It happens far too often, and it really is reprehensible. But I get Christians telling me all the time they don’t like politics, they don’t like hearing about politics, they want nothing to do with politics, and so on. But given that God is the creator of political life – as well as social life, cultural life, intellectual life, etc. – all these irresponsible Christians are doing is shaking their fists at God.
God is deeply interested in political affairs – indeed, he is interested in all affairs. If a person calls himself a Christian, then he must take the Lordship of Christ seriously, and that must extend to every area of life. One cannot call oneself a true follower of Christ if they think their faith is just meant to be a privatised affair which has no impact whatsoever on the surrounding culture.
Simply obeying the command of Jesus to be salt and light means that we must let our faith have a social and political impact. Jesus warned us about hiding our light under a bushel, and letting our salt lose its savour. Yet that is exactly what disobedient Christians are doing when they refuse to take their social and political responsibilities seriously.
Christians who choose to rebel and just opt out of this world are being grossly irresponsible, and will one day stand before their Lord to explain their culpability here. They will have to explain why they rejected the clear commands of Christ in this regard.
Aside from all the biblical exhortations for us to be aware of what is going on in our world, and to be world transformers, there are many practical reasons as well. Politics impact all of us, and there is a world of difference between good government and bad government.
Much is at stake, and we pay far too high a price if we try to bury our heads in the sand and pretend political life is irrelevant or somehow unspiritual. We all must work for godly government, since “righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people” (Proverbs 14:34).
Elections, legislation, political parties and policies are all very important, and all impact us for good or for ill. Christians of all people should take their civic responsibilities seriously here. I like what one poster making the rounds on social media sites says about this: “Oh I’m sorry. Are my political posts bothering you? I just figured choosing the next leader of our country was worth a little discussion. By all means, show me another picture of your dinner.”
Yes quite right. Far too many believers are majoring in minors, and minoring in majors. We need to get our priorities right here, and real quickly. In the US for example we have what may be the most important election in the nation’s history.
Yet how many Christians are totally unaware of, or indifferent to, it all? They must repent of their sinful irresponsibility here, and start getting informed and concerned. No less a figure than James Dobson of Focus on the Family has just given an impassioned plea about this.
One article discusses this as follows: “‘Vote, and take a friend with you, for the sake of our children.’ That’s the plea from Dr. James Dobson of FamilyTalk radio broadcasts. In today’s Family Talk newsletter, he follows up on the request from martial arts champion, television and movie actor Chuck Norris, who with his wife, Gena, recently released a public service announcement asking Christians to vote.
“They noted that there were some 30 million Christians who did not vote in the 2008 election, and Barack Obama won by 10 million, bringing into the White House his plans for open homosexuality in the U.S. armed forces, nearly unlimited abortion on demand and other policies. Dr. Dobson, who does not advocate for or against individual candidates in this year’s election as a representative of FamilyTalk, noted the situation in which the nation finds itself approaching the 2012 election.
-The nation is in a moral and spiritual freefall.
-Religious liberty is under assault like never before.
-Christians are being required to pay for abortions through their health insurance.
-Twenty-one countries [in the Middle East] are in turmoil.
-Israel’s very existence continues to be threatened….
“‘Given the state of the world and the decline of our country, how can a single Christian stay at home on Election Day? The stakes are simply too high,’ Dr. Dobson wrote to constituents. ‘If you’re among those eligible voters who haven’t determined whether you’ll even bother to make your voices heard on Election Day, I want to urge you – in the strongest possible terms – to rethink your position!’ he said.”
Quite so, and given some of the crucial issues which are at stake here, such as marriage and family, or the fate of the unborn, no Christian should think he can just sit this one out. Speaking of abortion, social commentator Rolley Haggard takes a very strong stance here:
“Pulpit silence on the abortion holocaust is nothing short of blasphemy. I’m aware this is a serious charge. But the church’s decades-long tacit sanction of mass murder is a serious matter. We need to stop mincing words. When heinous acts—even acts of omission, like silence in the face of evil—are deliberately committed in the name of God, there is no more fitting word to describe it. It is blasphemy: the intentional and defiant dishonoring of God. To fail to call it what it is minimizes, and effectively harbors and perpetuates, the abominable practice through euphemism’s power to anesthetize sensibilities. The sanction of this unspeakable evil must end immediately. And there is good reason to believe it can.”
He quotes a number of authorities on this matter:
“He who passively accepts evil is as much involved in it as he who helps to perpetrate it. He who accepts evil without protesting against it is really cooperating with it.” (Martin Luther King, Jr.)
“?History will have to record that the greatest tragedy of this period of social transition was not the strident clamor of the bad people, but the appalling silence of the good people.” (Martin Luther King, Jr.)
“Silence in the face of evil is itself evil: God will not hold us guiltless. Not to speak is to speak. Not to act is to act.” (Dietrich Bonhoeffer)
“Brethren, our preaching will bear its legitimate fruits. If immorality prevails in the land, the fault is ours in a great degree. If there is a decay of conscience, the pulpit is responsible for it. If the public press lacks moral discrimination, the pulpit is responsible for it. If the church is degenerate and worldly, the pulpit is responsible for it. If the world loses its interest in religion, the pulpit is responsible for it. If Satan rules in our halls of legislation, the pulpit is responsible for it. If our politics become so corrupt that the very foundations of our government are ready to fall away, the pulpit is responsible for it. Let us not ignore this fact, my dear brethren; but let us lay it to heart, and be thoroughly awake to our responsibility in respect to the morals of this nation. (Charles Finney)
He concludes, “Hear me: If silence in the face of great evil is itself great evil, then where there is reasonable prospect of diminishing the evil by decrying it, silence becomes an evil that is positively monstrous. There is reasonable prospect of diminishing this evil by decrying it. Please let that sink in. If the thought of 3,500 babies being savagely murdered every day doesn’t keep you awake at night, my silent, God-empowered-to-say-and-do-something-about-it friends who stand in pulpits week after week ostensibly dispensing the message of God’s love for ‘the least of these,’ then maybe the thought that you are complicit in an unspeakably great evil and shall one day answer for it, will.”
Yes exactly so. Christians need to repent of their apathy and indifference here, and resolve to be salt and light in all areas of life, including the political. If they don’t they have blood on their hands and will have to face the music one day as they stand before their Lord.