POLITICS, CHRISTIANITY, AND HATE GROUPS

Cannonball Holes/Photo by brett gullborg

In a recent post on this blog I quoted a statement by a radio talk show host:

“This shows how salvation for the born-again, Bible-believing Christian is not in the Republican Party, the conservative movement or in winning the culture war, but in Christ Jesus.” (1)

I agree strongly with this statement.

I agree so much with this statement that my focus of late has been mostly about things happening in churches.

In an upcoming post, I will make a comment about Hindu and Buddhist practices being taught today in almost all of our “Christian” denominations.  The post won’t go up until I feel comfortable with the amount of research done.

Hindu Prayer/Photo by alittlebirdy

I continue to be amazed at the things “churches” are allowing.

Anyone who knows me will tell you what I think of political involvement.  I may not have helped our new mayor get one vote. But if you ask her, she will tell you that it wasn’t because I didn’t try.

HotSprings Mayor-Elect Ruth Carney/Photo by Barbara Anable

Although I believe our salvation is in Jesus Christ alone, that doesn’t mean we are to sit by and watch things unravel.

Here is the scripture that some American Christians use for their lack of participation in, or their unwillingness to place any moral connotations on, the political process:

1Every person is to be in subjection to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those which exist are established by God.

2Therefore whoever resists authority has opposed the ordinance of God; and they who have opposed will receive condemnation upon themselves.

These verses are found in Romans 13.

It is interesting that when these words were penned, Nero was emperor.

I do not question the word of God.  In the end, are we not strangers and pilgrims on this earth? (Heb. 11)

At the same time, there are three points that must be made regarding these verses.

First, one must never forget that scripture gives us an exception to these verses.

“But Peter and the apostles answered, “We must obey God rather than men.” (Acts 5)

Peter/Photo by Missional Volunteer

No one has the right to control a person’s conscience.  There are times when a believer will, by obeying God, make men angry.  Many scriptures can be found relating to this reality.

This is the reason so many Christians did not survive the cruelty of Nero. They would not deny their Lord.

“Nero had the self-admitted Christians arrested.” – Tacitus (2)

Second, we live in a unique political situation.  The power of our government lies with “We the people.” There are only 20 Federal Republics on the planet and looking at the list, I would contend that we are perhaps the freest country in the group.

Since the power of government lies with us and not with someone like Nero, we are in a unique position.  We control what becomes law and what doesn’t.  That makes us responsible for how we are governed.  Therefore, I think it would be irresponsible of us not to be involved in the process.

“irresponsible”/Photo by BenandBessy

Another argument against political involvement by Christians is that “Jesus wasn’t politically active.”

I will not try to defend the Roman Government that existed at the time that God chose to become a man; particularly the methods used to punish offenders of Roman law.

However, it is worth noting that laws did exist:

“Tribunals were set up for crimes against the state, and eventually these came to include treason, electoral bribery, embezzlement of state property, adultery, and murder by violence or poison…” (3)

Yes, we all know Jesus’ response to the tax question:

“…render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s and to God the things that are God’s.”

Aren’t these spiritual and political statements within the same sentence?

Everything Jesus did and said has huge ramifications for any government.

Nero Claudius Caesar Augustus Germanicus/Photo by Pere Ubu

The definition of politics is “activities associated with government.”

The word “government” brings to mind a verse that is very popular at Christmastime:

“For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; And the government will rest on His shoulders; And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace. Isaiah 9:6

During Jesus’ ministry, he was looking towards the government spoken of in this verse.

I don’t understand how any American can say that Christians shouldn’t be involved in politics.  We should be particularly active when it comes to issues that relate to righteousness.

I should mention here that a Theocracy will not be possible until Jesus returns.  Some say that’s what some Christians want.  Yes, Christians want one, but because of man’s sinful nature it is not now possible.

There is a third point.  I don’t think it’s right for folks to quote the first two verses of Romans 13 without quoting the rest of the chapter as it relates to involvement in politics.  Here are the first two verses again:

1Every person is to be in subjection to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those which exist are established by God.

2Therefore whoever resists authority has opposed the ordinance of God; and they who have opposed will receive condemnation upon themselves.

Here are the remaining verses:

3For rulers are not a cause of fear for good behavior, but for evil. Do you want to have no fear of authority? Do what is good and you will have praise from the same;

4for it is a minister of God to you for good. But if you do what is evil, be afraid; for it does not bear the sword for nothing; for it is a minister of God, an avenger who brings wrath on the one who practices evil.

5Therefore it is necessary to be in subjection, not only because of wrath, but also for conscience’ sake.

6For because of this you also pay taxes, for rulers are servants of God, devoting themselves to this very thing.

7Render to all what is due them: tax to whom tax is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honor to whom honor.

8Owe nothing to anyone except to love one another; for he who loves his neighbor has fulfilled the law.

9For this, “YOU SHALL NOT COMMIT ADULTERY, YOU SHALL NOT MURDER, YOU SHALL NOT STEAL, YOU SHALL NOT COVET,” and if there is any other commandment, it is summed up in this saying, “YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.”

10Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.

11Do this, knowing the time, that it is already the hour for you to awaken from sleep; for now salvation is nearer to us than when we believed.

12The night is almost gone, and the day is near Therefore let us lay aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light.

13Let us behave properly as in the day, not in carousing and drunkenness, not in sexual promiscuity and sensuality, not in strife and jealousy.

14But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh in regard to its lusts.

Verse 5 is a key verse.  Looking at the rest of the passage, we are to lay aside “deeds of darkness” such as those mentioned in verse 13.

Verse 5 is obviously referring to subjection that doesn’t violate the laws of God.  Otherwise, the entire chapter is meaningless.

If the government tells me that I have to kill someone or steal something, I should, in the words of Peter and the apostles, “obey God rather than man.”

Now, if anyone has read this far, I will explain why I have made these comments.

“Why?”/Photo by 13desetempbro

Yesterday, an article was published about two organizations that have drawn a moral line.  They have decided to follow Biblical principles and not those of the world.

The article begins:

“Two of the nation’s premier moral issues organizations, the Family Research Council and Concerned Women for America, are refusing to attend the Conservative Political Action Conference in February because a homosexual activist group, GOProud, has been invited.” (4)

I applaud the Family Research Council and the Concerned Women for America for this decision.

Yesterday’s article in World Net Daily went on to say:

“The American Conservative Union, longtime organizers of CPAC, disclosed just before Christmas that GOProud would be considered a “participating organization,” the second highest level of participation. As a “participating organization,” GOProud has a voice in planning the conference.”

The article also notes other problems the American Conservative Union is having.

This is the second time the Family Research Council has been in the news this month.

The Family Research Council has recently been called a “hate group” by the Southern Poverty Law Center. (5)

If you heard this news, your response was probably like mine…”WHAT????”

CWA President Penny Nance

Concerned Women of America (CWA) is another of the 18 groups considered “hate groups” by the SPLC. (6)

Also listed by the SPLC as “hate groups” are: the American Family Association (AFA), Coral Ridge Ministries, Family Research Institute (FRI), Illinois Family Institute, Liberty Council, National Organization for Marriage, and the Traditional Values Coalition.

The vote to allow GOProud to participate at the Conservative Political Action Conference was evidently a close one. It doesn’t change the results. The action by the American Conservative Union is another example of how definitions continue to change.

Just because something has the word “conservative” attached to it doesn’t make it a good thing.

Sadly, the same could be said about the word “Christian” these days.

This verse is something the American Family Council and the Concerned Women of America believe:

13Let us behave properly as in the day, not in carousing and drunkenness, not in sexual promiscuity and sensuality, not in strife and jealousy.

Both groups have published materials about the adverse affects that homosexuality has on society.

Their concern for righteousness is to be commended.  Thankfully, there are groups still willing to take a stand on moral issues.

Sadly, the percentage of churches willing to take such a stand continues to decrease.

How many more hits will the walls take before the city gates are wide open?

Chris Reimers

“City Gates”/Photo by brett gullborg

Sources:

  1. https://chrisreimersblog.wordpress.com/2010/12/16/can-conservatism-save-u
  2. http://www.unrv.com/culture/christian-persecution.php
  3. http://library.thinkquest.org/26602/government.htm
  4. http://www.wnd.com/?pageId=244741
  5. http://news.yahoo.com/s/dailycaller/20101215/pl_dailycaller/familyresearchcounciltopgoplawmakersfightbackagainstsplchategrouplabel
  6. http://www.splcenter.org/get-informed/intelligence-report/browse-all-issues/2010/winter/the-hard-liners
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