Ways to Get Involved in the Direction of Our Nation
Last month when I initiated my blog, I discussed politics and moral issues. I mentioned that we cannot separate politics and morality; all laws are an attempt to impose one’s values upon society. The only issue then is-whose morality will prevail? We have a responsibility to influence the culture as salt and light. If the early Christians did that when it was illegal to be a Christian and when there was no voting or lobbying for one’s cause, how much more should we be influencing our world (and our nation in particular) since we are free to express ourselves, to lobby, and to vote. Before I get specific in terms of ways we can do that and to argue for the logical reasons, let me give a brief caution.
Getting “political” (especially at church and particularly in the worship service) can have some drawbacks. Unsaved people who visit the church will confuse the pure message of the gospel with our politics or a particular political party. This could also be true when you are witnessing outside the church setting. It can distract from the message, and we need to be careful. We also need to be sensitive to people and not needlessly offend. I am not talking about ridiculous political correctness but rather using common sense that would motivate us to avoid putting a stumbling block in front of someone who needs to know Christ. As believers we also must avoid the potential that we would be looking to politicians, political power, and political changes rather than looking to the Lord. If changes that reflect the biblical world view were to take place, we might be tempted to think of ourselves rather than almighty God.
In spite of these cautions (which are very real) we must understand why it’s important to be salt and light in the political and moral arena of the day. We must keep in mind that all laws are imposing morality and that the only question is “what” morality will prevail. Because we want the biblical world view to prevail as much as possible, we must be involved. Let’s look at five areas that we should be thinking about.
Voting: One of the great privileges we have is living in a democracy where we have the right to vote. This privilege is rare when viewing history. It was not the case during the first century. The Bible makes it clear that we are going to be required to give an account for what has been provided. It’s amazing when you hear about the statistics and polls showing the number of born again Christians and other conservatives who do not vote. We have no right to complain if we have not voted. I am not just talking about the choice of president. Two separate times in six years we have the opportunity to elect or re-elect a senator who represents our state. That person also determines a whole host of issues. What good is it to only concern ourselves with who is president because he picks members of the Supreme Court when senators are the ones who confirm that choice as well as many other lower court nominations? Every two years we get to choose our house representative from our own district. These individuals along with the Senate are the ones who enact legislation, vote against legislation, and can override the president’s veto when needed. This form of government in my view is the best we can have in a fallen world. But it is useless to those of us who want to promote righteousness and hold back the tide as long as possible if we don’t get out and vote.
Corresponding: We should never underestimate the value of letters and emails written to politicians, the media, companies, and anyone else we are seeking to influence. We must be respectful but clear in our correspondence. Politicians look at each letter as worth thousand others and are often influenced in their positions. When I was a teen “Star Trek” was really popular. Then one year it was cancelled after many successful seasons. After its cancelation the producers were flooded with letters of complaint for its cancelation. However, it was too late. All the key actors and actresses had signed contracts for other movies. Had the fans known in advance, they would have more than likely stopped this from happening. How much more are the important issues of the day.
Expression: There are other ways to express ourselves as salt and light. Whenever we do it should always be with love and tact-remembering that we are ultimately ambassadors for Christ even more than Americans. Writing letters to editors, objecting to immoral programs on TV, and verbally expressing ourselves are among the communiqués that can and should take place.
Runningfor office: This may seem radical for most of you; and I understand that. My wife has always thought I would make a terrible politician because I am either too honest or forthright. But for some Christians running for office at local or even statewide office could be at least part of the salt and light we need. Our Vice President is a believer in Jesus Christ. He ran for congress in Indiana as a young Christian man and won. In time he ran for Governor and served with distinction. Today he is a heart beat from the President and is highly influential in policy making.
Prayer: Last (but not in any way meant to be least) is prayer. Our country is in desperate need of prayer. As believers in Christ we have a responsibility to pray. Paul in I Timothy reminds us that we should be praying for those who are in authority. Our nation will never turn around and be a beacon of light in the world until believers in Christ collectively pray. Only then will meaningful change take place.
There may well be other things we can do with God’s help and direction. I offer the above five to help us consider what we can do for the glory of God. In my next blog I will discuss the topic of what issues we should be concerned about when voting. What are the unifying concerns all true Christians should have when exercising their right and responsibility to vote.
Please real free to submit your comments below.
Pastor Lee Stauff