Christians’ Biblical Role, Part One
By: Nathan Tabor
It seems that, in this election, clear battle lines have been drawn between conservatism and liberalism, between the politics of Reagan and the politics of Cuomo, between a culture of life and a culture of death. This, in fact, may be the most critical election of our age. The decisions we make on Election Day could have reverberations on the U.S. Supreme Court for a generation or more to come.
Given the high stakes involved, you might assume that Christians would be in the forefront of the national dialogue on politics. After all, Jesus admonished his followers to give to Caesar what is Caesarâ€™s and give to God what is Godâ€™s. Our Christian duty to extend love to our fellow man would seem to require us to be deeply involved in the government of our nation.
And yet, there are Christians who are planning to sit out this particular electionâ€”to stay home as legions of non-Christians or Christians in Name Only head to the polls. This is particularly troubling, given the fact that all of us will one day stand before the Almighty and give an account of our lives on earth.
â€œWe shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ [or Godâ€™s judgment seat]. For it is written, as I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God. So then every one of us shall give [an] account of himself to God.â€ Romans 14:10-12
Christians today are very hesitant to get involved in the political process on any level. Why you may ask? It is obvious due to current political climate of this nation. When one looks at the news, politics are consumed with cutthroat maneuvering, corruption, and caring only about getting through the next election in better shape than the opposition. The very thought of Christianity and government coexisting in any form is being attacked at the most fundamental levels. Society is now questioning the idea of what constitutes a legal marriage to whether children can pray at school, if creation theory can be taught along with evolution theory must be taught, or even going so far as to debate whether â€œIn God We Trustâ€ should be removed from our currency.
We as Christians understand that this nation was founded by men who devised a democratic system based on holy writ. The founders and the majority of the nation knew then that God did not intend for Christians to completely shut themselves away from the world. His plans for our country do not include having His children cower in fear from proclaiming His truths. For how can Godâ€™s light shine through the darkness of the world if there is no one bold enough to proclaim His teachings and support others who do the same? How can things be changed for the better if Christians continue to remain passive?
The good news is that no problem is impossible for Christian men, women, and children who draw their strength from God, and who are not shy about exercising their inalienable, God-given rights to organize and vote.
â€œâ€¦Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God.â€ Romans 13:1
Government is ordained by God, therefore we must all take part in choosing leaders that uphold His name and His good will.
Throughout the Bible, Scripture shows how God set up and uses government to enact His intentions for humankind. Through the use of chosen men and woman, along with the support of the masses, God has influenced and directed societies according to His good and perfect will. We Christians need to stop and realize that as the opening scripture in this brochure outlines, we will have to give an account to God for everything that we do and do not do. Therefore, by not participating in the political process, you are going against the His words outlined the book of Romans.
Our Nationâ€™s Problems not a Christianâ€™s Problem?
Our country is afflicted with two very serious problems: partisanship and the decline of traditional historical values.
Partisanship â€“ causes bitter and argumentative attitudes rather than those that are cooperative. Society and its leaders are putting aside Godâ€™s commandment â€œ’Love your neighbor as yourselfâ€ when partisanship is prevalent and influencing their decisions (Matthew 22:39)
* Governance and policymaking have been replaced by power plays and political grudge matches.
* The â€œYou get yours, Iâ€™ll get mineâ€ paradigm has led to consensus being cast aside in favor of a mentality where lawmakers are willing to shut down the workings of government in order to prevent any gains by the opposing party.
*Rejection of Traditional Values – When God is ignored or passed over in the name of political correctness or tolerance, the ramifications are seen in the decay of our societyâ€™s moral fiber.
* The decay of moral standards continues to make inroads on our values and our culture. Issues such as abortion, homosexual marriage, and the content of public school curriculum are the bright lines that mark the battle for Americaâ€™s moral character.
* Cynicism with the current state of politics only add to the problem, as entire groups of voters become apathetic to the political process.
â€œOur Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” – President John Adams
How Did America Get Here?
The Bible shows that God’s ways bring blessings and at the same time, humankindâ€™s ways bring destruction (2 Peter 2:1). Nonetheless, people persist in doing whatever seems right in their own eyes, thinking that somehow consequences can be destroyed. Having refused to submit to Godâ€™s direction and will, America is suffering from a rise in crime, broken homes, abused and aborted children, a major sense of immorality, drug and alcohol problems, corrupt government, reckless taxing and spending, warped welfare programs, and deficient education. This is what occurs when people are without God. There is no hope and all are lost (Ephesians 2:12).
These represent breakdowns in societyâ€™s ability to maintain its integrity. This is what can be expected when society turns its back on God. Half-hearted measures will never solve these full- scale problems. The answer begins with a return to God and his ways.
“But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serveâ€¦. But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.” (Joshua 24:15)
Neither political party is completely reliable when it comes to moral and social issues. Many powerful interest groups exist to push their corrosive agendas with hundreds of lobbyists and millions of dollars. The only solution to overcome such corruption is by returning to the idea of establishing a consensus, based on historical and traditional ideals.
Consensus politics sidesteps legalism by finding common ground with others, and building relationships based on those shared values. Most remember what consensus politics look like when practiced: in 1994 and 1996, when conservative and Christian candidates went to the voters with clear, broad-based goals. The result was that they were overwhelmingly elected over their opponents.
Unfortunately, electing the â€œrightâ€ candidates doesnâ€™t guarantee anything. After the congressional revolution of the 1990s, representatives fell back to squabbling and backbiting. Christian and conservative principles fell by the wayside, and voters once again became cynical and disillusioned.
As America moves forward, trust must be placed with God, who is perfect in every way, rather than trust in elected officials who are flawed and sinful just as any other person is. Principles such as liberty, personal responsibility, and limited government do exist and must be upheld. Through educated organization, people can become the instruments of positive change in Americaâ€™s political system.