Free MP3 download By Andrew Wommack Original link: http://awmi.net/extra/article/christians_politics
There is a myth that abounds in the American church today that says, “If Christians don’t get actively involved in politics, we will lose our religious freedoms.”
In the ‘70s and ‘80s, this philosophy caused the largest grassroots swell of evangelical Christians into the American political process that we have ever seen. That yielded twelve years of conservative presidents in the White House and changed the makeup of the Supreme Court from liberal to moderate conservatives.
What are the results? While there were some good results, it is easy to say that politics haven’t solved our problems. At best, many social ills were stayed off a little longer. But, abortion still claims 1.5 million innocent victims per year, and the moral fabric of America appears to be unraveling.
Does this mean that we are doomed? Only if we continue to trust government to do what the church is supposed to do. Our form of government was never intended to change society. Government is incapable of producing morality. It can restrain immorality but only if the church has already established a moral foundation in the hearts of men.
Listen to what John Adams, the second president of the United States wrote:
Our Constitution was designed only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate for the government of any other….Free government rests upon public and private morality.”
What a statement! Our government hasn’t failed. The church has failed to be the salt of the earth that Jesus said we were to be (Matt. 5:13). Granted, things are not as bleak as the media portrays, but public relations is a part of the war. The church has got to make its presence known outside the walls of its buildings.
Read what Dr. Jedediah Morse said in 1799:
“In proportion as the genuine effects of Christianity are diminished in any nation, either through unbelief, or the corruption of its doctrines, or the neglect of its institutions; in the same proportion will the people of that nation recede from the blessings of genuine freedom…. Whenever the pillars of Christianity shall be overthrown, our present republican forms of government, and all the blessings which flow from them, must fall with them”.
He was saying that Christianity, not government, was the driving force behind true freedom. Government cannot give our society what Christianity has failed to give it. The moral character that makes democracy a responsible form of government must come from the response of individuals to the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ.
The second World War brought America back to her knees as many wars had done before. During and after this war, there was a revival that statisticians still refer back to as the era of highest church attendance in recent history. However, repentance and seeking God produced peace and a period of prosperity that lulled the church to sleep. The results were that a new generation was raised with the gods of materialism and selfishness: the “me” generation of the ‘60s and ‘70s.
As these “baby boomers” began to mature, they attacked every moral tradition of our society. They made tremendous gains with their new morality through the court system and by gaining control of the colleges and media industries.
How did the church react? In a variety of ways, some of which were good. Many people began seeking the Lord, and the Lord answered through what is often called the “Jesus People Movement,” the “Charismatic Movement,” the “Lay Witness Renewal Movement,” the “Word Movement,” and others. These revivals were not spearheaded by any individual, and yet they had worldwide impact. Truly this was a mighty move of God’s Spirit that is continuing today.
Yet, as a whole, the church’s response was to promote political involvement as the answer to society’s woes. Make no mistake, a Christian who lives in a country that provides the freedom to govern through voting or holding political office has responsibilities to participate. But for many people, being politically active has not been one of their weapons against the moral decline of this country, it has been the only weapon. We have looked to government to do what Jesus looks to His people to do.
That was certainly evident in the Clinton years. Many Christians were devastated that he was elected president in 1992. They lost hope because a man was president who openly favored many things that the Bible denounces. I heard statements like “We’re doomed!” That’s because many Christians’ hopes were in politics more than in God.
Calvin Coolidge, the thirtieth president of the United States (1923-29) declared,
“The foundations of our society and our government rest so much on the teachings of the Bible that it would be difficult to support them (the foundations of society) if faith in these teachings would cease to be practically universal in our country.”
The reason our society is sick today isn’t because of government; it is because the church has not made faith in the teachings of the Bible “practically universally in our country.” Once we cease to win the hearts of men, it is inevitable that these ungodly men will make their way into leadership roles and take the country with them.
The most important thing that we as Christians can do today to save our freedoms and preserve this union is to start being the light and salt that God called us to be. If we change people’s hearts with the gospel, the people will change government with their votes.
William Penn, the founder of Pennsylvania, wrote in the early 1700s,
“Government seems to me to be a part of religion itself….Let men be good, and the government cannot be bad.”
The greatest influence that Christians can exert on our society is not political but spiritual. If Christians would take their duty to share their faith as seriously as they take their freedom to vote, we would see things change.
Our Colorado Springs Crisis Pregnancy Center, which I helped establish, is a good example of this. In a front page article in the Colorado Springs Gazette, the paper credited the Pregnancy Center as the reason the abortion rate in El Paso County, Colorado, had been cut in half. This has, in turn, reduced the abortion rate in the entire state by one-third. We’ve affected the abortion problem more in a short period of time than years of legislative attempts have been able to do. We didn’t picket abortion clinics or spend huge amounts of money lobbying politicians. We touched the hearts of pregnant women with Jesus’ truth and love, and they chose not to have abortions. Hallelujah!
That does not mean it is wrong to pursue legal action and political means to right wrongs. We should do both, but the emphasis must be on the power of the Gospel to change hearts. That’s where our real power lies.
Billy Graham was asked during the 1950s to run for president. He responded by saying that he wouldn’t lower himself to that position. That was not a put-down of the office of the president but rather an elevation of the office of a minister of the Gospel. The Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ has more power to change the hearts of men than all the military might and legislative powers of any government.
Paul lived in one of the most immoral and politically corrupt societies that the world has ever known. Yet he advocated no political action. Instead, he told the Christians to submit to government (Rom. 13) and pray for those in authority (1 Tim. 2:1-3). He effected change in society one heart at a time. In a relatively short period of time, Christianity became the official religion of the empire that once threw its followers to the lions.
Elias Boudinot, president of the Continental Congress in 1783, and later a congressman from New Jersey, who also served as president of the American Bible Society, said,
“If the moral character of a people once degenerate, their political character must soon follow”.
The way to save the political character of this nation is to change the moral character of its people with the Gospel. The founding fathers of this nation understood this.
Consider these words that Thomas Jefferson wrote on the front of his well-worn Bible: “I am a real Christian, that is to say, a disciple of the doctrines of Jesus. I have little doubt that our whole country will soon be rallied to the unity of our Creator.” He was also the chairman of the American Bible Society, which he considered his highest and most important role.
The quotes that I’ve listed here show that they weren’t looking to government to change their society but to safeguard the values that already existed. America’s values declined long ago, and we are now seeing the results of that moral decay in our government.
There is a civil war going on in America today, but it is not political. Sure, courts and politics are some of the battlegrounds, but this is a war between light and dark, the truth of the Gospel and the lies of the devil, between the people of God and the children of the devil. The Enemy masks himself behind individual rights and personal liberties, but make no mistake, the goal is to eliminate God and His influence from our society so the ungodly can indulge in their lifestyle without conviction.
We must get back to the basics of changing the hearts of men one at a time with the Gospel. Thirty-four percent of Americans say they are born again (“What Americans Believe,” George Barna, p. 181). If each born-again Christian would just lead one other person to true faith in Jesus during the next year, there would be sixty-eight percent of the total population born again at election time next year, and there would be change.
The church needs to refocus its energies back to the Great Commission that our Lord Jesus Christ gave us:
“Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen” (Matt. 28:19-20).
I have made a new teaching entitled “Christians and Politics.” This teaching will go into much more detail than what I’ve been able to do here, and I believe it could point you in the right direction so you could make the biggest impact possible for the Lord. As I said, there will be many Christians lamenting our country’s condition and urging political involvement as the answer. The best thing we can do is share our faith and see Jesus change the hearts of individuals.