Many of my preacher brethren often rebuke me for the time and effort I spend in sounding the clarion call for secular or political activism. They say I am wasting my time. They even accuse me of forfeiting the Master's calling. They say the only thing Christians, and especially ministers, are supposed to do is to win souls, and nothing else matters.
Of course, the vast majority of these promoters of political apathy regularly vote, pay taxes, fill out lengthy government applications, accept Social Security benefits, and a host of other "secular" activities. They even encourage their young people to actively serve in the U.S. armed forces and take government jobs. Many even actively support government-sponsored social programs, and a host of them are salivating over the opportunity of receiving federal funds from President Bush's new faith-based initiatives. Yet, none of this is deemed to compromise their "calling" or interfere with their sacred doctrine of political non-involvement.
However, when I call for Christian leaders to stand up for moral issues such as the pro-life cause or for monogamous, heterosexual marriage, I have "left my calling." When I insist that Christian leaders should take the lead in standing for constitutional government and national independence, I am "wasting my time." When I declare that Christians have a spiritual duty to take their convictions from the church doorstep to the doors of Congress, I am "out of God's will."
I need to remind my brethren that virtually every prophet of God was extremely involved in the secular and political affairs of his nation. John the Baptist was jailed and beheaded, not for preaching the Gospel, but for condemning the king for his moral impropriety. Simon Peter, the Apostle Paul, and the other disciples of Jesus were persecuted and killed for violating secular laws and challenging political authorities.
Furthermore, the Protestant Reformation and the fight for America's independence are classic examples of how strong, stalwart, and spiritual Christian ministers dared to "obey God rather than men." The history of the Judeo/Christian faith is one of open resistance to apostate and pagan political leaders.
The modern cry for political non-involvement by Christians in general and pastors in particular is very new and strange indeed. The truth is, it is easier to go along with oppression than to resist it. It's not a matter of spiritual conviction; it's a matter of social comfort. That which is proclaimed to be spiritual piety could more correctly be called moral cowardice.
Winning souls to the Savior is a primary duty of every Christian minister, but it is not his only duty. He also has a duty to teach Christians their responsibility to Christ and to Caesar; and they are not one and the same.
We have been effectively "winning souls" for the past 50 years, and the country is sliding toward socialism and fascism faster than ever before. Christians even comprise many of the promoters and supporters of this slippery slope.
One thing seems sure: we don't need any more pussyfooting, wishy-washy, ear-tickling, don't-make-waves ministers. Instead, we need some old-fashioned John The Baptists and John Witherspoons! Without them, the country is lost no matter how many souls are found.
© Chuck Baldwin
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