I'm not being cynical. There is a belief from some that we as Christians are not to take part in battling the cultural divide. I was at a meeting last night where that was the topic. Good people. The idea that the cultural divide was huge and it was the churches fault so we should work on the church and let the culture go to hell in a hand basket.
All high minded stuff. But we are citizens of the kingdom of heaven here on earth. We are also members of the human race on earth till we die. We try to keep little kids from playing out on the freeway in front of Mack Trucks. Do we owe anyone anything to keep disaster from happening?
As Christians we are to be salt and light. To the CHURCH? I don't think that's what is says.
I am a member of the kingdom of God and a member of the human race with citizenship in the USA. I love both. Both tug on me. To pretend that my membership in one or the other is unimportant or that I should somehow apply principles that work in the Kingdom to the world is not only naive but foolhardy. The Mack Truck will kill that kid on the freeway even if I pray all day long.
I am a part of the Body of Christ. Jesus has no arms or hands other than us. If we don't do what we must to be salt and light and stop the Mack truck or get the kid out of the way disaster will happen.
If we do nothing the world will grow worse.
So, I ask the question once more. Should a Christian Vote? If yes then should he or she support a candidate that reflects values and culture that is righteous as the values and culture are revealed? If support is correct, should Christians attempt to influence others to avoid standing in front of the Mack Truck?
Here's where it gets dicey. The concept of Prayer is critical. We MUST pray. But we are the hands and feet, we are a part of the answer to every prayer we pray or we shouldn't pray. James 2 says that if we see someone in need and say "let me pray for you" and do nothing we are worse than a heretic and our religion is useless.
15Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. 16If one of you says to him, "Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed," but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it? 17In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.18But someone will say, "You have faith; I have deeds."Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by what I do.
So, should a Christian Vote? Of course. And a Christian must contend for the culture, values and principles that are righteous.
Open thy mouth for the dumb, for those condemned to die.
Open thy mouth, judge righteously, and plead the cause of the poor and needy. Proverbs 31:8-9
Like a roaring lion or a charging bear is a wicked man ruling over a helpless people. Proverbs 28:15
Of course sometimes we are fooled. That's where discernment comes in. I know that many well meaning Christians point to the current President as exhibit A of why support for a political position can be wrong. Sorry, I don't buy it. George W Bush was ordained to be President at this critical time and he did the right thing by his action in Iraq. This is and will be borne out as true.
The Bible says that when righteousness rules the people rejoice. Or to put it another way:
When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice: but when the wicked beareth rule, the people mourn. Proverbs 29:2I have news. People will mourn if the liberal establishment comes into power. They are mockers of God. Not all of them. But many. You don't have to read or watch very long to see the truth.
I suggest that in fact it is a sin to do nothing but pray in an election year. That is a sin of omission.
Now one more thing. There is a struggle between the world and the kingdom of God. We can choose NOT to live in the Kingdom of God but we are not able to option out of living in the world. We don't have to be of it but we are in it till we die. We then must decide if we are going to be victims and passive or take dominion over it as was ordained in Eden.
It manifests in my life all the time as a whisper. I become very angry and volatile regarding political things. I will rail about liberals. Then I hear a whisper in my ear. It's the Kingdom saying, Hey, you live here, deal with it in this kingdom. I go for sanctuary, I live in peace, I love the presence of God and then suddenly I hear a whisper from the world, Hey, you live here too, things are drifting into oblivion, we need your voice, speak up, the world depends on you and all your brethren. Then I want to love what God loves and hate what God hates:
"These six things the Lord hates, yes, seven are an abomination to Him: a proud look, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that are swift in running to evil, a false witness who speaks lies, and one who sows discord among brethren" (Proverbs 6:16-19).
It's at that time I realize I am not my own, I am like Jesus in the sense that I live in both worlds and like he dealt with unrighteous leadership I must call them out for the evil they are trying to impose. At the same time I must do so with a broken heart as he did.
It's both and, not either or.
Pray and Fight. That is the balance Christians are called to. Aaron and Hur. The fight mixed with prayer.
1 Kings 8:44-45
44 "When your people go to war against their enemies, wherever you send them, and when they pray to the LORD toward the city you have chosen and the temple I have built for your Name, 45 then hear from heaven their prayer and their plea, and uphold their cause.
The enemy is unrighteous judges (rulers) that might be elected, it's time to pray and fight.