Faith and Politics

Posted: Sep 02, 2014 12:01 AM

There is precious little of Biblical principle in politics today, but Christians ought to be in politics. Not every Christian is endowed with the gifts which make for great statesmen, but there is no greater force for liberty than a man or woman steeped in Biblical principle and disposed by grace to public service. Moreover, the heart of statesmanship is an attitude of service and no greater example of this exists than Christ himself.

Obviously, not all Christians are called to public office, but all Christians are called to participate in the American political process. People of faith have failed in this duty and the result is a metastasizing tyranny.

Our founding fathers subscribed to a Christian world view of varying degrees of orthodoxy but they were undeniably guided by ideas drawn from the Sacred Text. For instance, the Declaration of Independence is studded with phrases such as, “the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God..are created…their Creator…the Supreme Judge of the world…Divine Providence.”

America’s founding fathers have bequeathed to us a unique form of government, singular in human history, which devolves upon people of faith a duty to participate in the political process and to advocate for their faith at every level of local, state, and federal government. It is not enough to simply pursue a private devotion. It is incumbent on every person of faith to function as a moral and political preservative.

Before the invention of refrigeration, salt was used as a preservative. Meat taken in the hunt would be encrusted in salt which infused into the tissue delaying the process of putrefaction. Salt preserves by drawing water out of microbial cells and also functions actively by destroying bacteria.

In the New Testament, Christ employes the use of analogy to communicate eternal truths in a concrete way. He describes Christians as "salt" and thereby communicated to his audience a vivid image. His disciples understood clearly that their faith was not confined by the walls of their church or home, but was to be active in every part of their private and public lives. They were to live in such a way as to function as a moral preservative which involves active participation in the modalities of society. In America, participation in politics is fundamental. In fact, for our republic to function at all, it is incumbent on all of us to maintain a familiarity with the issues that move our politics.

For many, politics is an other-worldly pursuit with little or no relation to their lives. Many people of faith only manage to pull their heads out of the sand long enough to drowsily acknowledge the pandering candidates a few weeks before a presidential election, then cork their ears and shove their consciousness back under the warm sands of personal interest. The church has become a desiccated corpse wrapped in dusty linen strips, dipped in the intoxicating spices of ease and contentment.

Fulfilling the Great Commission and engaging in politics is not an either/or proposition. They are actually related. Progressives have done an outstanding job convincing people of faith that a wall of separation exits between the realms of faith and politics. The wall is a pure fiction. It is a fiction historically, and more importantly, theologically.

Historically, the "wall of separation" fiction begins with a letter which Thomas Jefferson wrote to the Baptist Association of Danbury, Connecticut in October 1801. In the letter, Jefferson speaks of “‘mak[ing] no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,’ thus building a wall of separation between Church & State.’” Jefferson authored the Declaration of Independence and was instrumental in the composition of The Constitution, both documents bear language that is Biblical and codifies principles drawn directly from Christian theology. The concept of inalienable rights is a product of the doctrine of man made in the image of God and does not exist anywhere apart from this truth.

It is preposterous in the extreme to assert that Jefferson argued for a wall excluding Christians and people of faith when his seminal document enshrined Christian principles as foundational to our Republic. Progressives, by sheer repetition and volume, have foisted the thin tissue of lies that have come to be known as the wall of separation doctrine. Progressives are fond of Hitler's favorite maxim, “If you tell a big enough lie and tell it frequently enough, it will be believed.”

What is more insidious is the idea that politics is an amoral process that should be ignored by people of faith and that participation in the political process is somehow not worthy of a Christian's time or attention. Politics touches every aspect of a citizen’s life. Freedom of speech, of assembly, of religion are all part and parcel of our politics and they are all essential to the practice of people of faith. Our forebearers voyaged to this continent in search of religious liberty, and we hold this liberty only tenuously. We rest upon the laurels of our ancestors at our peril.

Furthermore, there is no politics apart from morality; it is a fundamentally moral pursuit. For example, can a conscientious Christian support a candidate who advocates for partial birth abortion? Whether the answer is yes or no, it is a moral question. Aren’t Biblical principles implicated when a candidate lies? Most people are familiar with the ninth Commandment, “Thou shalt not bear false witness.” For a Christian, one’s politics should flow seamlessly into fulfilling the Great Commission. A discussion of moral principles naturally terminates in the realization of moral insufficiency. For people of faith, there should be no wall of separation between the sacred and the secular.

Christians have erected monastic walls made of bricks congealed of cowardice and apathy. As American culture and politics continue to devolve, many people of faith have retreated behind the comfortable bulwarks of familiar society and have left the country to dissolve under the relentless corrosive of Progressivism. In the parable of salt and light (Matthew 5:13), Christ asks a question, “if the salt have lost his savor, wherewith shall it be salted?” There is no other social or political preservative except for people of faith and conviction. Christ concludes with an ominous statement concerning those who refuse to function as salt in a decaying world, “it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.”