Do we “take the gospel and go for the root“, come what may?
I watched the Iowa Caucus result for the selection process to begin in the nomination of the Republican Party candidate. I watched in anticipation to see where the candidate I support in the bunch was going in the process. Needless to say that I was disappointed by the results, but not all that surprised. Candidates for political office who demonstrate their faith in Jesus Christ is real never seem to get anywhere. And that is what has been bothering me…
If the one person you know is a real Christian can never be elected should you be supporting anyone who isn’t? Just how far afield can you go before you violate the Promise?
How much support can you give someone who does such things as claiming Evangelical Christianity and yet is Catholic, like Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum; Or Mormon, like Mitt Romney; Or makes silly claims like, “We are all God’s Children”, as Ron Paul did [this made me wonder how often Ron Paul cracks the cover on his Bible with such an immature comment]?
We get such mixed signals from men, and women, running for political office that sometimes you can get to feel like taffy being wrung out just a tad too much.
What is a Christian to do?
I just got a political fund-raiser email from Rick Santorum asking me to support him as “the only authentic, passionate conservative who can unite the GOP“. Such pomposity! I was angered at his claims. and then I remembered some of the comments a certain lady fair made about herself and I get that “taffy” feeling again.
If I support a professed Catholic, no matter how pro-life he claims to be, I support apostasy.
NO CHRISTIAN SHOULD EVER SUPPORT APOSTASY!
But if I continue to support someone who makes such prideful claims as Rick Santorum has made I just know I’m going feel it later when they blow there lids and demonstrate they are just another taffy-puller.
And I cannot support anyone who is not 100% Pro-Life. But neither can I stand with a candidate that thinks sexual deviance is not a sin…
…while professing Christianity!
So there is the dilemma. If you have been here, as I am, you know what some of the answers to this problem are:
- You don’t pass by a burning orphanage because you can’t save them all! No, you rush in and save as many as you can.
- You stand for what is right and let the dominoes fall where they may! Support the right candidate, regardless of the results!
- What? You are in Politics? Are you a Dominionist?
None of these are 100% right; there are issues with all of these approaches. And though they are obvious I will beg your indulgence while I explain it to the others like me who don’t get such things as quickly:
The first argument in Christian engagement is from Janet Folger (now Porter), of http://F2A.org [Faith to Action]. Janet lives for Pro-Life issues. So much so that she compromises the truth of the Gospel standing with those who are apostate in order to further the Pro-Life agenda in the culture, to save babies. You never compromise the Gospel; This is NOT something a Christian does. Her argument foments the same results she engenders should you follow it to the same conclusion. If you stand for as much as you can get then you are making progress, but never at the cost of Gospel Truth. [There is a key there if you heard it.] At what price Janet? God help me lady, because I love your heart in seeking to save children, but you are wrong.
Argument number 2 leaves me with a bad taste in my mouth and here is why:
You go to support who you KNOW can NEVER WIN but you doggedly continue, walking over the bodies of your victims in the process. Ouch, not good. “As long as my conscience is clear”, you say to yourself and anyone in earshot, nervously, “Then I know I am in the right!” That is a dismal failure for an argument.
So what does one do?
Ray Comfort, my hero because he is someone I would die for any day for the Lion his heart shows him to be, says…
“At the end of every year I sit through CBS’s miserable parade of Hollywood celebrities who passed into eternity during that year. My heart breaks because I know that they are just a handful of the 159,635 who die each day (Guinness World Records 2012, p. 103). As Christians, we have found everlasting life in Christ, but according to statistics many of us don’t think this is worth spreading. We have become silent on that issue and instead become politically passionate. However, evangelism was the primary agenda of the Church in the Book of Acts. It wasn’t to bring about change for a better life by changing Roman politics. That would have been to put the cart before the horse, and when that happens you aren’t going anywhere. That’s what has been happening in America for the last 30 years. Think about the moral issues we face and ask if they have got better or worse-abortion, pornography, violence, homosexual marriage, divorce, pedophilia, adultery, blasphemy and fornication. Every issue has escalated because the Church has attacked the fruit, when it should take the gospel and go for the root.”
And that my friends is argument #3:
Don’t get involved in the world’s endeavors because we are to work for a higher Calling, one that solves ALL problems “politics” hopes to remedy.
Well, has it? And don’t let anyone try that old canard on you of, “Well if they’d done it the right way all these years…” because I don’t believe in the 2000 years the Gospel has been preached it’s been wrong all this time. No, the Gospel does NOT change the culture; it was never intended to. The Gospel changes men from Hell-Bound sinners to saved Saints. But NARROW is the Way and FEW there are that find it. “SO? Why be involved at all?” , some conclude.
This problem of involvement has really been BUGGING me, as you can tell. I’m sure I am not alone. We stand for the Truth so we should stand for the truth in every venue, no?
I don’t like the Socialism I see in our present President, Barak Hussein Obama. Christians cannot be for Socialism.
Socialism is an ideology that does nothing but justify all manner of sin…
I have an influential friend… Well, at least I call him my friend; I’m not sure he calls me one… Brannon Howse of WorldViewTimes.com, and also David Wheaton of TheChristianWorldview.com, ADAMANTLY believes we cannot disengage ourselves from the world; believes that if we refuse to influence culture we face God in shame for our failure to DEFEND THE WEAKER among us, as our Bible, our Constitution, our Declaration of Independence, our Bill of Rights, and the blood of our fathers that calls to us from the ground of countless battlefields, that we remember WHY they sacrificed themselves for our Freedom, states we MUST do! This is one argument that SINGS in my heart! But WHY?
WHY do men lay down their lives for others? Why do men step out of where it is safe and face the dangers of this world? Why would I kill anyone who stepped into MY house and threatened my family, me, an ADAMANT Christian? Is God’s CALL one that is of Greater purpose than protecting the Weak?
Does God expect you to let your children die for Him?
Isn’t that the question? Isn’t this the ‘bottom line’ of the whole matter on whether we engage the culture?
What does God expect?
Are Christians to engage the culture or do we “take the gospel and go for the root”, come what may? That “come what may” is a terrible prospect, but isn’t this what the Martyrs did? But is that really all we do?
I have a better question for you…
How exactly do you NOT engage the culture?
I come from a Military family. My Dad is second generation West Point. He fought two tours in Vietnam. My Grandfather died a Brigadier General and fought in WWII. And my ancestor, Captain Burwell, was the Undersecretary to Thomas Jefferson, helping him write the Federalist Papers, the foundation of the Constitution of the United States of America. My history tells me the choice I make in defending Liberty is a heady one.
So will I say to my family that their sacrifice was a foolish chasing after the wind?
NOT ME BUDDY.
So where do we go from here?
I wrote a brief note on “WHY Christian’s Engage in Politics“, making note of what 27 Pastors were able to accomplish in reversing a city ordinance that made ‘legalizing’ deviant sex a matter of civil rights. I say “legalizing” because, no matter what man ‘legalizes’, what God calls criminal will still REMAIN criminal.
Let Yahweh be true and every man a liar!
Christians have a responsibility from the Bible to stand for the Truth AND to defend the weak, the very foundation of the documents which undergird this society.
CitizenLink asked the question “Do Christians have a duty to vote?” of David Barton, back in October 29 of 2002, to which he replied:
A Christian has a duty to vote probably more than any other citizen because of the biblical principles that are out there relating to nations. The Scripture tells us, Proverbs 14:34, that “Righteousness exalts a nation.” Well, righteousness comes from the national policies that are enacted, or, you could also say righteousness exalts a state or community and you determine righteousness on the basis of the public policies that are enacted—which means public leaders choose those public policies and enact them. That’s when we go to Proverbs 29:2, which tells us “When the righteous rule, the people rejoice (and) when the wicked rule, the people groan.”
In other words, ungodly, non-God-fearing people will not make righteous policies. You will not get, for example, God-fearing people to say it’s OK to have abortion, it’s OK to destroy the sanctity of marriage, it’s OK to promote certain things in schools. … So, what we find scripturally, is that God-fearing policies come from God- fearing people; and in America, the only way that God- fearing people can rule … is to be elected. If, as people of faith, we want righteousness to be exalted, we have to elect leaders who will exalt righteousness, and that’s the only way that God can bless the nation.
Wow, David, very well said. I don’t agree with your partnering with Rick Warren, a known Apostate, but you have this one right. You can read his full response here, it’s worth the look…
But you can take this idea too far. America is NOT “the shining city on a hill”, as Mitt Romney said in his stump speech at the Iowa Caucus in 2011, quoting President Reagan. That is wrong, we are not God’s Kingdom on earth. We DO represent that Kingdom, when we stand for what is True and Right and Good. But the U.S.A. is not “The Kingdom.” However, we are the ones who have the responsibility to defend the weak and provide a haven for the weary, as best we can, as God says good government should. Deny this fact and our discussion is OVER, Ron Paul.
“But what of our Calling“, you say?
ALL Christians are called to persecution but ONLY as God calls us to it, not in our timing or by our choice. If you think you should be martyred when you decide to be then go ahead and take a flight to Iran TODAY and preach the Gospel on the street corner. What the Muslims would do to you isn’t even repeatable in public. Remember what happened to the Christian young man when he went to North Korea to bring the Gospel to them? When he walked past the final South Korean checkpoint into the communist northern nation they began to mistreat that boy so badly he cannot even show his face in public now to talk about it.
No, we do, indeed, have an obligation to ‘stand in the gap’, as it were, for those who cannot defend themselves? Yes, we do. We have been given the privilege to live in a free society and we now have the responsibility to keep it free.
Someone go tell Ron Paul.
So how then should Christians engage this Lost world?
AS you can, where you are
It’s that simple. Our first Mission, Commission, is to Seek the Lost. But, God love you, Ray Comfort you are wrong about the rest:
It’s not an either-or situation.
As Christians we stand and support the candidate we can. And when we get someone who does not represent who we are we stand on their necks until they legislate their Biblically informed consciences, helping them get there by Preaching the Gospel to them at every turn. Will we succeed? Who cares? We do what is right.
Don’t let any Representative of yours move a muscle without your informing them, how right or wrong what they are doing is, by the Bible. Remember, results are not an indicator of the veracity of your argument.
The results of political involvement, just like preaching the Gospel, are neither the product of your delivery, or the hardened state of the recipient of your message.
Results are the venue of the Holy Spirit.
Just because the USA has gotten worse over the years does not mean we should STOP engaging the culture. Noah didn’t stop preaching the Gospel when no one but his own close family listened. Yet still, for 120 YEARS that man of God spoke of righteousness, of repentance and the Just Wrath of God. He did not stop and neither shall we. We shall preach both in word and in deed.
Am I a Dominionist? By NO means. We do not, can not, bring God’s Kingdom to Earth.
The Bible promises we will certainly fail to change the culture.
But we MUST not have a fatalistic attitude, walking by the burning building because we cannot save ALL of the burning babies is not a choice any Christian can accept. But neither can we be SO engaged in the culture that we lose sight of the Primary Objective: To seek and to save those that are lost with the Gospel of Jesus the Messiah.
Gospel first, everything else Second.
But certainly NOT one replacing the other, it is Both-And.
The Disciples were called pests by the Pharisees for a reason: They never stopped preaching the Gospel. We never see in scripture where they “got involved” in the goings on around them, but Jesus did HINT that we should when he did not tell the Centurion to stop being in the military. He had a perfect opportunity and said nothing of the sort. Instead He marveled at the man’s faith and used him as an example to others.
When John was asked by Roman soldiers how they should live, asking the very question we are addressing here, that of their engagement being Christians in the world, John told them to live, to ENGAGE, as Christians, in what they do…
Luke 3:14 http://bible.cc/luke/3-14.htm
“And soldiers also asked him, saying, And we, what must we do? And he said unto them, Extort from no man by violence, neither accuse any one wrongfully; and be content with your wages.”
- Extort from no man by violence
- Neither accuse any one wrongfully
- And be content with your wages
Sounds hauntingly familiar doesn’t it?
1 and 2: Do no harm to your fellow man (the last 6 Commandments)
3: Be grateful and content to God, the one from Whom they get their “wages” from (the first 4 Commandments)
In the end, the answer to this dilemma of “How far is too far?” is simple:
Every man must answer to Jesus, his conscience and his brothers for what he does.
What else do we have?
Can you look in the face of the oppressed and say “Jesus loves you” while doing nothing about their oppression? Can you look in the face of your children and say honestly that Christians don’t need to stand against dictators? Can you really?