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3 Ways Christians Can Influence Politics

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Beaten down by progressive hardliners and surrounded by apathetic masses, Christians are missing the motivation and inspiration to put themselves into the public square and promote good policy.

American Christians often have the common misconception that engaging in civic service is not necessary because God is in control. It is evident that many religious communities have become apathetic and unconcerned with matters imperative to the good of culture. Politics is downstream from culture, and as Edmund Burke said, “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”

Christians can effectively invoke a tidal wave of change within politics by penetrating the culture through playing an active and relevant role in the community, living a truly humble life for Christ, and fulfilling our civil duty.  

First, believers must be active in the community. The government has taken away many roles from the church, along with numerous opportunities to form relationships and show the love of Jesus Christ to people in need. We have allowed the government to use 49% of the federal budget to provide for people. By taking more time to be active in our community and churches, not only can we support those in need with a Christ centered mission, but also we can take back a responsibility that the government has put on all taxpayers. As Christians, are we not called to be the hands and feet of Christ? We simply are not doing our jobs. We spend so much time preparing for tomorrow that we forget what God has called us to do today. Western Journalism reported,

“The Judeo-Christian religious convictions which motivated people of faith to selflessly provide free healthcare for the poor for over a thousand years are now considered insignificant by utilitarian central planners.”

Second, Christians must live truly humbled, focused on pursuing eternal gain rather than earthly praise. As Micah 6:8 says, “And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.”  Politicians love to play the “Christian card.” Would they give up power and fame for Christ? We need leaders who represent the true liberty and freedom that only salvation through Christ can offer.

Last year in Houston, Texas, the mayor subpoenaed five pastors’ sermons who spoke out against a bathroom bill that would allow men who “identified” as women to use female restrooms. Public officials are elected to protect citizen’s constitutional rights, not trample on them. This past Christmas in Wadena, Minnesota, the city council voted to remove a beloved nativity scene from the park after receiving just one complaint. The citizens responded by replacing one nativity, with over a 1,000 in their front yards. Although moral leaders are imperative to our continued success, Christians cannot rely on government to spread our faith. The message must come the Lord’s people. We must strive to live truly humble, and moral lives, and represent Christ in everything that we do. We are called to something greater than what this world has to offer. We are called to be the salt and the light, and represent Christ in everything that we do.

Thirdly, Christians must fulfill their civil duty. In 2012, there were 129 million voters who participated in the election. At the time there were 57 million eligible voters who belonged to protestant churches, and Pew Research Center cited news organizations concluding that 23 percent of the nation’s November 2012 voters were evangelical Protestants.

30 million voters in 2012 were members of a churches, resulting in only 52 percent of church going Christians turning out to the polls.

Many Christians say that “God is in control and thus, I do not need to vote.” Is God in complete control? Of course. But we should not sit at home and expect the Lord to provide a source of income without working either.

2 Thessalonians 3:10 says, “The one who is unwilling to work shall not eat.” The principle still applies. Yes, God is in control, but we cannot sit idly by and expect the right candidate to be elected without first doing our part.

 

 

Christians 4 Freedom, a student club at Liberty University, held an event last Tuesday on the topic of religious liberty that featured Bethany Demmin from the Family Research Council.

“I believe our attendees left feeling encouraged to be more active on a local and national level,” said C4F President Nicholas Hamilton. “One of the main goals when we started Christians 4 Freedom was to promote student and Christian involvement, and she did just that.”

Over 35 students and members of the community were in attendance, with 25 signing up to become members.

Demmin offered many points on why Christians should be involved in their government. She said that often times there is an attitude within the church that we should not engage in politics, and that religion and politics are unrelated. She believes that as Christians “it is a God given joy and right to engage the public square.”

Demmin also said that if we believe that God has complete dominion over the earth, then no matter where we are in life, we are called to engage in politics.

“Life is gritty,” said Demmin. ‘If we don’t admit that it’s gritty and actually come and bring light and truth and beauty to the grit, and we just try to paint over it, no one will take us seriously.”

Demmin also talked about how the culture and politics interact, saying that it is the culture that influences politics, not the other way around. She used the legalization of gay marriage as an example for this and said that pop culture and media were major propellants of this movement.

She went on to say that this decision could potentially be the slippery slope that will lead to the end of religious liberty. She talked about the pastors in Houston who had their sermons subpoenaed by the mayor, which is in direct violation with the Constitution. She mentioned numerous incidents where private business owners have faced legal action for standing up for their religious beliefs. And she talked about Kim Davis, the county clerk who simply wanted her name removed from a marriage license because of her religious beliefs.

“The Constitution protects freedom of religion, which means living it out in our daily lives; the ability to speak about it, to make decisions based on it and to conduct ourselves in our places of business based on our faith,” said Demmin.

She concluded her talk with a personal testimony and a word of encouragement for those who feel the call to get involved. She stressed two main points: to keep your hearts soft for people, and when God calls you, go.

Written by: Amanda Long

The Origins of Religious Liberty: The Bible and Religious Liberty

By: Marisa Jorge

The concept of “religious liberty” dates all the way back to the times of the Old Testament Israel. This Israel was a ‘theocracy” that recognized God as its Supreme lawgiver. According to the book, Christianity and the Constitution by John Endosome, the word theocracy originates form two Greek words,”theos” for God, and “kratos” for ruler. These words together mean, “God is the ruler of the nation.” During these times, government functions were separated from religious functions.

The Old Testament gives several examples of prominent religious and political figures being punished by God for their disregard of separate functions between church and state. First, Samuel 1:13 explains that Saul used the function of priesthood to offer sacrifices himself. As a result of his actions, God permanently cut his line off from the kingship of Israel. Second, 2 Chronicle 26:16:21 explains that King Uzziah tried to burn incense on the holy altar. As a result, God smote him with leprosy, which remained with him for the rest of his life.

In the New Testament, Christ further validates religious liberty. In Luke 20:25, He distinguishes the church and state as two separate kingdoms. This passage states “[r]ender therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s, and unto God the things that are Gods” (Luke 20:25).

All of these examples establish that there is only one supreme lawgiver, God. The supreme lawgiver is the only power that has the jurisdiction to “rule” over both spiritual and secular matters. Every single individual who is a part of a society that recognizes this supreme jurisdiction has “no right” to interfere with it.