Why Christians Should Be Interested in Politics
“You may not be interested in war but war is interested in you” (Leon Trotsky). “War is politics by other means” (Carl Von Clausewitz). You may not be interested in politics but you should be because politics is interested in you and your posterity—and God is interested in politics. Politics is contemporary history and God is interested in history and you should be too. America’s founding fathers were interested in politics because they retained vivid memories of the tyranny their forbearers endured in Britain and were acutely aware that they were being subjected to the same. They fought not only for themselves and for their posterity but most of all for justice—for the Kingdom of God and his righteousness. Augustine stated that “nobody comes to eternal life who does not love justice.” Christian saints through the centuries fought and in many instances died for the liberty that Christians in the west have enjoyed until recently.
Preppers are advising people to stock up on gold and silver, guns, and nonperishable foods. This is good advice and to the degree that you are able you should be doing this. But none of this will save us in the long run if we lose our political and religious freedom (the two are inseparable aspects of freedom). The same satanic body politic that enslaved Russia in the Bolshevik Revolution and made it a hell on earth intends to do the same to America and the rest of the west. If you are a Christian you will most likely wind up in a concentration camp or dead. This of course is even a more probable fate for your children unless we do something to stop it. Do you love your children? If you could, would you do something to give them a chance to live in a Christian culture and live a fulfilling life? If you could, would you do something to prevent them from dying or living in a slave labor camp?
Over ninety million Americans cannot find work and many young people cannot find jobs paying enough to start a family. Our country is collapsing before our eyes but few churches believe they have any responsibility to do something about it. Why is this?
Eighteenth century American colonial preachers taught their congregations to fight for liberty and the American chaplain, the Reverend James Caldwell, passed out hymnals for wadding at one battle. They fought for the protection of their private property and for the freedom of individual choice under God. But in the twentieth century many American preachers advised their congregations that you “don’t mix politics and religion,” and taught this oxymoronic maxim as though it were some profound and sacred bit of wisdom. The word politics is derived from politic—which includes using tact and diplomacy in affairs of church and state—and if you leave religion (meaning the Christian religion) out of the politics and religion equation, the criminals take over the politics and then replace your religion with theirs. We don’t need to just mix some religion with politics; we need to have our Christian religion rule our politics and all of the rest of life.
But why the change in twentieth century preaching from that of the eighteenth century? The greatest influence in bringing about this change was undoubtedly the invention of the theological system known as dispensationalism in the nineteenth century and its explosive growth in America in the twentieth century. Dispensationalism’s antecedents lay in the futurism of the Roman Catholic counter-reformation and its focus has remained on futurism. Consequently, aside from faithfully promulgating the message of personal salvation, dispensationalists (which comprise the vast majority of evangelical Christians in America) are primarily concerned about predicting future events, especially the two center pieces of their eschatological scheme—the rapture of the saints and the seven year tribulation. American dispensationalists argue over whether they will be raptured before, midway through, or at the end of the seven year tribulation while seemingly oblivious to the fact that Christians in other parts of the world have experienced tribulation for decades if not a century or longer in some areas. And a leading proponent of dispensationalism has funded a center for studying and promoting the pre-trib version at a major Christian university. The pre-trib rapture appears to be the most popular version amongst dispensationalists—perhaps because it is more comforting for its adherents to believe they won’t have to experience any of the predicted seven year tribulation.
So what are we American Christians supposed to be doing? Are we supposed to fight as did our founding fathers? Or should we restrict ourselves to just spreading the message of personal salvation, church attendance and devotions, and watching the firestorm enveloping the world in the same way we would watch a football game on television, but with self-proclaimed prophets as commentators instead of former NFL players? I may have more to say on whether we’re watching too much football on another episode.
Most evangelicals limit the Great Commission to the message of personal salvation. Christianity and the Great Commission certainly start with the new birth in the individual but it is much more than that. It is the Kingdom of God. In Matthew 28:18-20 we read, “…All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. “ We are to tell people how to be born again—by believing in their heart and confessing with their mouth the Lord Jesus. But it doesn’t stop there. We are to make disciples of the nations—that is—to Christianize them. Teaching them to observe all that Jesus has commanded means the whole Bible, including the moral and civil law (we no longer keep the ceremonial laws such as animal sacrifice because they were simply a foreshadow of Christ who made the effectual sacrifice necessary for our salvation).
When the disciples asked Christ about future events, he gave them very specific instructions: “It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power. But ye shall receive power after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.” We are to be witnesses discipling the nations, not onlookers speculating on the timing of their destruction or that of the second coming.
If local churches do not begin to diligently and systematically teach Christians their responsibilities in civil affairs and the full meaning of the Great Commission there is not much hope for America.