What will your and your church’s Response be?

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?


Elizabeth Rundle Charles, The Chronicles of the Schoenberg Cotta Family (Thomas Nelson, 1864).

Comments

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This is not what Jesus taught.  
Read the words again.  He taught. He taught to help others.  He didn't teach people to be self-righteous and hate others that didn't believe exactly like them.  

So I guess you'll be voluntarily giving up that tax-exempt status religious institutions get, huh?

Dear "anonymous",

I would gladly welcome ridding the churches of the unjustified (and largely voluntary) shackles on them.

The IRS code and even the very instructions for applying for 501c3 status are abundantly clear that bonafide churches DO NOT NEED 501c3 status to be tax-exempt or for their congregations' donations to be tax deductible.  My church never even applied for it.  The history of the 501c3 US code and the related status of most churches today (with their apparent fear of speaking out on clear moral issues from the Bible) is a sad chapter in the ongoing "how to silence the Church" book.  If it were not for American churches and outspoken pastors in the mid to late 1700s, America would not exist today.

I would also encourage you to check out one or more local churches in your area, politically active or not.

Blessings to you and yours.

Mark

Dear "anonymous":

He certainly did not teach that you should tolerate everything.  He did not teach that you should be encouraging people (or nations) to continue their sinful ways.  He personally overturned the moneychangers' tables in the Temple.  Neither are you, me or others, Jesus.

I submit that the principles the Founders used to set up this great nation (e.g. Judeo-Christian, free market commerce, severely limited government, self-evident truths, rights given by God and not man or man's government, etc.), have resulted in "helping" more people in the past two centuries or so -- in terms of both abstract freedom AND in providing material goods such as food, clothing, housing -- than any country has ever helped their own or other peoples in the prior recorded history of the world, combined! 

Please explain just how the destruction of those successful, moral, and Biblical principles (tending inevitably, whether you mean it this way or not, toward big government, socialism, and eventually communism and fascism), is somehow better.

Please explain how ignoring the destruction of America as constituted, moving towards bigger and bigger government that both people and government begin to think is more powerful than God, is promoting Jesus' teachings.  The very first Commandment comes to mind.

Please explain just how the experiments with other forms of government, complete with the horrifying death toll in the last century from socialist/communist governments estimated at well over 100 million human souls, not including aborted babies, have been successful.

100 years ago there were academic arguments as to which type of economic system might be the best.  Today we have data.  The socialist systems failed economically, morally, and worse; often ended up with murderous, sometimes genocidal "leaders".  They nearly universally tried to stamp out faith in countries where tried.  Why do you want to go down that path yet again in ANY country?

You buy-bull bangin' New Apostolic Reformation Jerks for Jesus Texas cow plops are phuken nuts!! 

Get your insane, bigoted, puss-filled gawd finger outs of my governance and limnit the Jesus suppositories you give to each other! 

There is no gawd...RATIONAL ATHIESISM WILL RULE and you any your kind of hand wavin' in the air psychopaths when the Rev. Billy Bob Cornholer preaches 'bout the baby Jesus will once again be relagated to the back woods and hills of this country's rural inbreds.

 

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