God’s People Cannot Disengage
By Dr. Mark H. Creech
A surgeon, an engineer, and a politician were debating which of their professions was the oldest. The surgeon said, “Eve was made from Adam’s rib, and that, of course, was a surgical procedure. Obviously, surgery is the oldest profession.”
The engineer countered with, “Yes, but before that, order was created out of chaos, and that most certainly was an engineering job.”
The politician smiled and said triumphantly, “Aha! And just who do you think created the chaos?”
Its negative perceptions like that one that all too often steer many Christians away from any involvement in politics. For some, the whole process seems dirty, and they just don’t want any of that nastiness to rub off on their religion.
But I would suggest, just as it was the Word of God that brought order to the chaos in the beginning. It is only a faithful proclamation of the Word of God that can sweep away the confusion of today. Christians shouldn’t disengage from the political process. Certainly one reason why politics can be so rotten is because it hasn’t been “salted” down with a strong Christian influence.
During the Reclaiming America for Christ Conference in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, back in 2000, I heard Dr. Laurence White, a Lutheran minister; give an incredible speech about how critical it is for God’s people not to disengage from the culture.
Here’s an excerpt from that speech that I have kept through the years….
“The Christians of Germany learned only too late that God’s people in Christ cannot disengage from the culture in which they live. They retreated into the comfortable security of their sanctuaries, they sat in their padded pews, they kept their religion and their politics strictly separate from one another, and their nation was destroyed. That retreat was encouraged and facilitated by the endlessly repeated lie of the absolute separation of church and state.
Pastor Martin Neimoller, one of the few Christian heroes who stood against the tide in those grim days, would later look back on a meeting that took place in 1934 in Hitler’s Reich Chancellery in Berlin as the moment in which he recognized that his country was doomed. In 1934 Hitler had been chancellor for just over a year, and he was leading the nation through a process of “coordination.” Every part of the country’s life was being brought into conformity with the nationalist socialist worldview. Ultimately, that included the Church. So Hitler called together the most important pastors, the leading preachers of the land, to stifle their criticism, to calm their fears, to bring them into line. He moved through the crowd that day patting the preachers on the back and making them feel important by stroking their egos and promising them that their tax exemptions were safe and secure, their state subsidies would continue, and that the Church of Jesus Christ had nothing to fear from a Hitler government.
Finally, young pastor Neimoller had had enough. He was what we would today call politically incorrect. He pushed his way to the front of the room until he stood eye-to-eye with the German dictator and he said, “Our concern Herr Hitler, is not for the Church. Jesus Christ will take care of His Church. Our concern is for the soul of our nation.” It was immediately evident that the brash young pastor spoke only for himself as his chagrined colleagues hustled him away to the obscurity of the back of the room.
And Hitler, with a natural politicians instinct, noted their reaction and recognized exactly what it meant, and he smiled as he said reflectively, almost to himself, ‘The soul of Germany? You can leave that to me.’ And they did. They looked the other way, they minded their own business, they kept their religion and their politics separate from one another, and the innocent were slaughtered, and the nation was led down the path to destruction.
My friends, it’s happening again. It’s happening here in our beloved America. Once again the innocent are being slaughtered in…a…holocaust that makes Hitler look like a humanitarian by comparison. (Author’s Note: White is speaking about abortion) And once again, every time a Christian, particularly a Christian pastor, raises a voice in a matter of public policy, the immediate hue and cry from the liberal media and the intellectual elite is, ‘Wait a minute. We have separation of church and state in this country. You Christians keep your morality to yourselves.’ As history repeats itself, they smile assuringly as they tell us the soul of America – you can leave that to us.
My friends, the time has come, and has long since passed, for us to stop listening to and being immobilized by these lies from the father of lies. The time has come for us to pay heed to the word of the Lord God Almighty and be what he has placed us here to be: the stinging salt that stops the decay of death, the shining light that dispels the darkness of doubt and despair, the gleaming city set high upon a hill that shines as a beacon of light of hope and life to this nation and to every nation.”
The hope of bringing order to the chaos of our times is a loving, but uncompromising engagement of the culture by Christians, most importantly pastors, with the Word of God. To disengage from the political process is to leave it to those who would rob the nation of its soul and lead us down a path of utter destruction.