No one likes the word politics, much less talking about it but
as Allie Beth Stuckey aptly says,
"Politics matter because policies matter because people matter."
Aware and Engaged
“Politics is a dirty business. Christians don’t belong in it.” I heard that idea presented many times during my growing up years. And I believed it. It was foolish then and it’s foolish now. For many years, my involvement in politics was limited to voting and dinner discussions about Washington D. C’s latest version of crazy. Millions of Christians like me allowed government to be overrun with people who do not share our values. That’s on us. The day of the uninvolved God-follower has to end, for the sake of our children.
A Clean Up Challenge for Christians
“Providence has given to our people the choice of their rulers, and it is the duty, as well as the privilege and interest of our Christian nation to select and prefer Christians for their rulers.” Founding Father of America John Jay
Can we retire the phrase, “Separation of Church and State” from our conversations about Christians in politics? Did you know that phrase doesn’t exist in the U.S. Constitution? What our founding fathers did say, in the First Amendment, was that they wanted the government they created to keep its mitts off free expression of religion.
The founding fathers feared the government could mess up churches, not the other way around. They fled England because of a government that controlled religion.
Thomas Jefferson coined the phrase, “The Separation of Church and State," in a letter to a constituent who was concerned about the government over-reach into houses of worship. Years later the phrase was taken wildly out of context and it quickly became a chant for anti-god forces. (Read the second linked article below for more detail on the history.) It’s used to block righteous people from bringing their faith into the government and other public institutions like schools.
What amazes me is how this phrase caught on in the body of Christ and became a thing.
Read the First Amendment and the articles I’ve linked to at the end of this one which deal with the issue of church and state in the constitution and see for yourself.
May I suggest a different angle for discussions about politics? How about believers stop complaining about dirty politics and politicians and get involved in clean up missions? Isn’t it our job as the salt and light on this fallen planet to purify and enlighten?
If politics and government are corrupt then we in the church must take some responsibility We drifted away from the hearts of the founding fathers represented by John Jay’s quote at the top of this article. More importantly, we drifted from God’s design for government and allowed man’s invention, politics, to become master over our systems of order and law.
Look around, dear ones. We have allowed the godless to dominate the pillars of our society. Think about who runs the world of business, sports, entertainment, media, education, and government. These kingdoms are overrun with immorality, worldly philosophies, and foolishness, but I don’t think we are too late.
I believe God’s mercy has kept my country and others from completely going over the cliffs. He patiently waits for believers to listen and obey the calls he is placing on people's lives to become involved. God desires to humble the wicked and exalt the righteous into authority during these last days.
The LORD supports the humble, but he brings the wicked down into the dust, Psalm 147: 6 NLT.
There are many ways we can start cleaning up governmental messes. Everyone must listen to God’s voice for their specific directions. We cannot all fight on all fronts but if all of us were fighting on one front…well, it’s not hard to imagine how different our world might be.
I list some suggestions in the next article for ways you can become involved. Check it out. God might be calling YOU to show up and step up.
Constitutional Expert on "Separation of Church and State"- great piece by a Standford Law Professor
Separation of Church and State- What Does the Constitution Actually Say?- older article but great recap on the history of this notion about keeping religion out of government.