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Let me start off by saying that I believe that we, as the body of Christ, have a responsibility to be involved and engaged in civil activity and in the various sectors and spheres of society, especially in government and political affairs. However, as it is written, we are in the world but not of it. Our citizenship is in heaven, and we must never forget that our primary stewardship is preaching the gospel and advancing the kingdom of God.
Could it be that much of the church is still more concerned about civil government and who gets elected than making disciples of Jesus Christ? Could it be that fighting for our national liberties is getting in the way of being bond-slaves to the gospel of the kingdom? Where is our trust?
If we lose our national liberties and come under heavier persecution in our country, will Christians stand and continue to be salt and light in the world? If the recent pandemic nearly knocked out half the church, how will we fare when greater trouble and crises arises? The prophet of old asked the same question:
“If you have run with the footmen, and they have wearied you, then how can you contend with horses? And if in the land of peace in which you trusted, they wearied you, then how will you do in the thicket of the Jordan?” (Jer. 12:5) .
For the most part throughout our history, America has been a land of peace, and in many ways is still very much a refuge for the world—a land of immigrants who migrate here for the relative peace and prosperity we still enjoy. I’m grateful for that. My own parents moved here from Europe in the 1960s to better our lives and improve on the opportunity for my brother and me to have a better future than they had.
The same is true for millions of other families. But do we realize as Christians and citizens of heaven that the aim and purpose of our lives as disciples of Christ is not the betterment of our lives or economics and creature comforts and conveniences? After all, comfort and convenience are not usually marks of a real disciple of Jesus. The worship of mammon disqualifies us from being true followers of Jesus. He calls us to total surrender and submission, to sacrifice, to forsake all, to follow Him. He even promised us persecution. Time and history have proven to us that the church backslides more quickly in times of prosperity than in times of persecution.
Does the Church Need a Radical Course Correction?
Could it be that the Lord is looking for a higher wisdom in the church that will be displayed before principalities and powers (Eph. 3:10)? Can this even be possible without dismantling the current foundation of human wisdom that has ruled much of the Western church?
Could it be that the Lord is looking for a different kind of response from many in the American church to move it closer to the master builder and chief shepherd’s mind and purpose? And finally, the key question: Could it be that our failure to have the kind of civil government we want is a stumbling block to deliver us from a comfort and convenience-driven church to one that is totally empowered by God, where we place our trust in Him alone?