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Worldview matters. Whether or not we understand or internalize it, everyone we come into contact with has their own unique perspective.
We all see the world with a personalized understanding based on our experiences and our most basic beliefs about ourselves and human nature. We decipher what we like and don’t like about ourselves, each other, the world and our role in it. We imagine how our communities and our nation could be different; sometimes (not enough) we work to change things for the better. Our perspectives can be vastly different depending upon our worldview and, therefore, our disagreements can be both stark and startling. Ideas about life and the world have concrete consequences. Our worldview will either help us see the world more clearly or will prevent us from doing so.
Our worldview will either help us live our lives well or lead us astray and eventually to ruin. Because worldview exists, there really is no neutral; everyone is worshipping someone or something. Secular humanism and atheism are religions just as Christianity and Judaism are. Love of control and love of the created aren’t genuine love, but they are enduring.
Christians should embrace a Christian worldview, but too many of us don’t. We might be believers in private but publicly live our lives as though we have no faith whatsoever. Too many Christians in our society have been infected by the actively anti-Christian illness that surrounds us. Many have succumbed to the lie that faith must be both private and silent in America. Ironically, by believing government-ordained secularism should reign over all things, passive progressive Christians are the true Christian Nationalists. They bow a knee to the whims of culture by intentionally minimizing and containing faith to the temporal walls of a building they call a church rather than living their biblical faith out loud in every single aspect of their life. They then demand that others follow their well-worn wayward path as they fall in line behind the godless governmental demands of the day, despite its indefinite downward spiral. They would do well to remember why Paul was imprisoned before reminding us what Paul said about governmental authority from prison, but I digress.
Without constant faith, culture miscalculates and molds our thoughts as to what is acceptable and normal and beautiful. Fear becomes an attribute. Isolation becomes heroic. Confusion becomes admirable. Evil becomes good. Recently, the foundational sands undergirding our society have shifted in dramatic ways. The unthinkable is now affirmable. The undesirable is now pursued. The untoward is now celebrated. Many well-meaning but biblically disengaged Christians are embracing societal norms that aren’t normal at all. Bitterness is sweet and darkness is now called light. If Christianity is indeed the true account of creation and the history of the world, then God is more than equipped to handle all of life’s changes, all conceivable questions and every single man-made controversy. There is nothing new under the sun.
This intentional secular shift leaves many people of Judeo-Christian faith feeling shamed, silenced and marginalized. How are we to stand boldly for biblical truth while fully submerged in a culture that views our beliefs (and therefore us) as bigoted, hateful and harmful? Should we even bother to engage the world, and if we do so, when is it right or wrong for Christians to be involved in government and politics?
Religious Americans have the right, politically speaking, to advocate for our views in the public square. Further, our views (if biblically aligned) are reflective of God’s views and we have a calling and duty, spiritually speaking, to advocate for what we know to be the good of others. In fact, standing for truth becomes our main earthly objective when we come to truly understand that He is the way, the truth and the life. If He is truth, then to deny truth is to deny the Savior himself.
We must engage the world for Christ regardless of the worldly consequences because it is our calling as believers to do so. That includes politics because that includes everything: take every thought captive. Objections to Christian political involvement come from both inside and outside the church. Some of the common refrains are that people aren’t attracted to the church at large when there is a focus on politics, that neither political party perfectly represents Christianity, and that it’s not possible to legislate morality. However, the job of the church isn’t simply to attract non-believers but to teach the truth to both believers and the unchurched. If the church must choose between quality and quantity, it should choose quality every single time. It’s accurate that no political party perfectly represents Christianity just as no person (apart from Christ) adequately does so, but we are taught to judge a person by his fruits; politicians and political parties can be judged similarly. To the idea that governments cannot legislate morality, please direct your attention to the extreme levels of immorality that have been loosened by the obvious lack of attempt to legislate morality in the last generation. I rest my case.
Some others assert that it’s impossible to change hearts by changing laws, that fighting for political rights is inherently selfish, and that having political discussions creates division. I agree that people’s hearts cannot be changed by laws due to the fact that people’s hearts can only be changed by God himself. That is not to say that people can’t be a vessel to plant that seed and there is no reason that a well-adjudicated law couldn’t also serve as a planted seed. I believe that people, especially the most vulnerable among us, deserve protection by both laws and law enforcement. In fighting for our God-given rights, we are both honoring God and protecting the rights of all people, not just ours. When Christians call for freedom, it is not to the exclusion of others but for the inclusive benefit of all; freedom benefits every single person. Political discussions don’t cause division any more than religious discussions cause division, yet I see few pastors eschewing religious scholarship or philosophical discussion due to the possible disagreement it might cause; with all due respect, that seems to be their full-time job. There is disagreement amongst people due to the fall. Disagreement doesn’t equal hate; pretending political engagement is the derivative of church division is disingenuous at best. Fostering that lie to the detriment of the flock and the community at large is aiding and abetting the deconstruction of society. Division isn’t necessarily the enemy of man, sin is.
A.W. Tozer famously asserted, “When men believe God, they speak boldly.”
We are in need of men and women of faith to shamelessly interject biblical truth into our governmental institutions and communities. Voter apathy, combined with a spirit of hopelessness derived from legitimate questions about election integrity, created low voter turnout and even lower enthusiasm from Republicans in last week’s elections. However, national races with competitive candidates who refused to shy away from difficult moral subjects won the night. A multitude of pro-life and pro-family candidates were successful in their midterm campaigns, while those who shied away from standing boldly lost both their witness and their seats. The positive impact of biblical boldness didn’t stop at the top of the ballot. There were massive victories on the state level, particularly in governor races. LifeNews.com reported that all twelve Governors who previously signed an abortion ban won by wide margins. SBA Pro-Life America highlighted the governors who signed heartbeat bills also won reelection. The midterms might have been a red puddle rather than a red wave due to the diluted depth and milquetoast messages of many of the establishment-recruited “Republicans” in the races.
Many candidates who spoke boldly and unapologetically were rewarded by the electorate, and many of those who cowered to the woke mob were shown the door. May our local/state leaders and congressional delegations take heed. May we all.
Stephanie Holden Smith is an experienced policy analyst, political commentator, and public speaker. Smith has worked and volunteered in Governmental Affairs in Alabama since 1997, including lobbying for a Fortune 500 company and serving as Deputy Director of Finance for the State of Alabama. She is currently the principal of Thatcher Coalition LLC. To contact Stephanie, please go to http://thatchercoalition.com.
The views and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the policy or position of 1819 News. To comment, please send an email with your name and contact information Commentary@1819News.com.
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