As the November elections approach, many of our most devout Christians are sitting on the sidelines rather than actively taking part, believing that religion and politics do not mix. There are a number of reasons why this view is so prevalent among Christian Churches and Christians in general. Most important, perhaps is the fact that the New Testament and the ministry of Jesus are apolitical. Another important reason why Churches and Christians are not as involved in politics as they perhaps should be is the politically correct, although historically incorrect, theory of the separation of church and state.
Jesus did not come to earth as a political leader. He did not come to establish an earthly kingdom. Neither was his purpose to lead a rebellion against the Roman Empire. Jesus came to proclaim the gospel of salvation and the Kingdom of Heaven. Politics, as we know it today, did not exist at the time of Christ. Political differences were settled with the sword, not at the ballot box.
At the time of Jesus’ birth the Angels proclaimed “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men!” (Luke 2:14) and so it was. While the Prince of Peace walked the earth, the earth was at peace. There were no wars anywhere among the civilized nations while Jesus was on earth. The Caesar Octavian had eliminated Mark Anthony and Cleopatra, his last important political rivals in 31 BC at the Battle of Actium. When Jesus was a teenager, Octavian, then known as Caesar Augustus died, and his adopted son Tiberius assumed power, heralding the end of the Empire as a republic and the beginning of the Roman Principate.
During the three years of Christ’s ministry, the entire known world was under Caesar Tiberius as the supreme ruler. During that time and for many years afterward, the citizens of Rome still enjoyed the relative liberty of the Roman Republic. Due to the variety of religions and cultures in the Roman Empire, there was a high degree of tolerance practiced toward the many religions and cults. The Jewish religion was one of those protected by Rome. Their protection was justified by Roman authorities by classifying synagogues as “colleges”. The wide spread tolerance of religion by the Roman government and the unity of the Roman Empire was instrumental in the spread of the gospel throughout the civilized world during the early church age. There was no reason for Christ or the early Churches to involve themselves in the politics of the day.
It would be a mistake, however, to conclude from these facts that Christians should not participate in politics. The New Testament covers a period of less than a hundred years, the ministry of Christ only three. For the reasons mentioned above the early Christians had little motivation to become involved in politics. For political guidance we have to go to the Old Testament which covers a period of about 3500 years from Creation to Malachi. The lessons we learn from the Old Testament in its totality, concerning governance, are that God macro manages the affairs of nations according to His will and, for the most part, leaves the micro managing of day to day politics up to the people and their leaders.
Moses records in Deuteronomy 17:14, 15; “When thou art come unto the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee, and shalt possess it, and shalt dwell therein, and shalt say, I will set a king over me, like as all the nations that are about me; Thou shalt in any wise set him king over thee, whom the LORD thy God shall choose:”
The next five verses contain a brief “constitution” for the King to follow. He is not to enrich himself; he is not to have multiple wives; he is to consult the “constitution” daily, he is not to lead the people astray, and he is not to exalt himself above the people.
This prophecy came to pass some three hundred years later during the life of Samuel the Prophet and is recorded in I Samuel 8:4-7.
“Then all the elders of Israel gathered themselves together, and came to Samuel unto Ramah, and said unto him, behold, thou art old, and thy sons walk not in thy ways: now make us a king to judge us like all the nations. But the thing displeased Samuel, when they said, Give us a king to judge us. And Samuel prayed unto the LORD. And the LORD said unto Samuel, hearken unto the voice of the people in all that they say unto thee: for they have not rejected thee, but they have rejected me, that I should not reign over them.”
In the following verses, Samuel warns the people of the consequences and dangers of having a King rule over them, but the people persisted and God, through the Prophet Samuel, gives Israel Saul as their first King. For the next thousand years or so Israel and later Judea existed as Kingdoms. Whenever they lapsed into idolatry or otherwise rebelled against God’s commandments God’s wrath was poured out in judgment. After warnings by the prophets and calls to repentance, the people suffered the consequences of their apostasies when they failed to heed the warnings. Eventually they lost their sovereignty and at the time of Christ, fifteen hundred years later, they were under the domination of the Roman Empire.
The danger we face today is not from socialism or Islam, but from the danger that God will withhold his blessings from us as a nation or that He will judge us by allowing us to be conquered from within through statism and socialism ending in tyranny. Why should He not? America was established under the providence of God and blessed above all other nations of history as an exceptional nation, envied and sought out by all the peoples of the world. Over the past hundred years we have departed from the principles on which we were founded.
Our leaders no longer make any attempt at following our Constitution; we pride ourselves on tolerating the sins of Baal, human sacrifice (abortion) and the sins of Sodom and Gomorrah. We entertain ourselves daily on violence and lasciviousness through our entertainment media. We no longer demand morality and virtue from our elected officials. We not only tolerate corruption we even admire, to an extent, officials who traffic in corruption. The list is too long to mention them all, but some examples are, ex-governor Blagojevich, Mayor Richard Daley, Congressman Charles Rangel, and ex-President Bill Clinton, just to name a few.
Like Israel, we have turned aside from following the precepts of God and to idolatry, worshiping at the alter of environmentalism and the god Gaia, worshiping the creation rather than the Creator. We bow at the alter of statism, and seek the blessings of socialism rather than the blessings of God. If I may quote Thomas Jefferson out of context, “Indeed I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just: that his justice cannot sleep forever..; The Almighty has no attribute which can take side with us in such a context.”
Jesus said, we are “the light of the world” and “the salt of the earth, if the salt hath lost its savor, wherewith shall it be salted”. When we consider these words of Jesus and apply them to today we might conclude that it is only the presence of God’s people in America that stays His hand of judgment. If the churches and Christians do not cry out against the sins of America, who will? If we sit idly by and passively watch as our country progresses deeper into socialism and corruption without lifting our voice, we become accomplices to tyranny. These are the thoughts that should guide our decision on November 2, not whether or not our party can win an election.
Reprinted from Christian Patriots