Chuck Colson

It?s a sinful world. Therefore, government?s prime job is to restrain sin and to preserve order. That is its ordained role from God. Our leaders, therefore, have to be those who are best-suited for carrying out these tasks, the most confident and responsible. Or, as Luther is supposed to have said, it is better to be ?ruled by a wise Turk than a foolish Christian.?

Does this mean that we shouldn?t encourage our fellow believers to seek elective office and support them once they do? Of course not. Christians are called to apply biblical truth to all areas of life, including politics and government. Nor does it mean that a candidate?s beliefs are irrelevant. A candidate?s beliefs shed light on his values, priorities, and character?all of which matter when it comes to governance. A believer should be a force for virtue, and having one in office is a witness, of course.

But this doesn?t change the fact that the first requirement is competence. And some non-Christians may be better prepared to carry out government?s biblical mandate than some Christians, no matter how often the latter attend church.

For further reading and information:

Franklin Foer, ? Beyond Belief ,? New Republic, 22 December 2003  (reprinted on

See  Center for Public Justice?s Capital Commentaries, ? An American Covenant with God? ? ( December 15, 2003 ) and ? Religion and Politics beyond the Party Lines ? ( December 29, 2003 ).

See yesterday?s BreakPoint Commentary , ?Two Cities.?

Gene Edward Veith, ? Keeping the faiths ,? World, 24 January 2004 .

Ted Olsen, ? Weblog: Dean Changes Tack on Religion Comments ,? Christianity Today, 8 January 2004 .

Kelley Beaucar Vlahos, ? Groups Debate Religion on Campaign Trail ,? FOX News, 21 January 2004 .

Mark O?Keefe, ? Bush has firm hold on the ?religious? vote ,? Star Tribune ( Minneapolis), 10 January 2004 .

?God and Caesar: The Logic of Christian Political Responsibility ? by Nigel M. de S. Cameron addresses the issues of Christian engagement in the political process and the Christian stake in issues of public policy.

The BreakPointRole of Government Packet includes four booklets that explain what the government?s role should be and what place faith has in public life, including: ?The Causes of Virtue,? ?The Social Necessity of a Moral Consensus,? ?God and Caesar: Does Religion Belong in Public Life?? and ?Creating the Good Society.? To request it ($10), call 1-877-322-5527.

Chuck Colson

Chuck Colson was the Chief Counsel for Richard Nixon and served time in prison for Watergate-related charges. In 1976, Colson founded Prison Fellowship Ministries, which, in collaboration with churches of all confessions and denominations, has become the world's largest outreach to prisoners, ex-prisoners, crime victims, and their families.
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