August 13, 2014
Certain well-meaning Christians believe followers of Christ should shun political activism, while many others believe it is a biblical mandate. In this week’s edition of the Biblical Recorder (Journal for the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina), under Tar Heel Voices, these two views are contrasted.
Tim McKittrick believes “political activism” is not needed and argues the country simply needs “layman and pastors who will speak out with the truth of God’s Word”. Dr. Mark Creech, executive director of the Christian Action, takes the opposing viewpoint, arguing, “’Christian political activism’ doesn’t supplant the Gospel”, but brings the “’word of truth’ to bear upon the political process.” Dr. Creech says engagement is biblical and necessary.
The two views are contained in the following article. Many Christians will find the contrast enlightening.
POLITICAL ACTIVISM NOT NEEDED
Romans 1:18-32 describes God’s judicial wrath of abandonment.
The fourth circuit court of appeals overturning Virginia’s marriage amendment, which will probably result in North Carolina’s being overturned, is further evidence that America is under God’s judgment. What should the response to this be?
We don’t need “political activism.” We need pastors and laymen who will speak out with the truth of God’s Word.
Romans 1:16 does not say “political activism” is the power of God for salvation. It says the gospel is the power of God for salvation. The righteousness of God is not revealed in “political activism.” It is revealed in the gospel (Romans 1:17). God is not watching over “political activism” to perform it. He is watching over His Word to perform it (Jeremiah 1:12).
“Political activism” is not living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart, but the Word of God is (Hebrews 4:12).
“Political activism” will not save you. The Word of God does. You are not born again through “political activism.” You are born again through the living and abiding Word of God (1 Peter 1:23). James 1:18 does not say in the exercise of His will He brought us forth by “political activism.” It says in the exercise of His will He brought us forth by the word of truth, which is a synonym for the Word of God.
We don’t need “political activism.” We need laymen and pastors who will speak out with the truth of God’s Word.
Stoney Point, N.C.
ENGAGEMENT IS BIBLICAL
As executive director of the Christian Action League, it’s quite common for me to hear from those who believe the influence of the gospel should be enough to change society. They shun any kind of “political activism” by Christians.
Wayne Grudem, in his book, Politics: According to the Bible, rightly contends “this is a foolish position.” He says it’s like saying we don’t need laws against drunk driving, the influence of the gospel ought to be enough. The fact of the matter is, until Christ returns there will always be drunk drivers who will not be persuaded by the gospel or even by common sense. The evil of drunk driving will be seriously exacerbated without a law to restrain them. Unfortunately, many well-meaning Christians intent on defending the gospel’s power to save, unintentionally limit the scope of its salvation.
Certainly, forgiveness of sins and transformation of the human heart is the central message of the Bible, but the Bible’s message is about all of life. The same passage where Jesus instructs He is to be proclaimed as Savior of the soul, also contains His command, “teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you” (Matt. 28:19, 20). Christian “political activism” doesn’t supplant the gospel. Instead it brings the “word of truth” to bear upon the political process.
The objective is the scripting of righteous law that suppresses evil and procures justice, which Romans 13 says is the primary purpose of government. The scriptures are voluminous with examples of saints who understood this duty – from Joseph in Genesis to the men of faith described in Hebrews 11 who “subdued kingdoms” and influenced the body politic to recognize God’s order. Our nation’s hope doesn’t lie in politics alone or the gospel only, the answer lies in the performance of both.
Christian Action League of North Carolina, Inc.
This article was posted with permission of the Biblical Recorder. To view other articles in the BR go to: www.brnow.org
For a more in depth handling of this subject, readers may want to take the time to study Dr. Creech’s recent sermon, Render Unto Caesar Render Unto Caesar.