Published December 16, 2004
We hear that America is at a crossroads. We know our duty to elect Godly men to power, to elect judges and legislators who will legislate and enforce moral standards. We watch our country fall apart, and blame it on not having prayer in the schools, or not having the Ten Commandments in the courthouses, or the media with their liberal agenda.
We blame an activist judiciary, or the legislators, or not enough conservative justices on the Supreme Court. But perhaps, just perhaps, the real problem for our moral decay is elsewhere. Perhaps the real problem is not with our government at all. If we believe the Bible, then we believe that the people in charge are the people God wanted to be in charge. The Bible teaches that all government is ordained of God and the authorities which exist are appointed by Him (Rom. 13). Could it be that our decay is from our lethargy?
The early church also lived within a morally corrupt society. By the year 111 AD, it was a death sentence to profess Christianity, a policy that remained in effect for almost two hundred years. They had no political power and no hope of political power. Those believers faced persecution and execution, lived among idol worshippers, saw infanticide and wanton sexual perversions - yet that church thrived.
That church thrived. How? Changing the government was not an option. They worried about people, not politics. They carried out the great commission and preached the truth of Christ to individuals, one person at a time. They lived their faith, and they let their private beliefs determine their public actions. We, on the other hand, do not let our beliefs influence our actions. We, the modern church, do not live as Christians.
The apostle James challenged us. In James 2:14 (NLT), he asked; "What's the use of saying you have faith if you don't prove it by your actions?"
We cry out to God to heal our land, claiming the promise of II Chron. 7:14b. He will not! Not until we fulfill 7:14a, which says we - God's people, not the unbelieving masses, but us - must humble ourselves and turn from our wicked ways.
It is time for us to let our private beliefs influence our public actions. It is time for us to become holy, to live out our beliefs, and to reach others with the gospel of Christ. It is time for us to read the Bible and let God show us where we need to change - and then change.
Is political action wrong? No, in our society we have the right to attempt to change based on moral values. It is not where we should put our trust, though. The society will change, not because of a new law, not because of who we elect, but society will change because we reach someone with the gospel of Christ and they change in their heart. One person at a time, just like the early church.
It's not easy to live a holy life. It means that sometimes we set aside our selfishness. It means work. It means spending time in prayer, seeking God's will, and living as if our faith really matters.
So does our faith matter? Does it matter enough? Will we humble ourselves and turn from our wicked ways?
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