DO THE WORK OF A POLITICAL EVANGELIST: INTRODUCING MY BARBWIRE COLUMN
No, this column won’t be the place to come for a discussion of Biblical theology; Political theology, yes, Christianity no. If it’s apologetics or Bible school you’re looking for — you know where to go. Find a good church or utilize some of the wonderful resources that can be found on the Web (you can start right here at BarbWire).
My use of 1 Timothy 4:5 in the title above isn’t meant to mislead. My paraphrase of Paul’s note to Timothy is merely used to connect the words of God our Father with something the “father” of our country once said. Here’s George Washington writing in 1789:
It should be the highest ambition of every American to extend his views beyond himself, and to bear in mind that his conduct will not only affect himself, his country, and his immediate posterity; but that its influence may be co-extensive with the world, and stamp political happiness or misery on ages yet unborn.
The debate whether Christians should be active in politics has been going on for a very long time and everyone can believe what they want. Like the Founding Fathers, many of whom were committed Christians, I come down on the side of the big ‘yes.’ If Jesus were to return tomorrow I’d be thrilled. But I’m going to work as if my newly born grand niece will die in her old age sometime in the next century, still awaiting Jesus’ return.
The question on the table is — what will the country be like a hundred years from now? Of course Christ’s “great commission” takes priority. It calls for obedience and it is the manifestation of what Jesus called “the greatest commandment.” Likewise, honoring your father and mother is only the beginning when it comes to a Christian’s responsibility to the family.
Somewhere on the list soon after those first two priorities, though, needs to be concern for the political structure of the government we live under and the culture that impacts it. John Adams connected government and culture early on when he wrote, “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”
We’ve drifted far from both that Constitution and from being a moral and religious people. If we are to leave the nation stronger than the one we were given — we’ve got our work cut out for us. The Founders had a vision, there has been a hundred year destructive progressivism insurgency, and it’s time for a counter insurgency.
This Judeo-Christian-based political conservative counter insurgency cannot be carried out, however, when too many on our side are not exactly sure what role they have to play, or what practical steps need to be taken.
This column will be a mix of good news and bad news. The good news is that despite our troubles, Jesus told us he has overcome the world. Some will disagree with my view that the proverbial fat lady hasn’t sung yet when it comes to this country. Some will think I’m crazy to believe that religious revival is still possible. Some might think I’m reaching a bit to view the recently discovered energy reserves as possible evidence that God isn’t finished with the United States yet.
The bad news is that we are losing the political information war — and our side is still failing to adequately mobilize in order to fight it. So let’s get practical.
The apostle Paul wrote of the big picture battle against “principalities and powers,” but he got down to brass tacks when he issued this charge to Timothy:
But you, keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry.
Similarly, a political fight surrounds us and there are plenty of practical actions that need to be discussed.
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