CHRISTIANS AND GOVERNMENT
An elderly gentleman was sitting on a park bench, basking in the sun, when another elderly fellow sat down. They looked at each other for a moment but did not speak. Both men sat there, staring straight ahead. After a while, one of them heaved a big, heartfelt sigh. The other jumped up immediately and said, "If you’re going to talk politics, I’m leaving."
I’m not going to talk politics...so don’t quit reading! But what I am going to do is remind you that Christian’s had better be informed and involved in the political process for it effects all of us and our nation.
The Proverbs writer penned these words, “When the godly are in authority, the people rejoice. But when the wicked are in power, they groan.” Prov. 29:2.
The truth is in a large diffused government at many levels from local to national, it is not an easy choice or decision. But we can look at the long term trends of where our country is headed and make the best decisions based on the choices we have.
If we do not know something about the candidates it is our fault. We should not be like the folks in a story I heard some years ago. In 1938 the name Boston Curtis appeared on the ballot for Republican Committeeman from Milton, Washington. Actually, Boston Curtis was a donkey. The town’s mayor sponsored the animal to demonstrate that people know very little about the candidates. He proved his point. The mule won!
Today with all the media attention and information available, the issue is not knowledge but prayerful influence and participation in the process. Certainly it is not my place to tell anyone how to vote. I can sympathize with many of you when we feel that the choices we have to make in some levels of the election are not for very good candidates.
However, let us remember we are a republic with a constitution which says we are governed by the consent of the people. That last phrase, “by the consent of the people,” should awaken us. If we do not like the government we have or will have, it says something about the people of our nation. It is the opinion of many that God has allowed us to reap the harvest of poor thinking and declining values in order to call us back to Him.
It is sad that so many Christians have stepped back from taking stands in our country. Some have given up hope for change. Others see politics as a “dirty word.” It is a dirty and difficult world for sure, but if all those who believe in that which is good and honest, what do we have left?
Many Christians are intimidated from running by organizations which have a distinctly bias against people of faith and who value patriotism. I was impressed some time ago in reading something the Prime Minister of Australia wrote. A part of it says, “Most Australians believe in God. This is not some Christian, right wing, political push, but a fact, because Christian men and women, on Christian principles, founded this nation, and this is clearly documented…It is certainly appropriate to display it on the walls of our schools. If God offends you, then I suggest you consider another part of the world as your new home, because God is part of our culture.”
Perhaps we should be sure about the values upon which our country was founded. Amazingly most came from the Bible.
Human government is ordained of God. Even under the wicked Roman government rule of the day of the Bible, Paul says “If you resist the authority you resist the ordinance of God!” But it was also given responsibilities. Among these are to restrain evil. You have heard the statement, “You can’t legislate morality.” This is absolutely true! But there’s not a law on this earth that can make you moral! “We’ve got this mixed up – for too long we’ve been trying to make government make us good! Only God can do that! Think of it this way – there’s not a law on this earth to make you love me, but there is a law to keep you from killing me!”
I would like to add a word here about those who serve our country but are so often overlooked and far underappreciated. An article about our law enforcement officers was in a newspaper not long ago. Let me paraphrase some of it.
Police officers are many things, sons, brothers, fathers and some are mothers, sisters and aunts. They are our protector in times of need and comforters in times of sorrow. Sometimes they must be as sharp as diplomats, psychologists, lawyers. Too often, their acts of heroism go unnoticed and the truth is buried under all the criticism. They are ordinary citizens who are called upon to do extra-ordinary things for us. Officers must face half crazed gunmen in the streets, schools or shops, rescue lost children, challenge mobs and risks his life more than we realize. Thank God for all the young men and women who said they would be a policeman and they kept their promises.
“From the President of the United States to the police officer on the street – all are to be ministers of God, men and women of righteousness and protectors of freedom!”
Here are three simple but very important steps for every Christian to take in relation to his government.
Pray for your government. Here the words of Paul to young Timothy, “I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone; for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior.” (I Tim. 2:1-3)
Preach to your government. That does not mean each of us must have a pulpit. However, we can write letters, offer opinions and interact with our leaders. We need to be civil but not silent!
“As long as our leaders are aborting the pre-born we should preach to them. As long as we have leaders trying to normalize sexual perversion we should preach to them. As long as we have Americans who cannot pray wherever they want – we need to keep preaching! We must continue to preach from the highest hill top – whatever is morally wrong is not politically right!”
“The state is not the master of the church and the church is not the master of the state. The church is the conscience of the state and salt and light in society!”
Participate in your government. We have a government that our Founding Fathers envisioned all people involved – that’s why the Constitution says, “Of the people, by the people and for the people.” If we don’t vote we are not participating. It is inconceivable that God would have ordained government and then have His people stay out of it!
Matthias Burnett, Pastor of First Baptist Church in Norwalk, preached on May 12, 1803...“Consider well the important trust...which God…has put into your hands…To God you are accountable for your rights and your rulers…Let not your children have reason to curse you for giving up those rights and institutions which your fathers delivered to you...”
Samuel Adams on April 16, 1781 declared, “Let each citizen remember….that he is executing one of the most solemn trusts in human society for which he is accountable to God and his country.”
Remember, as Christians, we participate not according to visionless policies, useless parties, godless people or purposeless politics, but we participate according to God’s principles! On the eve of this critical election, I urge all Christians to vote and choose the best people up and down the ballot who you believe will do their best to bring our country back to God.