Religion and Politics: The Fire Is On the Wire
By: Anne Reed, Posted: Thursday, April 30, 2015
URL of the Original Posting Site: http://www.afa.net/the-stand/the-culture-war/religion-and-politics-the-fire-is-on-the-wire/
“…it is growing more and more evident that “sharing the gospel” and “getting involved in politics” are not just loosely intertwined, but soldered together.”
Several years ago, I began to grow weary of the common belief that Christians should not be involved in politics or take any interest in civil government. Many have fallen into this category of thinking because of a secular view of separation of church and state. David Barton of WallBuilders clearly dispels this myth.
To form their argument, many stress God’s sovereignty, clarifying that political leaders are in position because God ordained it. And, well, we should just submit and stay out of it. Some say that we should not be involved with politics because it’s corrupt. That is exactly the reason why we should be there…to take light into the darkness! Maybe our government is so corrupt precisely because we have stayed out of it! Maybe we have been very poor stewards of God’s blessings.
Why would He be in control of every area of life and send us into every corner no matter how dark (prisons, human trafficking situations, sick-filled hospitals, dangerous neighborhoods, the sidewalks of abortion facilities, etc.) and yet not ordain His children to participate in the government He has put in place? And in America, that doesn’t necessarily mean we are required to serve in a political office to be involved.
Was God not sovereign when the Constitution was written giving authority to the people? The Declaration of Independence clearly identifies God as the giver of our rights, and places the responsibility of government on the governed (that would be us):
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness – that to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, – That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive to those ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying it’s foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to affect their Safety and Happiness.
Some believe we need to get off our “high horse” as President Obama recently put it. We absolutely need to humble ourselves, repent and pray! And, we must engage in the culture war that is essentially a fight (not of flesh and blood) to uphold God’s name in our nation. I know that as I’ve become more and more aware of the realities of our day, I’ve also become increasingly aware of my own part as I ignored or slothfully watched the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob painfully dishonored in countless ways. For this, I am ashamed.
When we turn from our old attitudes of indifference and complacency, evidence is seen through our obedience to God and His Word, regardless of what others may think of us or what names they may call us. That is not a pride thing – that is a faithful thing.
And sometimes accusations and attacks come from inside the camp. Those are more painful. Even so, we should produce fruit that is worthy of repentance. He makes us salt and light – not a dim light or flavorless salt! What use are those?
When Jesus left key instructions for His disciples, He knew they would doubt what He was about to say:
When they saw Him, they worshiped Him; but some were doubtful. And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age. (Matthew 28:17-20 NASB)”
Why do we doubt the authority of Christ? It feels safe when we sit in soft chairs in our comfortably heated and cooled sanctuaries to worship. We can easily sit there in a state of doubt. But to take ourselves into the places of uncertainty is altogether different. We may risk the loss of friends, comforts, and even safety. If we believe Jesus is who He says He is and that He really is with us, we will go and make disciples of all nations, including this one! That means we are to preach the whole gospel – a message that is increasingly offensive.
In light of many currents dragging away our freedoms, it is growing more and more evident that “sharing the gospel” and “getting involved in politics” are not just loosely intertwined, but soldered together. This has proven true by recent lawsuits forcing Christians to get involved in political and legal battles by simply holding true to their Godly convictions.
Aaron and Melissa Klein, the owners of Sweet Cakes By Melissa in Oregon have been required to pay $135,000 to compensate a lesbian couple for emotional suffering after they declined to make a cake for their same-sex wedding.
First, let me say this: I’m planning a wedding currently. I ordered the cake just a few days ago. If the baker had told me she couldn’t bake the cake because she didn’t agree with heterosexual marriage, or for whatever reason, I would not have suffered emotionally. I’m not that fragile. I would have called another bakery – simple as that.
But aside from that, homosexual activists were not satisfied with the win or monetary gain unless it destroyed the Klein family financially. When a GoFundMe account was set up, 81% ($109,000) of their $135,000 fine was secured in less than eight hours. GoFundMe acquiesced to pressure and closed the account.
Although we are obviously not experiencing the degree of persecution that other nations endure (sometimes to death), the fire is on the wire (as in the featured photo). And we can no longer hide behind our fears and excuses.
Will God give us a way out? Is it too late for us to return to Godly behavior in our nation? Proverbs 29:2 says, “When the righteous increase, the people rejoice, But when a wicked man rules, people groan (NASB).”
A Pew research poll conducted in September 2014 presents a somewhat hopeful picture. When asked whether churches and other houses of worship should express their views on day-to-day social and political issues, 49% said yes, and 48% said they should keep out of political matters. This is up from 2010, when 52% wanted churches to keep out of politics, while only 43% wanted churches to express their political views.
In reality, our true hope is found in Jesus Christ our Lord. His Kingdom cannot be destroyed. And we are told in Matthew 10:28: “Do not fear those who kill the body but are unable to kill the soul; but rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell (NASB).” So, regardless, we win. But, I personally long to see a faithful Church stand true to God; that He may be glorified, worshipped and honored.
Samaritan’s Purse has set up a fund to help the Kleins and other Christians recover from religious persecution: http://www.samaritanspurse.org/article/christian-couple-faces-135000-fine/#donateBottom
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