Baptists > Issues > Political Involvement
 Baptists & Politics?
   Is our political agenda benefitting our nation...
   ...or are we trying to legislate righteousness to an unregenerated people?
   When have Baptists not been involved in the political system of any country in which they reside?
   Historically, these Bible believing people have had a vested interest in however the politics of their homeland dictated their own treatment.  Sometimes they were left alone to worship freely; sometimes they were persecuted so greviously that they were forced to migrate to other lands.  In the USA, they have flourished due to the promise of religious liberty afforded them by the Constitution and Bill of Rights.
   Pastor Jerry Fallwell's Moral Majority is a prime example of Baptist involvement in politics.  Although controversial, his leadership as a dynamic pastor (Thomas Road Baptist Church, Lynchburg, Virginia) is not only to be commended but there is no doubt that President Ronald Reagan's challenge to "...tear down this wall!" (Berlin, Germany) would never have occurred had the Moral Majority not supported his election to the presidency.  Still, there came a time when Fallwell sensed that his political involvement was limiting his effectiveness as a pastor.  Jerry Fallwell returned to lead his church on and it still remains a very effective witness for Christ.
   However, despite the commitment of Baptists to be actively involved in how the nation conducts it's business, their tendency has been to by-pass the Biblical warning that righteousness cannot be legislated.  As a result, there are those who continue to preach Christian nationalism where no such thing exists, nor has it ever existed anywhere.
   America was indeed founded on Christian principles.  It's early history was one of colonization by many who fled to this New World to finally obtain religious liberty.   The religious ethics of this nation were more than obvious when in it's infancy.  However, the melting pot nature of the American society has produced a nation that is more diverse than any other in the history of the world.  Consequently, we now live in a land where Jews, Moslems, Atheists, Mormons, cultists, etc., dwell with equal religious liberty as it should be.  Moreover, this nation promises those same freedoms to humanists, evolutionists, homosexuals, skinheads, and a large number of other religious and philosophical views that are far from the Baptist mindset.
   Thus, the real issue is that of reminding Baptists that, while political involvement is always a high aspiration, any attempt to Christianize a nation that is not Christian only leads to more confusion.
   For example, the motivation regarding keeping the Ten Commandments in our public schools needs to be examined in light of our historical Baptist understanding of the Scriptures regarding the teaching of regeneration.
   Does not the Bible teach that only those who are truly spiritually born-again are capeable of discerning spiritual truth as revealed in God's Word by the Holy Spirit?
   "But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned."  ~ 1st Corinthians 2:14
   Since this is indeed the case, is it possible that those within our ranks who insist that schools keep the commandements posted might be beguiled into thinking that not doing so is some kind of attack on Christianity.  In fact, one might consider that the tremendous diversity we now have in our nation has resulted in our being surrounded by those who do not know the Lord Jesus Christ.
   As one who would love to see the public institutions in this nation continue to post the commandments, I would suggest that a much bigger opportunity is being provided by God to we who personally know His Son through the rebirth.
   Could it be that, instead of annoying all of those other persuasions with our insistence that they be subject to God's commandements, we should be evangelizing them so that they will then turn to those same commandments in faith believing instead of feeling coerced to do so?
   Could it be that God has brought the mission field to us?
   Brother and sister Baptists, we really need to reconsider whether or not our political involvement benefits the cause of Christ or is a misguided attempt to legislate righteousness on an unregenerate people.

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