in a very counterproductive pendulum swing; a costly back and forth battle for the constituents in many respects. OUR NATION DOES NOT NEED GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS WHO ARE FOCUSED ON SETTLING SCORES! Our nation needs government officials who are focused on acting with integrity; upholding our Constitution that is central to this constitutional republic; doing what is right in the eyes of God, and truly acting in the best interest of their constituencies as a whole. If you are going to do otherwise, then you are going to simply wind up being part of the problem that is being addressed in this post.
Please don’t fall into the often subtle temptation of selling out either, even “just a little.” Just like in all walks of life, the right thing may not be the easy thing. There may be “little” temptations here and there for things like just one “little” bonus or “perk” that may involve just one “little white lie.” There are myriads of these “little” political mutual “back-scratches” that continuously cost tax payers billions of dollars every year. Remember also, just like your mother hopefully told you, lies mushroom; you will have to wind up telling a bigger one to cover the little one that you started with, and so on. If you choose to adopt this sort of behavior, you also will no longer be part of the solution to the problem being addressed here, but will have become part of it. If doing the right thing costs you getting re-elected, so be it. One term with honesty and integrity is far better than a string of dishonest terms void of integrity, where again, you become part of the problem. Remember, you are in that office first and foremost to serve God (and were put there by Him). God is not served by sin.
The majority of us are not going to be elected to public office. We can all however still, and I believe SHOULD, make phone calls and write letters/emails to our congressmen, senators, governors, etc. We can and should be making INFORMED decisions at the voting booth, researching the issues and candidates we are voting for; perhaps even calling and/or writing to candidates to learn more about them. Many of them are glad to even talk to you on the phone. We can inform others of our findings as well. We can and probably should be attending, and perhaps even organizing demonstrations and protests for righteous causes. We can also attend school board meetings and speak up against things that may be occurring in our local schools that are immoral. We can also be speaking assertively in support of proposals that are brought to the school boards that may truly be in the district’s best interest. We can also assist with the campaigns of our Christian candidates, and of righteous ballot proposals.
Most importantly, we ALL need to be praying for our nation and for current and future leaders. However, as my children’s church and Sunday school teachers always said to us, we may need to put “legs” on our prayers. Let’s all be praying about how each of us might be doing that. In all of this let us also remember to speak the truth in love and to be as shrewd as vipers but as gentle as doves (Ephesians 4:15, Matthew 10:16).
I do believe that Christ will be coming to take away His Bride; the Church sooner than later. We do not know when that appointed time will be, however. When He does come for us, let Him find us in Spirit led righteous diligence, not complacency. God bless.
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