It is far too easy for evangelical Christians to exchange the most noble ministry of reconciling lost souls to Jesus Christ for a secondary endeavor of seeking to bring the nation in which they reside around to morality and peace. That is not to say that there is no place for political activism or national concern within the scope of Christian living, but for the past 40 years American Churches have emphasized a certain nationalism that seems to equate patriotism and conservative politics with the great commission. In as much as God has enabled saints to be a force for righteousness within a nation, they ought to avail themselves of it; but never to substitute the universal gospel of personal salvation through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ for social, political, or moral change within the nation.
The idea that God will be pleased with a certain level of morality within the United States of America and then in retribution bring blessing in the form of material, security, safety, and liberty is a foreign one in Scripture. The security that American Christians have known in the past hundreds of years is an aberration in church history. But then again, the materialism and complacency within the professing church is also an aberration in the history of the church. Is it possible that the apathy and moral ineptitude is directly related to the ease at which one can be a Christian in this nation? Does not comfort produce complacency? Did not Christ promise his true disciples that they would be hated by this world. And does not all the Biblical record portray a suffering church (albeit drastically growing church) rather than a “blessed” church? If we seek revival and subsequent awakening in this land, we must first realize that to pray for such will produce trial, struggle, and persecution. Revivals among God’s people do not generally produce fruit where their is little persecution and hardship. We must think carefully about whether or not we are willing to have the true fruits of revival, which would include being outcasts in society, persecuted, hated, and generally labeled as being “unpatriotic.”
We must never forget that our mission on this earth is not to build governments, kingdoms, or social betterments. Our mission on this spinning orb is to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ which will save sinners from the power, penalty, and presence of evil, not to moralize a society. We must not have as our primary goal a seeking after change in government or society but in the transformation of a sinful life for the service of King Jesus. The greatest “political” action that we can engage in as an evangelical is the bold proclamation of the “evagel”-the Gospel. We preach Christ and trust God to open the eyes of the blind.
All that being said, we must also not forget that God does judge nations, not just individuals. The entire book of Amos is a warning of judgment against a series of nations. One that intrigued me in my time of devotion was Ammon. “For three transgressions of the people of Ammon, and for four, I will not turn away its punishment, because they ripped open women with child in Gilead, that they might enlarge their territory” (Amos 1:13). God issues a decree of judgment against this nation because of its greed. Its materialistic gain was so compelling that it was willing to practice a crude form of population control with its neighbor to increase its land possession. This population control took the form of killing the unborn. How much different is this from the current state of America where millions of unborn children have been “ripped up” in order to placate the comfort, monetary viability, or to escape the hardship of parenting. Truly, what is the difference between Ammon’s practice of abortion for land gain, and America’s practice of abortion for gain of comfort? The same judgment that came upon Ammon no doubt will come upon the United States of America but what can we do about it? By “we” I mean born again Christians. First, we can recognize that no amount of politicizing, moral outrage, and discipline will change this. This nation is not a Christian nation, it is a pagan nation with Christian principles at its roots. Therefore the most important thing we can do is to clearly and boldly proclaim the Gospel of transformation through Jesus Christ. Sinners do what sinners do, namely…they sin. But the power of the Gospel can change the heart and mind of sinners and in conforming to the will of God, the true saint will repent of this wickedness. So, number 1–preach the Gospel. Secondly, we can avail ourselves, because of God’s providential blessing, of supporting leaders who value human life, especially the unborn. Third, we must realize the abortion is really not the main issue, the issue is a lack of understanding or submission to the person and character of God–the one who is life! Also greed and materialism have created the excuse relied upon by those who support abortion. The myth of population control and other such unbiblical philosophies have come about because man wants to “maintain a certain living standard.” As long as Christians buy into the same idea of comfort and security and material idolatry, we will not be diligent to preach the Gospel of sufficiency in Jesus Christ.
There is more rolling around in my mind and I hope to write some more later.