Moral statements and positions will, necessarily, impact political issues. This is not because morality is inherently political, but because government has the task of recognizing the difference between good and evil, so moral issues will have to be dealt with (Rom 13:3-4). This means that, contrary to what is so often stated and argued, morality will be legislated by government, and it will be legislated from a worldview that either recognizes the significance of God or not. To say that God needs to be kept out of politics, then, is to default to the secularized view of morality; and secularized morality will then be legislated. Why is it that people default to keeping God out of it instead of keeping the secularized views of reality out of it? And why do some Christians seem to be buying into all of this?
We need to see what has happened here. Many have bought into the notions that 1) God and religion must be kept out of politics, and 2) morality is not something that can be legislated. In fact, both are false. God is never out of politics, and we are fooling ourselves if we think so, given that God rules in the kingdoms of men. Every worldview says something about God. If a worldview says there is no God, then a notion of God is still a part of the position, and actions will be taken that demonstrate that disbelief. Further, every law is a legislation of morality in one form or another; there is no way around it. The question is, will the legislation come from those whose worldview respects God as the foundation or not?
I don’t say all of this in order to argue that Christians need to get more political. I’m arguing that Christians need to say more about God and morality in every area of life. We don’t check our God at the door when we enter a political arena, and we don’t set aside godly morals when we engage the culture. We don’t take a moral view of something based on politics, but surely our political views ought to be based on godly morality. The point then is not that we need more political activists. The point is that we need to be more engaged in the moral discussions of our culture and take a stand for what is right, regardless of political fallout. In other words, it’s not about being political; it’s about standing for what’s right in the middle of a crooked and perverse generation.
Even more, we need to hold up the gospel itself to the world. The answer to our problems is not to vote in or out this or that politician. No government in history has been a bastion of godliness, and I don’t expect that to change. The answer is always where it has been: in Christ. The problems of this world won’t be fixed by human government, but by the gospel. “The kingdoms of earth pass away one by one, but the kingdom of heaven remains.”
So Christians should be concerned with 1) holding out the gospel to a lost world, and 2) standing up for Christ and His morality. It’s not politics. It’s just what’s right.
Christians have a story to tell. Jesus told the apostles to “Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation.” (Mark 16:15) The Lord said of Saul, “He is a chosen instrument of mine to carry my name before the Gentiles and kings and the children of Israel.” (Acts 9:15)
I know these two passages have to do with apostolic duty, but there are many others which lay this work on all of God’s Children. Paul told the evangelist Timothy to “preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching.” (2 Tim. 4:2) Peter gave a more general charge to all Christians in 1 Peter 3:15. He said, “ but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect.”
God’s people face constant and consistent pressure to say nothing about the evils of sin. Society tells us to be quiet and if not we are accused of all manner bigotry, phobia, and wickedness. Family and friends may try to dissuade us from speaking the truth. Threats can paralyze us with the fear of harm and suffering.
Then we come to the “fun” part of sin, that which entices and lures us into compromising God’s Will. People all around us, what seems like the vast majority, do things condemned God and yet they seem happy. Not only do they seem happy, but they talk about all of the good times they enjoy by removing the chains of guilt cause by Bible morality. We are told, “do what you want to do, when you want to do it, and don’t let anything stand in your way of a ‘good’ time.”
It can seem as if we are almost embarrassed or ashamed to speak up on behalf of God and the Bible. Paul was certainly never ashamed of the gospel and he spoke up every chance he got. He had an opportunity to teach Felix, Festus, and King Agrippa, all three were Roman officials. Perhaps it would have been better on him to keep silent, but his love for the Lord and desire to teach the lost would not permit him to say nothing. (Rom. 1:16) He wanted people to know about Jesus, the way of salvation, and faithful service. He was not afraid to call sin for what it is or to tell people they needed to change.
We are told to expose evil conduct and people. Ephesians 5:11-12 Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them. (12) For it is shameful even to speak of the things that they do in secret. If Satan can just keep us silent, not speaking out when we know evil is gaining the upper hand on so many people. The Devil is our enemy and he wants only our demise. Be sober-minded and watchful. Resist him with all of your being. (1 Peter 5:8-9)
SPEAK UP AND BE HEARD as soldiers of Christ.