Christianity, Politics

No More Political Activism For This Christian

I am finished with politics, not as an informed voter, although a complete self-removal from the electorate sounds appealing, but as a believer in political activism as a conduit for moral reform. As a Christian, I am disturbed by the secular culture that surrounds me and often feel compelled to do something about it. Politics is an attractive venue for this, particularly in a democracy where freedom allows for dissent, but Jesus Christ did not get involved in politics, nor did he reform the depraved Roman culture. If I am to follow Jesus, politics cannot be my realm.

It has taken several years for me to get to this point, often stumbling over the false belief that cultural depravity could be reversed with the right political ideology. This belief has caused me to read stacks of books on topics like conservatism, liberalism, feminism, progressivism, classism, and racism; nearly every kind of “ism” associated with politics and culture. I wanted to fight. In essence, I was addicted to the false premise of the Christian Right, that a sinful society can be reformed by sinful men through political activism. I was wrong.

The effectiveness of using political arguments to proselytize in secular world where there is no such thing as a single, objective moral law is minimal. Christians who engage in political activism, whether as a blogger, professional pundit, or campaign operative, should take a step back, as I did, and assess the net benefit of their actions. What is the benefit of seeking a legislative ban on abortion when millions of Americans do not consider the act of aborting fetuses immoral behavior? Why fight the erosion of decency in the media when Americans are obsessed with sex and intrigued by violence? The same thing can be said of homosexual marriage as more Americans, particularly younger Americans, consider it normal. “There is no fear of God before their eyes.” (Romans 3:18) Sin has become relative, and pushing moral absolutes through political activism is always going to be rendered as intolerance. Just ask the Republican Party.

The tireless efforts of organizations like the Christian Coalition of America, Family Research Council, and Concerned Women for America to “bring Biblical principles into all levels of public policy” is a total waste of time and money. Biblical principles need to be brought into the individual lives of Americans, not public policy. Pastor John MacArthur makes this perfectly clear:

Our goal is not to impact our culture by creating traditional values, family values through legislation or judicial process. Our goal is not to make sure that the United States of America adheres to a national policy that equates to biblical morality. That is not our goal. We are not involved in altering social morality. We are not involved in upgrading cultural conduct. We are interested in people becoming saved. That is our only agenda. If we’re going to change our culture we’re going to change it from the inside out. [1]

I understand the passion Christians have towards combating moral depravity, and the constant frustration in watching it flourish, but no amount of legislation and law can eradicate the sins inflicting man, because men are “by nature children of wrath.” (Ephesians 2:3) If God wanted the culture to be pure and sinless, He could make it so in an instant, but He obviously does not. “For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, haters of good, treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God.” (2 Timothy 3:1-4)

The solution for societal depravity and cultural decline has already been implemented. It is the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. The time has come for Christians to stop engaging in futility.

Notes:

[1] John MacArthur, “The Christian’s Responsibility In A Pagan Society, Part 1,” Grace To You online, July 18, 1993, Sermon Code: 56-23

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