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Ten Reasons Why the Church Must Be Involved in Politics (9)

In this blog series, I am responding point by point to a column written by Greg Stier, the President and Founder of Dare 2 Share Ministries entitled, “Ten Reasons Why Pastors Should Focus More on the Gospel than on Politics.” Here’s Greg’s ninth point and my response.

9. The gospel brings political action soaked in love and humility, not pride and arrogance.

I’d like to start by wholeheartedly agreeing with Stier’s premise: The gospel brings political action. If we could get the majority of pastors to sign on here we’d be in business! While we all recognize the limitation of civil government, especially in its inability to transform the human heart, we must not negate the important role Christians in general, and pastors in particular, must play in bringing biblical principles to public policy for the common good.

Let’s not forget that it was courageous pastors with a prophetic voice who preached against the societal evils of their day. As the church engaged in the public arena we witnessed the abolition globally of such practices as:

• Infanticide
• Child marriage
• Temple prostitution
• The killing of special needs children
• Child labor
• The treatment of women as inferior
• The abuse of prisoners
• Slavery

All of these evil practices, and a host of others, were abolished as a result of Christian political action. So while we are not always on the winning side of our cultural battles, we must have a long term perspective. William Wilberforce did not outlaw slavery in a day! He worked tirelessly for over four decades before achieving the final victory. We must be willing to roll up our sleeves and continue to work for justice and righteousness in our own day.

Yet how we work is vitally important. Stier is right to admonish us to make sure our service is soaked in love and humility. This is what sets us apart. We are called love those who may strongly disagree with us. We serve in humble reliance on the Lord to do what we cannot get done naturally. Our mode of operation is completely different than that of others who are pursuing purely political ends. But let’s not assume that all Christian political action is driven by pride and arrogance. Let’s bring both the spirit and character of Christ into the political arena. This is our sacred duty. The results belong to the Lord.

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  1. Paul Rothbard
    July 14th, 2012 at 14:48 | #1

    I am afraid that I do see arrogance when Christians rally around banning things “for the common good” as you say. The mindset is usually that we can all pat ourselves on the back and know that the problem went away because Federal funding and people with guns are now on our side.
    Was the Temperance Movement a good thing or would you say that sometimes moral people have bad ideas with unintended consequences?

  2. Paul Rothbard
    July 14th, 2012 at 15:00 | #2

    Also, is child labor really an evil in itself or is it just a first world luxury that our children don’t need to work anymore?
    People can be so proud of themselves when they can get a company to close a sweatshop in a third world country, but don’t think about how many of those same kids have one less economic option that was better than prostitution.

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