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Digging deeper

How God is involved in his world and involves us

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There tends to be a view that Christians should not be involved in politics, and if we are then it should be more in favour of 'leftist' causes. However there is a lot of politics in the Bible, because it's what communities do. So we are involved if we're interested in the welfare of our community:  seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. Pray to the Lord for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper. Jer 29:7

There are structural things like Joseph as Egypt's Prime Minister or Moses' struggle against Pharaoh, or Daniel in the Babylonian Civil Service, or Wilberforce and Livingstone with slavery.

“Look at David, look at Daniel, look at Esther — look at all the people who influenced the government of their day to uphold Christian principles.” Madison Cawthorn

There are also issues of morality where we are called to challenge our culture - not to force our views (as is often mischaracterised) but to argue for things that follow more closely God's pattern for our flourishing. The law of the Lord is perfect, refreshing the soul. The statutes of the Lord are trustworthy, making wise the simple. The precepts of the Lord are right, giving joy to the heart. Ps 19:7-8

"He's called his people to make disciples in this world to call men and women and children from sin to the light that is in Christ to bow to Christ as Lord so that's always primary and in doing that, however we do need to be willing to say to Herod you cannot have your brother's wife this is wrong for you to do this. We need to remind people there's a God in heaven. This is his world and whenever you violate his law there are consequences that will come to you - they're really bad eternal consequences but there are temporal consequences as well because God designed the world to work in a certain way." Tom Ascol

Some say that it is unhelpful: 'To stand strong for one’s faith in Jesus Christ and push back against a culture that, in the words of Isaiah 5:20, “call evil good and good evil” is to be “divisive”, “unloving”, “bigoted” and “intolerant”. This is because evangelicals have confused Christ’s command to love others with being likeable, as if that were an attribute of God. (It isn’t.)  As such, they endeavour to be, above all else, inoffensive and polite.  This doctrinal malpractice has given us a generation of men who are what Lewis called “men without chests."' Larry Taunton

'Jesus is not just Lord of His church, but He's Lord of all.  The Scripture speaks to many of the issues that folks try to dismiss as "politics."  While we pursue the ultimate goal of seeing souls converted, there is nothing wrong with being active in exposing the fruitless deeds of darkness, protecting children, and being good stewards of all of the wonderful rights, privileges and resources that the Lord has blessed us with.  Government is God-ordained as the means by which lawlessness is kept in check.  This allows churches and families to continue to function according to their God-ordained roles and perform their duties in accord with Scripture.  To completely disengage with all of this may appear to be an act of virtue and piety, but ultimately falls short of the totality of our responsibilities as disciples who are called to be preserving agents in society, even as we shine the light of the Gospel.  Again, it's not either/or, but rather it's BOTH’ heartofalegend (comment on Mark Devine interview)

See also a Christian approach to understanding how God-given powers and responsibilities should be devolved:  Sphere Sovereignty.

Things are not OK

There is an even more pressing need to be present in this now:

All of politics is already post-liberal, and mainstream power has already explicitly embraced a faith-based moral order. Mary Harrington - Unherd

The 'faith' is not the Christian one, is the progressive cultural-Marxist (woke) one where dissenters are heretics. It refuses freedom, rejects reasoning or rational debate. Its authoritarianism allows only the appearance of democratic power and local accountability.  This is not what most in the West grew up to expect, but has happened before our eyes.  It happens when Christian-informed ways of doing things have their good-hearted centres removed so only the forms are left - whited sepulchres.

If Christian leaders will not speak up

"‘I tell you,’ he replied, ‘if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out.’" Lk 19:40   Too often in the West Church leaders are the first to endorse the spirit of the age, preferring to be the 'high priests' of the civic religion, making Caesar 'Lord' rather than the one they claim to follow. Jesus Christ, who is …; the ruler of the kings of the earth. Rev 1:5

There are several explanations for this: the desire for acceptance among their fellow elitists, tiredness with their faith, a loss of vitalness amidst structures and bureaucracy, disbelieving the Bible, the desire to be creative - to make a mark now they have the power - especially over their colleagues. But as in Revelation, their lampstands have already gone.

He said in a loud voice, “Fear God and give him glory, because the hour of his judgment has come. Worship him who made the heavens, the earth, the sea and the springs of water.” Rev 14:7

So ordinary Christians look around to see if anyone is faithful, not bowed the knee, and there are some outside the church, seekers probably,  to whom God has given good judgement, and who indeed look to Christian leaders over ethical issues and say 'well you believe something don't you?'.

'Why, they ask, should followers of Christ trust the counsel of unbelievers over spiritual brothers?  But the answer is obvious: people go where the truth is. When the church gets scared to speak it, of course secular honesty will win out over pious deceit. When God deterred the gentile king Balaam from going to war with Israel, he spoke through the mouth of a donkey (Numbers 22). God is not picky: if the church is too scared to speak the truth, He will find other messengers.' Megan Basham

For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. 2 Tim 1:7 AV

Be your own 'freedom' fighter!

It is for freedom that Christ has set us free  Gal 5:1 

So we do need to speak up and as politicians are said to be keen on public opinion we have a chance to influence that. The great Christian cultural reformers were not 'politicians' as such but would see themselves as 'contending for the Gospel' in the widest sense, thrilled to see a part of the Kingdom advanced, and using all their energies and skills to do this.  They expect opposition (not least from their own side!) but are fortified by a humble spiritual life and a band of friends. With Wilberforce they were called the 'Clapham sect'. We have similar organisation today. In the UK: Christian Concern (with Christian Legal Centre), Barnabus Fund, Christian Institute, CARE, Christians in Parliament.  In the US: Founders Ministries, Fixed Point Foundation (Larry Taunton), Samaritans Purse....

So seek out and support these, research the issues well, email your senior Church leaders, MPs, the BBC, Local Counsellors (become one?), engage community networks.