18 Oct 10/20/2012 – What should a Christian’s political stance be? – Pastor Shane Idleman
As America falls deeper into self-reliance and further from reliance on God, our need for Him has never been greater. It’s been said that one of the greatest mission fields in the world today is the United States. This is largely due to the fact that awe and respect for the Lord have been forgotten in America; yet,“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom and knowledge” (Psalm 111:10; Proverbs 1:7). We must start here.
Although voting is important, our hope does not reside in laws, but in the Law Giver; not in political power, but God’s power. Without question, repentance, prayer, and humility before God is our only hope.
How can we honor God and preserve our values? Here are the key points discussed in the last few articles:
1. Lead a life of integrity regardless of what society promotes. Although only a select few can change government policy, all of us can build a life of moral integrity while staying committed to God’s Word. Certain “rights” and “wrongs” called absolutes are given by God to save man from himself. One of the best ways to make a difference is to live a life based on moral absolutes, and by letting honesty and integrity guide our decisions.
2.Pray and fast for our nation.Prayer is more powerful than protest! We should not rely on political power, but on the power of God through prayer.For those who doubt the power of prayer in America’s history, consider this excerpt from the book, One Nation Under God—The History of Prayer in America:“Prayer stands as one of the most critical and indisputable factors to have influenced the course of American history.”
3.Vote for principles, not a particular party.“He who rules over men must be just” (2 Samuel 23:3). We need more humble, God-fearing leaders. The Lord hates pride, arrogance, and self-centeredness. Without humility and a teachable spirit, it’s difficult, if not impossible, to govern properly. Humility does not mean that leaders become passive pawns, but that they live in total surrender to God; they’re more concerned with God’s opinion than opinion polls.
4.Become involved, but with the right motives. Don’t initiate or pursue anything with a rebellious, prideful attitude. You can be right in your reasoning, yet wrong in your attitude. Anger over issues that anger the Lord, such as crime, abortion, pornography, abuse, oppression, and so on, is justifiable and can cause positive action. If anger causes damage to another, or personally damages your character, it’s probably not accomplishing God’s purpose. If anger sparks prayer and a Christlike stance, it can be productive.
5.Engage, not enrage, the culture. Since evangelicals are often viewed as irrational, conceited, narrow-minded, and unintelligent, we need to engage the culture with humility, wisdom, patience, and discernment. Why would God ordain a government such as ours in America and not ask us to be involved? That’s why it’s important to know both sides of political “hot buttons”—knowledge allows us to make the right decisions.
6.Recognize diversity.In my opinion, failure to recognize diverse gifts may explain why many people are divided on the issue of religion and politics. For instance, John MacArthur, James Dobson, Chuck Colson, Chuck Smith, Billy Graham, and D. James Kennedy have/had different ministries, but all fall under the umbrella of Christian service. God creates, within each of us, varying desires, talents, and levels of interests. If God has called a man to preach and teach His Word, that will be his passion. If God has called a Christian to pursue politics, that will be his or her passion, and so on. Problems arise when we become judgmental and fail to respect our differences. Activists should not expect everyone to share their passion for politics, and those who believe Christians should stay out of politics must understand that God clearly calls some Christians to the political arena. God established the authority of government, why would He not desire godly leadership?
7.Expect opposition.As you begin to make a difference and honor God’s Word, expect opposition. The enemy will oppose you through self-doubt, misplaced anger, impatience, and un-forgiveness. He’ll use pessimistic people and/or fill your mind with negative thoughts in an attempt to discourage you. Those trying to make a difference may be taunted by the thought, “It’s useless; why try?” or, “God can’t really use me.” The enemy emphasizes the negative, but God, not the enemy, oversees the process. When God is for you, no one can stand against you. God is greater than the challenge that you are facing.
8.Never give up. You can make a difference. God will move mountains on behalf of one committed person, but it often takes time. You might think you are one of only a few in your community who is concerned about doing what is right. Elijah, an Old Testament prophet, felt this way when he cried: “They have torn down Your altars and killed Your prophets, and only I am left.” But God responded, I have seven thousand people you do not know about who are still loyal to Me. (See 1 Kings 19.) Be encouraged: God simply asks that we do our part while He does His.
Again, we can no longer hide behind the excuse, “I don’t want to get involved.” As citizens, we are given the privilege, for now, to place people in positions of leadership.Whether we like it or not, we are involved. Millions are not registered to vote; and millions of registered voters stay at home. We’ll stand in line to see a movie, but we won’t stand in line to vote and elect leaders who will affect the direction of our country. This makes a statement about what we value—and isn’t it sad.
[VIEW THE ACCOMPANYING SERMON AT WWW.WCFAV.ORG UNDER, 10/6/2012 “Proverbs 4: Manasseh & America–Do Not Forsake My Law”]