A Delicate - But Necessary - Balancing Act
Thursday, June 27, 2019
Christians today are faced with a rather perplexing question. Do we stay on the political sidelines, seeking to remain above the fray - and unsoiled by the muck and mire? Or do we actively engage in such earthly matters, knowing that we may be roundly criticized by those inside and outside the faith for doing so?
Here’s my not-so-surprising take on things…
In John 15:19 and John 17:14-16, Jesus plainly taught His disciples that we are in the world, but not of it. What our Savior was saying was that He expected us to mix it up with the real world, but to be careful not to take on its values or characteristics. In other words, to maintain our high standards, but not to be so heavenly-minded that we are of no earthly good.
That was one of the reasons why Jesus chastised the holier-than-thou Pharisees as well as those in the Parable of the Good Samaritan who failed to come to the aid of the injured man. It is also why He commanded us, as His instruments, to be salt and light in a dark and dying world (see Matthew 5:13-16).
In short, I would rather be counted among those believers who dismount from their high horses and try their imperfect best to make a difference in this world. I cannot sit idly by while precious babies are murdered in their mother’s womb. Nor can I remain a mere spectator while God is banished from our public arena and educational systems, and His definitions of marriage and gender are mocked and ridiculed. And I refuse to passively watch while Israel, the apple of God’s eye, is fighting for its very survival amidst growing international opposition.
Remember that it was evangelical Christians like William Wilberforce who launched and led the abolitionist movement to outlaw and eradicate slavery. Conversely, Adolf Hitler and the Third Reich rose to power in Germany partly because the Church remained so silent and disengaged.
Does that mean that we have to resort to deception and name-calling, rationalizing that such methods are required to win elections and influence policy? God forbid! On the contrary, we are to be as wise as serpents and as innocent as doves (see Matthew 10:16). After all, Jesus warned us that He was – and still is – sending His followers out into the world as sheep among wolves.
So, my fellow believers, it is not a question of, “Do I get involved in politics or not?” The real question is, “How do I get involved while simultaneously representing my Savior in the best possible way?”
Hiding one’s head in the sand – or in the clouds – is not an option for true believers. Especially not now, when in the words of Judge Robert Bork, America is “Slouching Towards Gomorrah”.