"Conservative Christians in America are undergoing a huge shift in the way we see ourselves in the world," Southern Baptist Theological Seminary President Dr. Albert Mohler said. "We are on the losing side of a massive change that's not going to be reversed, in all likelihood, in our lifetimes.'"
There is a reason for this. Politically, establishment evangelical leaders are firing blanks. A person who tells you that there's no difference between the political parties is tantamount to the person who will argue that there's no difference between Islam and Christianity.
How did America arrive here? Simply put, Christians in America have declined to wage war for ideological supremacy in the last century. They refused to believe that two opposing philosophies—Christianity vs. secularism—produce two divergent cultures.
In my estimation, less than 1 percent of evangelical pastors in America have more than an ounce of influence with their city councilmen. What about school board members? Mayor? State representative and senators? In all cases, the evangelical influence is minimal or non-existent. How then can they have influence in the public square?
For those who say, "Christians shouldn't be involved in government," read the words of Oklahoma Sen. James Lankford: "Consider that all but possibly two of the Old Testament books (Job and maybe Ruth) were written by a political leader, to a political leader or about a political leader."
God is knee-deep in politics; He swings big doors on little hinges.
Do you know what the two largest denominations of political currency are?
- How many votes one can bring to the table
- How many dollars one can raise that brings votes to the table
Speechifying is way down on the list, maybe worth a nickel. A Sunday sermon is not a denomination of political currency.
If America is to be saved, evangelical pastors—in addition to feeding the "whole counsel of God" to the flock and "making disciples"—must begin advancing disciples to the public square. Salt and light needs to go where it is most needed.
"Politicians will not change the way they act, or leave the stage, without receiving written instructions from the audience. Script changes are best given to politician, in the form of ballots, completed and delivered, in a voting booth."
Dr. Mohler and Dr. John MacArthur spoke recently to an audience of pastors and offered their opinion on the spiritual condition of America.
They demonstrated that they don't have a clue on how to regulate the temperature of America in the arena of civil government. America needs Christian thermostats, not Christian thermometers.
Evangelical leaders need to be schooled in Russell Kirk's truism, "Politicians are actors performing a script that is written by the audience." Real political know-how and spiritual discernment is mandatory (men and women of Issachar) as we navigate the treacherous waters produced by Christian disengagement and withdrawal from the public square over the last century. Liberty is at stake, for virtue is a key component of freedom.
Elected officials represent those constituents who vote. And polls reveal that of the estimated 65-80 million evangelicals who read the Bible, attend church and pray, only half are registered to vote. And half of that half don't vote!
Christians have minuscule influence and representation. Is it any wonder that President Obama, through executive orders and "Presidential memoranda," bypasses Congress to impose his immoral agenda—without a peep from the pulpits of America?
President Obama has birthed anarchy with executive orders. When anarchy is touring, tyrants are in power and every citizen is subject to the law except, you guessed it, the president and his sycophants. The ruler is above the law.
The fault for the crisis in America proceeds from a biblically illiterate people, not the politician. In vain do we blame others. Plainly, Christians oppressed by the omnipotent, omniscient and omnipresent federal government and judiciary need someone to blame besides themselves, and their apathy.
The current state of the union is the consequence of Christians abandoning the public square in the last century. America needs the Mohlers and MacArthurs to move out from behind the pulpit and camera and move into the civil government arena, "Putting on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes."
"When the wicked are in power and control the affairs of state, violence and injustice are actively encouraged and flourish unchecked (Proverbs 29:16), and the people groan under an intolerable burden of oppression and make themselves scarce for fear of life and limb." –K.T. Aitken
"Power and control the affairs of state" are not done by speechifying, but by organizing and mobilizing an army of like-minded constituents. Somebody's values are going to reign supreme. If secularists and homosexual activists recruit and elect those who align with their values, those elected officials are going to impose secular and pro-homosexual values through legislation. This is not rocket science.
Here is the good news: With just a small increase in voter turnout at the voting booth for the estimated 65-80 million evangelical constituency, the political landscape can be changed dramatically—overnight.
God is on our side, so we will not be discouraged. There is no worse projectile in all of the ammunition depots of hell than, "God has forsaken [them]" (Ps. 71:11). If we will engage, He will deliver us.
We need a Gideon or Rahab to stand.
David Lane is the founder of American Renewal Project.
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