Last time I talked about getting involved as citizens of our country so as to influence the government positively while being salt and light in our society. In spite of the cautions we still should be salt and light as our Lord commands. This can and should be done by voting, writing letters to those in authority, expressing ourselves respectfully, and even running for public office if the Lord leads us, and of course praying.
Now I would like to look at the main issues we as Christians should be concerned about. All issues may have some importance but there is nothing more important than the moral issues of the day. We must approach these issues from a biblical perspective. If God has made it clear from His Word on these issues, we should be seeking ways to be salt and light with respect to the following values. Let me list those I see of the greatest importance; I am sure there will be others.
- The issue of the dignity and value of human life:
To me this is the core value we must promote. It is not a political issue (although its gets into the arena of politics), but it is primarily a moral issue. Pope John Paul II truly defined our culture as the culture of death. Abortion on demand sanctioned by the Supreme Court and supported by politicians and the liberal media is part of this problem. Voting to make sure that people who value this basic fundamental right should be a priority.
The president of the United States gets to pick the vacancies in the Supreme Court and the lower courts. The Senate confirms these appointments. Therefore it is important to recognize that voting is not just for the presidency but for Congress. As I list other key moral issues, keep in mind that the courts will be deciding many of these things. In this culture of death we have more protections for animals and illegal immigrants than we do for the life of the unborn or the elderly and sick.
- The issue of family and values relating to this:
At the very core of any civilized society is the family. We must be actively engaged in protecting the family. This means supporting positions on the family that are consistent with the Holy Scriptures. The Bible is clear on the definition of marriage. Our country, with the blessing of the Supreme Court, has re-defined the definition of marriage. Another threat to the divine institution of marriage and family is sexual morality.
We must support values that promote the biblical definition of sex; that being between members of the opposite sex who are married. This is God’s plan; to the extent that we as a nation have gotten away from it has been the same level of demise of the family. I know there are those who are nervous about legislating what takes place in the privacy of bedrooms. But it is important to note that it is those same people unabashedly advocating immoral lifestyles.
When a celebrity goes on a talk show and promotes this agenda, they are praised. No-one tells them to keep their views to themselves. They also produce movies in Hollywood and on television which come into our living rooms and celebrates adultery and other immoral behavior. One certain thing we can do is change the channel; we still have that choice. But the time has also come for Christians to be more proactive on this issue.
- The issue of freedom of religion:
In promoting this value it’s important to understand that it means protecting all religion in our nation; this includes views we may not agree with. Having said that, I think it is clear that today Christianity is under attack. Lots of people call themselves Christians but don’t subscribe to the biblical definition nor do they take a biblical position on the issues. But those who are true believers and who hold with conviction to biblical values are under attack.
We must vote for legislation that promotes freedom of religion and vote for those who support these values of freedom. We must come to understand that we have freedom of religion and not freedom from religion. While it is true that nobody should be forced to believe a certain way, our founding fathers clearly understood that it is not the government’s role to promote or endorse a particular religious group but to get out of the way and let people decide for themselves their faith and to promote the free expression of those views in the public forum. That also includes the values we promote through the laws that we pass. Remember what I said a while back; that all laws are based on morality.
We must be proactive in promoting a world view that reflects our Christian faith while not seeking to make the Christian faith the official religion of the land. We truly have freedom of religion and not freedom from religion. This was always understood until more recently. Now the goal of secularism is to promote secularism by the state and when religion including Bible-believing followers of Christ obstruct, they persecute and claim that people of faith are in violation of The Constitution. I believe they are wrong and we are wrong to sit back and allow it to happen. Christians need to understand both the Bible and The Constitution on this issue.
While there are no doubt many important issues that should be of great concern to us, I believe the three we are looking at today are at the core of being salt and light in our world. We do not live in a theocracy as Israel did during the Old Testament. But this is a free country and it’s the people who decide what kind of country it will be. It won’t do any good to simply argue that the country until recently believed the basic values that I have mentioned. The argument that we have always done it this way is not a good one even if what we used to do was good. Each generation must rise up and be counted as salt and light in our society if we hope to continue as one nation under God. Next time I will move into the issue of the key role of The Church in society – “What is the Purpose of the Local Church?”