Like most concerned Evangelical Christians, I am deeply concerned about the future of our country, now that the majority has elected the most liberal, pro-abortion President we have ever had.  I have prayed and preached, trying to encourage Christians to stand up in the public arena and cry out for righteousness in our government.  As Proverbs 14:34 says, “Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a disgrace to any people,”  therefore I believe that a big part of being a good citizen in America is that we should be involved in the political process. 

I was given a news clipping of Cal Thomas’ article from Sunday, November 9 (the Sunday after the election).  As I read it, I realized that social activism alone is not a sufficient Christian response.  His article is titled, “May the Religious Right R.I.P.”  He sets up the issue this way,

Thirty years of trying to use government to stop abortion, preserve opposite-sex marriage, improve television and movie content and transform culture into the conservative Evangelical image has failed. The question now becomes: should conservative Christians redouble their efforts, contributing more millions to radio and TV preachers and activists, or would they be wise to try something else?

As someone wiser than I has said, “The heart of the matter is the HEART of the matter!”  Thomas clearly calls his readers to consider a “more excellent way.”

I opt for trying something else.

Too many conservative Evangelicals have put too much faith in the power of government to transform culture. The futility inherent in such misplaced faith can be demonstrated by asking these activists a simple question: Does the secular left, when it holds power, persuade conservatives to live by their standards? Of course they do not. Why, then, would conservative Evangelicals expect people who do not share their worldview and view of God to accept their beliefs when they control government?

Too many conservative Evangelicals mistake political power for influence. Politicians who struggle with imposing a moral code on themselves are unlikely to succeed in their attempts to impose it on others. What is the answer, then, for conservative Evangelicals who are rightly concerned about the corrosion of culture, the indifference to the value of human life and the living arrangements of same- and opposite-sex couples?

The truth that we all tend to ignore is the issue of worldview that drives all politics.  We have to realize that, as Paul wrote in Romans 8, “For those who are according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who are according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit.  For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace, because the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so, and those who are in the flesh cannot please God.”  In other words, appealing to righteousness with someone whose mind is not renewed by faith in Christ is like trying to convince a cat that catching and eating mice is evil.  It is simply impossible.  Thomas continues,

If results are what conservative Evangelicals want, they already have a model. It is contained in the life and commands of Jesus of Nazareth. Suppose millions of conservative Evangelicals engaged in an old and proven type of radical behavior. Suppose they followed the admonition of Jesus to “love your enemies, pray for those who persecute you, feed the hungry, clothe the naked, visit those in prison and care for widows and orphans,” not as ends, as so many liberals do by using government, but as a means of demonstrating God’s love for the whole person in order that people might seek Him?

There it is.  We Christians have to re-align ourselves with God’s priorities.  Jesus was more concerned with the needs of people than with the political landscape, because even the most gracious of governments is still made up of sinners.  Our business is Kingdom business.  If we will do more serving and less screaming, we would be much more likely to experience real “Change.”  There is still room to “render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s,” but serving and sacrificing for the sake of the gospel is what will make a real difference. 

I intend to continue to cry out in the public square, to write my Congressman and Senators, to sign the petitions and to answer the questions of the news reporters when they ask them.  But my intention is for that approach to be secondary only.  Our primary efforts must be towards righteousness in our own hearts and lives, giving our time, talents and treasures in service of the gospel so that people might see Jesus alive in His people and draw the multitudes to Himself.  No President on earth will ever change the hearts of men, women, boys and girls as Jesus alone can do. Let’s focus on the Kingdom and see what happens. 

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