A recent 2013 analysis of Voting by Protestants in the 2012 Presidential Election by George Barna for the Study of American Culture & Faith reports that 39 million who were registered, did not Vote. The very enormity of this negligence would be considered an apparent death wish by our Founders.
Sam Adams, a signer of the Declaration of Independence and considered the Father of the American Revolutions said, “Let each citizen remember at the moment he is offering his vote…that he is executing one of the most solemn trusts in human society for which he is accountable to God and his country.” You would think, by the silence of our pulpits on egregiously important moral issues of the day – including monetary policy, and a federal government that ignores our constitutional protections of God granted rights – that we Christians, as citizens of heaven…and earth, are somehow mandated to keep silent, to remain on the sidelines of America’s civil government and culture; as if our only responsibility was to proclaim over and over and over again that all that matters is that individuals receive Jesus Christ through faith in order for their sins to be forgiven, and to live eternally by His substitutionary death for our sins on a Roman cross.
Is that it? Is that the extent of “The Gospel”? Or is this missing the mark when it comes to the only purpose of our salvation and responsibility as His ‘Ambassadors’ to mankind? Is this not a virtual misread of the entirety of Scripture, a head in the sand avoidance of what Moses, The Prophets, Jesus, and the Apostles taught? No book ever written deals more with all aspects of life, including the politics and governance of man on the earth, than the Bible.
Moses was called by God to confront Pharaoh over the continued enslavement and abuse of God’s people; to teach the Israelites how to live and govern themselves under God’s laws before and after they entered the Promised Land. The Prophet Nathan was called to confront King David with his sin, the truth of which, pointedly spoken, led to David’s repentance and restoration. The Prophets were called to remind both the people and their kings – even to the loss of their own lives – about the laws of God, righteousness and justice. Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego refused to obey ungodly laws and told the King to his face that they would not bow down to them. God honored their loyalty and obedience. Queen Esther took her life in her own hands when she spoke to the King on behalf of her own people. The Apostle Paul taught that civil authorities, and civil government was ordained of God to keep order amongst men, protect the righteous and punish evil doers; that all men were under authority. In Second Corinthians chapter ten, he said, “For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds; casting down imaginations and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.” Nothing could be more clear.
Our pastors and Christian leaders are called to speak against ‘strongholds‘ of vice, corruption, ungodly and immoral laws, and address foolish imaginings of ungodly men who impose their edicts, immoral policies, and executive orders in defiance of ‘the knowledge of God‘.
Jesus told Pilate, that even he, in his role as Rome’s authority in Palestine, was under God’s authority. Do we think our elected officials and appointed bureaucrats are not under that same authority? Who then should boldly call them to account if it is not those who claim to believe the revelation of God in the Scriptures, and profess to follow Christ and shepherd His people?
Our pastors and Christian leaders have a responsibility before God to speak out on the moral and ethical issues of our day, and call us to our citizenship duty to honor God, His promises, His Word, and Christ’s command to be the preserver of His truth, and a light on the path of our neighbor.
As Dietrich Bonhoeffer, pastor and theologian during the Nazi regime in Germany said, “Silence in the face of evil is in itself evil: God will not hold us guiltless. Not to speak is to speak. Not to act, is to act.”
Founder and President