Are American Christians Politically Irresponsible?
September 30, 2013
“It’s just the will of God if someone evil comes to power.” No attribution for this commonly heard saying is given because there would be untold thousands of names attached to it. Who has not heard some believer say this at some time? It is spoken, blogged, printed and echoed so often that it could be said to be the war cry of the indifferent.
The word lackadaisical comes to mind, but in fact it is far more serious than that, it is a foolish position to take as a believer and is inconsistent with true biblical teaching.
The fatalism of the once very popular Calvinistic view is said to have produced some strange behavior. Stories still circulate among the old Baptist of people who attended Sunday service in the old Calvinist churches and then went home and committed suicide because they thought it was all just part of the - “will of God.”
It is not enough to counter one common saying with another to get to the truth; the believer must be biblically grounded on the subject of politics and civil rulers. We counter “Religion and politics don’t mix” with the familiar apothegm, “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.” We grab one aphorism or the other and march through life thinking we have solved the matter, at least for ourselves. We could say this is just dumb and leave it there, but it far exceeds dumb, it is totally wrong and is an act of disobedience when considering the biblical record.
Aphorisms have their place, but believers must look to the Bible for answers.
The believers list of grievances ...
Starting with a list of great oppressors shown in the bible one thing becomes instantly clear. When God’s people were persecuted and trampled on, it was invariably a civil ruler or political body that was doing the persecuting. Here is your short list from the bible and a few from modern times:
Pharaoh– Persecuted millions of Israelites (Ex 5)
Ahab and Jezebel– went after God’s prophets (1Ki 18)
Zedekiah- Had the prophet Jeremiah thrown into a pit (Jer 38)
Nebuchadnezzar- Daniel and his friends – (Da 6)
The Sanhedrin– Set Christ up for crucifixion (Mt 26)
Roman Procurator Pontius Pilate– Ordered Jesus’ crucifixion (Jn 18)
Agrippa– Sent Paul to be prosecuted in Rome (Ac 26)
Temple Rulers– Threw Peter in jail and beat him (Ac 5)
Nero – Beheaded Paul in Rome (historical record)
Civil rulers throughout Asia– Killed the apostles for their testimony (historical record)
Antiochus Epiphanes to Hitler– Veraciously persecuted and killed the Jews
Old Soviet Union Leaders– Oppressed the Coptic Christians for over six decades
China’s Government– Oppresses the church to this day.
Muslim Rulers– Ordering the slaughter of Coptic Christians in a dozen Muslim Countries.
U.S. Supreme Court– Undermines biblical teachings and the church on marriage, abortion and school prayer.
Barack Obama– HHS Mandate imposed on the Church and denies scriptural teaching on homosexuality. (more to come)
Two deeply disturbing truths are apparent from this list; first, all persecution of believers originates from civil rulers throughout history and continues to the present day. Secondly with only one exception (our President) there was absolutely nothing anyone could do about it. We alone, by the power of the vote, can alter the pattern. So why have we not done so?
If Catholics alone could have seen the HHS Mandate coming down the pike would they, 78.2 million strong, have stayed home or voted again for Barack Obama?
‘Give unto Caesar’ – Now the rest of the story ...
Sermons about giving to Caesar what is Caesar’s are so common that even unbelievers can quote from the biblical passages. But the story doesn’t end there. Concerning the actual giving of taxes or tribute money Christ gave an actual real time example to his apostles and to us.
Something highly unusual shows up in his example and it is the reason believers should do a re-examination of their views of religion and politics being the unstoppable object meeting the immovable object.
When asked if he and his apostles would pay the tribute money Peter mistakenly said yes. Jesus rebuked him and explained that as the King of kings he actually was not bound to pay tribute. (17: 24 – 27)
Instead of leaving it there, Jesus told Peter how to quickly raise enough money to pay the tribute, but it is the reason why he paid it - that is so very important.
“Notwithstanding, lest we should offend them, go thou to the sea, and cast an hook, and take up the fish that first cometh up; and when thou hast opened his mouth, thou shalt find a piece of money: that take, and give unto them for me and thee”(Mt 17: 24)
Jesus paid the tribute not because he was bound by ‘give unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s,’ but he paid up because he did not want to “offend” them and bring repute or cause to accuse him of being a lawbreaker. He was the one who came to fulfill the (Mosaic) law, how could it be that he would fail the much lesser civil law? (Mt 5: 18)
So what does offending them, have to do with us?
It is by this example and his explanation of it that the most serious question is raised. If you gain nothing else from this article – learn this.
If complying with the civil law was done only to keep from offending someone, how can we refuse to be actively engaged in civil proceedings as a normal part of our civic duty for the protection of ourselves and our children?
While the church slept, prayers were thrown out of our schools, marriage was attacked and the unborn have undergone a bloody genocide. Now who is offended!
“Politics and religion don’t mix,” is a poor substitute for a church that actively votes their conscience guided by the higher moral teachings of their bible. In fact it is one of those proverbial lies wrapped in a skin of laziness. It is one of those ‘common sayings’ like, “God helps those that helps themselves,” that has been passed around so much that quoters’ actually think the adage is biblical.
If we are right at home with sex-ed for kindergartners, the trampling of marriage and a host of new laws imposed by the ever growing and militant politically active LGBT, then stay home in the next election and let “God’s will be done.” Remind yourself of the religion and politics thing, watch some NFL games and observe “God’s will” just popping up everywhere.
‘Do as I say not as I do’- was not a quote of the founding fathers
Since Barack Obama was elected to office, journalists, preachers and speakers have taken to quoting the founding fathers and early patriots with renewed frequency. Entire websites have been dedicated to the sayings and sage wisdom of the founders. But what of their example, did they actually carry out these sayings; did they engage the public to do the same?
It is here that we will ask the hypothetical question which can only have one answer. When election year rolled around, or when local, county or state issues came up for a discussion and a vote, do you think the founders just stayed home and soothed their inactivity with the proverbial “religion and politics don’t mix.”
Would these men and women who created the documents to guide a nation based on the principles of the bible be inclined to just let it roll with no involvement, prayer, discussion and voting?
It’s not a viewpoint – It is a serious error ...
The idea of religion and politics being mutually exclusive is a serious error fueled by a worthless, overused and completely un-biblical adage that should have been retired many years ago.
If Christ complied with Caesar to keep from offending shouldn’t we use our rights as citizens to help steer our laws and leaders to the best interest of our own children?
If our founders were active in politics even though they knew the supreme leader (Christ) would not ever run for office, how can we, explain our indifference to their example.
Finally in the end will we just live happily ever after as evil rulers bring the country to its knees and glibly pass that off as “the will of God?”
It is far more likely that we will one day have to eat the fruit of our error as Job declared in Job 6: 7.
“The things that my soul refused to touch are as my sorrowful meat.”
Don’t look now, but in America this meal is already being served up by the liberals, the godless and the feckless.