Religion in Politics

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Since years before I could
vote, I have been very politically involved. I went to Caucuses and
County and State assemblies with my parents. I frequently engaged in
discussions about political issues such as abortion and prayer in
schools. I didn’t shy away from controversial topics when I wrote
school essays, gave speeches, and contributed to the student
newspaper in our town.
Often, I was received
favorably by like-minded individuals, and even by those who disagreed
with me, but appreciated my willingness to express my opinions and
participate in discussions of this nature.
However, just as often I was
received very poorly by those that believed that discussions of this
nature were contentious and should be avoided. Even as an adult, I
have noticed a variety of responses to political discussions and, as
I’m sure would hold true for any politically active Christian, have
gotten a lot of flack over mixing religion and politics by many that
hold to the opinion that the two subjects should be separate parts of
one’s life and in some extreme cases, that Christians should have no
involvement in politics whatsoever.
I have a difficult time
reconciling these views to either the founding of our nation or the
Bible itself. The founders were very clear about their beliefs that
Christianity should be instrumental in the government and politics.
Consider the following statements:
Thomas
Jefferson
“God
who gave us life gave us liberty. And can the liberties of a nation
be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis, a
conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are of the
Gift of God? That they are not to be violated but with His wrath?
Indeed, I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just;
that His justice cannot sleep forever; That a revolution of the wheel
of fortune, a change of situation, is among possible events; that it
may become probable by Supernatural influence! The Almighty has no
attribute which can take side with us in that event.”

John
Jay
“Providence
has given to our people the choice of their rulers, and it is the
duty, as well as the privilege and interest of our Christian nation
to select and prefer Christians for their rulers.”
John
Hancock
“Resistance
to tyranny becomes the Christian and social duty of each individual.
… Continue steadfast and, with a proper sense of your dependence on
God, nobly defend those rights which heaven gave, and no man ought to
take from us.”
Patrick
Henry

“It
cannot be emphasized too strongly or too often that this great nation
was founded, not by religionists, but by Christians; not on
religions, but on the gospel of Jesus Christ. For this very reason
peoples of other faiths have been afforded asylum, prosperity, and
freedom of worship here.”

George
Washington
“Of
all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity,
religion and morality are indispensable supports. In vain would that
man claim the tribute of Patriotism, who should labor to subvert
these great pillars of human happiness, these firmest props of the
duties of Man and citizens. The mere Politician, equally with the
pious man, ought to respect and to cherish them. A volume could not
trace all their connections with private and public felicity … Let
it simply be asked where is the security for property, for
reputation, for life, if the sense of religious obligation desert the
oaths, which are the instruments of investigation in Courts of
Justice?”
“While
just government protects all in their religious rights, true religion
affords to government its surest support.”
Consider
further that the involvement of preachers in the build up to the
Revolution and the Revolution itself was so great that they earned
the label, “The Black Robed Regiment” and were actually blamed
for the American victory by the British who said that if it hadn’t
been for the preachers, America would still be a happy British
colony!
Those
who would make the case that Christians should stay out of politics,
have not read the same scriptures that I have read. For in the
scriptures that I read, I see Joseph, who was second only to Pharaoh
in the Egyptian government; I see Daniel, who was promoted along with
his friends, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, in both the Babylonian
and Persian governments; I see Samuel and the other judges who were
both servants of God and government officials; I see Jesus and John
the Baptist who both spoke against the evils of King Herod and Paul,
who used his Roman citizenship to get an audience with Felix, an
official of the Roman government. There are many more examples in
scripture of God’s people being involved politically.
Throughout
the Bible the subject of government is addressed, kings and rulers
are warned to act wisely, God’s people are instructed to obey
government, and even in the giving of the law in Deuteronomy, there
are instructions for kings. In the New Testament, God even calls his
people kings and priests!
Years
ago, I listened to a sermon by Pastor D. James Kennedy of Florida,
who explained that the numbers of Christians who did not vote are so
high in this nation, that if those Christians who stayed home on
election day simply got up and went to the polls and cast their
ballots, every election for the last 50 years would have been
changed! (And that was over a decade ago!)
This
nation has been on a slippery slope for far too long and we are
nearing the bottom. If Christians do not wake up and start voting
the Bible and getting involved politically, we are going to lose our
nation and if we do the world will lose the greatest refuge of
freedom and liberty ever known to man. On November 6, when you are
thinking that you are too busy or that perhaps it is too cold to get
out to the polls, remember that and ask yourself what will happen
then? That is a world that I certainly do not want to see.
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