The Silence Of The Church Is Sometimes Deafening
I'm a conservative Christian.
I don't expect you to be a conservative Christian necessarily, though I do hope you will consider both conservatism and Christianity.
That said, I do believe that conservatism and Christianity are completely compatible by nature. In fact, I find a proper understanding of Christianity and biblical principles leads us to embrace a conservative ideology.
Now, let me stop here and say what I am not suggesting.
I am not suggesting that one must be a conservative Republican in order to be a Christian. God loves and desires a relationship with every single person on planet earth. He desires this whether we are right or wrong, Right or Left, black or white, gay or straight, Muslim or Christian, atheist or deist. He desires a relationship with every single one of us, without exception.
Consider the following Bible verses:
"The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance."
- 2 Peter 3:9 (emphasis mine)
"This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth."
- I Timothy 2:3-4 (emphasis mine)
Don't get me wrong, God does care about our beliefs and the way in which we live our lives. In fact, God is very interested in the way we live, the choices we make, and at least some of the political policies we endorse or reject in our communities and nation. God expects us to live out our faith in the real world and it's why James 2:18 reads, "I will show you my faith by what I do" (emphasis mine).
Still, some political policies have little or nothing to do with the directions God has given us through His Word. These things, in my mind, are issues of personal preference and political parties should be able to present their proposed ideas and solutions. These things are more about preference (chocolate versus vanilla) than they are about morality (right versus wrong).
For example, God doesn't tell us what the preferred tax rate should be on this side of Heaven. Or what the speed limit should be on the interstate. We're left to figure that out through our system of government.
Still, that doesn't mean God is silent on all of these issues, either. In the first example above, it is true that God doesn't give us a tax rate. Or what should and shouldn't be taxed. But He does give us some guardrails and direction. He expects citizens to pay their taxes and governments to refrain from burdening their people through excessively high taxes.
But here is the problem: everything is political today.
Everything. What we eat. What we drink. What we drive. What we wear. Where we shop. You name it. It has all become political.
Part of this is simply annoying and ridiculous because we just want to live our lives and be able to watch a football game again without some political messaging or cause being shoved down our throats.
This is annoying and I, like the vast majority of you, do not like it. But that's not the only problem we face from the over-politicization of everything. In fact, there is a darker, more insidious part of this problem
The darker side is this: if everything is political, Christians and the Church aren't supposed to have an opinion or voice in the matter.
I mean, "separation of church and state," right? At least that's what those who want a silent, uninfluential church will scream anyway.
I've already mentioned above that some things are political and I do not think the Church should get involved in those things. Of course, individual Christians can (and probably should) have opinions, but these aren't the things about which the Church herself should be engaging society.
However, there are many other so-called "political" issues about which Christians and the Church should be engaging society. When the Church sees government stepping outside of its lane and violating some of the principles highlighted below, it's time for the Church to boldly and unashamedly speak:
When the government resorts to force when it should be embracing liberty. Force is not good. God has given people free choice. And while He expects us to make good choices, He doesn't force us to comply. There are many examples of this in Scripture and the first one I think of comes from Joshua 24:15 when Joshua tells the people to "choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve." I'm not suggesting law enforcement officers should never use force when legally and morally permitted to do so. Instead, I'm talking about the free exercise of our God-given liberties. It simply isn't good if our government eliminates choice and micromanages the lives of its citizens. And we must always make it clear that people are individuals created in the image of a sovereign God.
When the government is treated as though it is God. I often say that I don't need government to be my savior because that role has already been filled - perfectly I might add. And it has been filled (and fulfilled) by Jesus Christ. Let God be God and government be government. America is not and should not be a theocracy. But let us not become so arrogant as to think that God's moral law has no bearing on our government either. It does. And it should.
When Jesus is portrayed as a Socialist. Stop it already: Jesus was not a Socialist and anyone claiming He was has conflated the issues of personal choice and government force. Jesus died for the Church. He gave His instructions to the Church. He intentionally did not set up an earthly government. He taught His followers how to view and use their own possessions. He didn't tell them how to use or take things that belonged to someone else. He told His Church how to meet the needs of others, not the government. He wasn't a Socialist. He was a liberator, and a liberator is the antithesis of a Socialist.
When our government refuses to protect human life. Every person's life is sacred and the gift of God. God creates all human life and that life both scientifically and biblically begins in the womb. The psalmist declares that we are "fearfully and wonderfully made" and that God "knitted me together in my mother's womb" (Psalm 139:14). We are certainly all free to do with our own bodies what we choose. However, we don't have the right to harm another person's body. No matter how small. No matter how developed. No matter where that person lives. Let us abide by the words of the Apostle Peter: "Act as free people, and do not use your freedom as a covering for evil" (I Peter 2:16).
There are plenty of things sincere Christians can disagree about concerning politics. But let us not call every controversial issue "political" and then assume God wants His children and His Church to remain silent concerning those issues. Hogwash. When the Bible speaks on an issue or a principle, Christians should feel free - perhaps even obligated - to speak up about it, too.Todd Huff is a conservative, not bitter, political and cultural commentator, talk show host, podcaster, and columnist. He is also the founder of Conservative, Not Bitter University (CNBU). For more information about Todd, CNBU, or his daily talk show, visit toddhuffshow.com or download the podcast wherever you listen to podcasts.