'Political' Heroes of the Faith
The radical left cries foul when Christians exercise their right to engage in "politics." Here are some heroes of the faith who ignored the naysayers of their era.
It was a good thing that Esther did not shrink back -- that she boldly beseeched the king not to execute God's people. Esther, to use our modern language, acted in the role of a lobbyist, and her single act of entreating the head of her government saved God's people from state decreed destruction.
It was a good thing that Joseph did not shrink back -- that he agreed to be governor of a pagan nation in a time of urgent world crisis. He did not think that because he was one of God's people that he should not "mix religion and state." Joseph, to use our modern language, was the domestic policy advisor in Pharaoh's administration, and his single act of applying God's wisdom to a terrible crisis saved the world from famine and his people from destruction. It was a good thing that Moses' mother did not shrink back -- that she disobeyed the command issued by government that all baby boys were to be drowned in the Nile. This woman, to use our modern language, practiced civil disobedience, and her single act of obeying a higher moral law rescued Israel's deliverer, Moses, who both lobbied the king and liberated God's people from cruel slavery in a pagan land. Moses, by the way, handed down laws to live by. In modern language, we call that legislating. Daniel also practiced civil disobedience, as did Jesus' disciples. Daniel, as senior administration official in a heathen nation, boldly rebelled against a law commanding people not to pray to God. His courage resulted in the law being repealed, as well as in the removal of certain unscrupulous officials from the civil government. Daniel also worked to get his three Hebrew friends, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, appointed as administration officials in the pagan government. They, in turn, made an impact in disobeying and overturning an evil law. The disciples of Jesus were ordered by the Sanhedrin -- not simply a religious council, but their native Supreme Court -- to stop publicly exercising their religion by teaching in the name of Jesus. If the disciples had shrunk back and had been disobedient to the Highest Judge, then we ourselves never would have heard the Gospel to be rescued from eternal destruction.
Paul preached to the Greek Congress, the Areopagus. Paul also appealed to a higher court after his rights were violated when he was beaten as a Roman citizen. Dionysius the Aeropagite (congressman) and Erastus, the city treasurer, were public officials and men of faith. These illustrations merely scratch the surface of scriptural examples of willing men and women who either worked with government -- or resisted the evil decrees of government -- as God's faithful instruments to accomplish His works.
Our Role in Governing
Scripture is clear that there are good rulers and evil rulers -- and the decrees of government throughout the ages comprise but one arena of the larger conflict between good and evil in the universe, as the enemy of both God and mankind attempts to use governments as pawns to carry out his destructive plans. The Nazi Holocaust of the Jews is a modern example of a government used to carry out unmitigated evil. And modern heroines such as Corrie Ten Boom resisted the Nazis' horrible slaughter of the innocents.
In the days of the kings of Israel and Judah and, indeed, of most nations throughout history, people disagreed and went to war to resolve their conflicts. In the United States, our Founders had a better idea. Instead of resorting to war and arms, we could resolve conflicts in a civilized way through republican democracy: representative government, consent-of-the-governed and voting. This peaceful, civilized means of resolving our conflicts is what we today call "politics." In this more civilized method of conflict resolution, your vote is the peaceful equivalent of David's stone slung against the forehead of the barbarian Goliath, whose people sought to enslave the Israelites.
It is distressing to see our paralysis as we hear the deafening cacophony of voices insist that it is not legitimate for Christians or "religious people" to be engaged in politics. Scriptural examples clearly teach us otherwise. If today's people of faith shrink back and surrender government to others who are antagonistic to a Biblical worldview, the results will be disastrous.
Make no mistake about it: The enemy of our souls also intends to reduce our country to ruins, to cast it on the ash heap of history. Why? One reason is because the U.S. contributes more missionaries and resources to spread the Gospel than any other nation on earth. And as the U.S. has become the world's remaining superpower and English the language of trade, we are poised to become a principal player in fulfilling the Great Commission. It is an enormous hindrance when government passes laws blocking the freedom of religion or interfering with parents' rights to pass on moral values to our children.
To disengage from voting and making your voice heard in today's political battles is the equivalent of David refusing to hurl his stone or Esther refusing to lobby the king. In today's modern political/governmental battles -- with consequences beyond anything we can imagine -- we have only two choices: surrender without a fight, or, like the heroes and heroines of the faith, resist courageously, and thus foil the enemy's destructive schemes.
"For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore, take up the full armor of God, that you may be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm." -- Eph. 6:12-13.
What You Can Do:
Copy this article, send it to a friend and distribute it freely at church. It is absolutely critical that all of your church family be registered to vote in Virginia.
Reprinted from The Virginia Citizen, a publication of The Family Foundation, (703)273-9555
Copyright ©1996-2008 Constitution Party of Virginia