I belong to a group of socially conscious folks, many of whom are Christians, who are ardently trying to reverse the trend of growing government that is threatening our religious liberties. I joined because I have become more and more concerned as I see Christian bakers and florists paying exorbitant fines for refusing to participate in gay weddings. Now I get a steady stream of articles on the threats of militant gays to legalize same sex marriage and I wonder how long it will be before churches are forced to perform gay weddings and Christian adoption agencies are forced to place children with same-sex couples.
Yet I never hear a word about any of this in church. The pastor never addresses these issues from the pulpit and the people don’t talk about them. Some folks even act as though it is not spiritual to engage the culture on these issues because only Jesus Christ will bring justice.
I will admit that government is not the final solution. But it is the very religious liberties we hold so dear that have enabled us with God’s help to spread the gospel around the globe and bring relief to millions of people in distress. Our group of activists may or may not succeed in reigning in the federal government. At this point the threshold for success is so high and the prospects for the government acquiescing so dim that I am doubtful.
Our solution is based on a provision of the Constitution that was intended for times when government has become so large and oppressive that it denies the very freedoms the Founding Fathers sought to preserve and protect. It vests the states with full and unfettered authority to impose their will on the federal government with or without its consent. However, a government that has little regard for Constitutional limits will certainly not easily succumb to the will of the states just because not to do so would be a violation of that Constitution which they hold in such contempt.
So what should the church do? Should we just throw up our hands and wait for the time when Jesus comes to take us home? Why join the battle when we already know the outcome? Because God’s work through the church is not done until He tells us so. The fields are still ripe unto harvest and if we want His approval, we need to be found faithfully doing the things He has called us to do right up until the time He comes to take His throne.
Ray Rooney writes for the American Family Association. In an article entitled, “We Loathe This Worthless Food,” he says, “Many of today’s churchgoers want the sweet taste of praise and worship. However, serve them up a heaping helping of cultural engagement or Christian activism and they virtually scream ‘We loathe this worthless food,’” referring to the dissatisfaction of the Israelites with God’s provision of manna in the wilderness. In the same way many Christians today are repulsed when it comes to feeding a depraved and dying culture the Bread of Life.
The ultimate goal is indeed the kingdom of God. But we must keep expanding that kingdom while it is still day. If we do not stand for our oppressed and persecuted brothers and sisters, continue to preach the gospel, let our good deeds be known before men, and act as salt and light in a depraved world, our reward will be taken from us.
Sure, the effort I am involved in is just a stopgap measure. That is why I often take the opportunity to share the gospel and my hope in Jesus Christ as part of my role. I have had many opportunities to discuss the biblical basis of our government with people who like to invoke their civil rights under the Constitution, but have no idea where those rights really come from. On the other hand, I am under no delusion as to the effectiveness of our campaign.
After all, if Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, Alexander Hamilton and their peers couldn’t protect America from tyranny, who am I to think any of us can turn things around? But I am certainly not going to advance the kingdom of God if I turn a blind eye to the plight of my countrymen, either. And if the church wants to remain relevant, it should engage evil in whatever form it takes with whatever means it can until Christ returns.