What will your and your church’s Response be?
by Mark Ramsey on August 11, 2011 at 12:12 PM
How many times have you heard that “It’s not polite to discuss politics or religion?”
Really? Who coined such a ridiculous adage? What could possibly be more important than what sort of country we’ll hand over to our children or where you, I, and others will spend eternity? Sports? Weather? TV sitcoms? Movies? Video games? Stock markets? Facebook profile pictures?
I humbly submit that we are in the midst of various crises today precisely because we have not focused on the things that really matter. Religion and government are at the very top of the list of oft-ignored topics—ignored at our great peril.
The Founders of this great country would have no problem ascertaining where our collective weakness has come from. Neither would outside observers. Neither would enemies. Why does the group Americans United for Separation of Church and State exist? They are enemies of what is good about America. Why does the ACLU exist? They are enemies of what made this country the envy of the world. What is the so-called progressive movement (the extreme leftist leadership of the Democratic Party) trying to do in America? They want to destroy us as constituted and remake America in their unachievable utopian image.
Inextricably linked to discussing politics and religion is the question of how churches should be involved. To ignore the complete culture war raging around us, to stand down from the battlefields of government, academia, and media is tantamount to ceding those pillars of power to the devil himself. Absent any restraint, power degenerates and degrades whoever possesses it. Power must be bound tightly, restrained, harnessed and directed—the message of the Constitution—not permitted to run unshackled and roughshod over an unsuspecting population.
Christianity dutifully sitting only on the sidelines of politics has been tamed by and is subservient to those politicians. The two are intertwined so closely with our future that Christians must become politicians, at least for this season. We must participate. When “city hall” is on the wrong side of issues—all issues—we must fight city hall. We must be city hall. From the school house to the White House the enemies of Christ and America must be challenged.
What about the churches themselves? What about the pastors, ministers, clergy, and staff?
A speaker at The Response this past Saturday August 6, 2011, reminded us of what the nineteenth century theologian Charles Finney said about this very question, still relevant over 100 years later.
“THE PULPIT IS RESPONSIBLE: 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 G. Finney, December 4, 1873
19th century Anglican author Elizabeth Rundle Charles, in an historical novel about the excommunication of Martin Luther, may have said it best.
It is the truth which is assailed in any age which tests our fidelity. It is to confess we are called, not merely to profess. If I profess, with the loudest voice and the clearest exposition, every portion of the truth of God except precisely that little point which the world and the devil are at that moment attacking, I am not confessing Christ, however boldly I may be professing Christianity. Where the battle rages the loyalty of the soldier is proved; and to be steady on all the battle-field besides is mere flight and disgrace to him if he flinches at that one point. [Emphasis added]
What about the Biblical issue of obeying leaders? Simply put, in America, We The People are the government—specifically we are the source of power and the authority under our Creator God. The government should be obeying us. They are not. They are out of control, or perhaps worse, under the control of others. They passed Obama-care in direct disobedience to the clear wishes of the people. They passed the TARP, instituted quantitative easing 1 and 2, provided endless bailouts, nationalized car and insurance companies, provided Wall Street handouts to Goldman Sachs and other friends of big government, shut down the drilling for American oil, sent taxpayer money to foreign banks and governments, and continue to print fiat paper and electronic money thus irreparably debasing it, all in direct disobedience to We The People and all in violation of common sense. The list goes on and on, and culminates in the truly abominable “debt deal” that not only does not reduce the overall debt, it does not even significantly decrease the deficit. They punted. The deal was so bad that an unprecedented 2% of surveyed American adults—independents and both parties combined--had anything positive to say about it.
To not promote Free Market solutions is to capitulate to Marxist/Socialist ones.
To not object to sin is to encourage its spreading.
To do nothing to oppose evil is to let it triumph. With today’s communications, it is to willingly let it triumph. To stay silent or to keep your light “under a basket” is to allow the enemies of America—and of Christ—to shout from the rooftops unopposed.
Neither is “polite”.
The battlefields for the future hearts, minds and very souls of our planet are at stake in today’s political and culture wars. We must bring the local, state, and national dialogue from the dinner table, back to the pulpits and churches and bring overtly Christian dialogue back to the public square. We must be soldiers in these wars, precisely at the points the world and the devil are at this moment attacking!
Whether or not you attended The Response, what will be your and your church’s personal response?