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.
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
| 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.
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
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.