Any Christian who watches the news in our day will certainly experience distress. We hear some politicians say ridiculous things; then we listen for other politicians “on our side” to answer—and sometimes there is a deafening silence. As we observe our culture spiraling downward into a moral abyss, we can become burdened, grieved, frustrated, and angry. What should we do with these enormous concerns?
For sure, we should NOT retreat from the ballot box just because our favorite political leaders disappoint us. Make no mistake: failure to go to the ballot box is a clear and resounding vote for the “other side!”
For sure, we should NOT give up on America—if the Lord does not come back soon, our children and grandchildren will be living here!
For sure, we should NOT fret and stew to the point that we forfeit our peace of soul. Remember, God is still in control! We should therefore be joyfully resting in His loving and wise care. But what is God doing? I’m not sure. Perhaps He is testing us, or judging us; or maybe He is purifying us. Maybe we are seeing in our country the beginning of what God has allowed many Christians in other countries to experience— persecution. Whatever God’s plan, we should be resting in Him.
For sure, we should NOT become bitter, hateful, unkind, and vitriolic.
Dear Christians, we should remember our Biblical mandates. What are we supposed to be doing here on this earth? Our Biblically stated, God-given purposes are to become more like Jesus Christ, build up other believers in the faith, and evangelize the lost. If God’s mandates are our major concerns, we will not be so occupied with worries about the here-and-now that we lose our sense of eternity. However, our sense of eternity should not disassociate us from our society. We do live here, so we should try to make a positive contribution. We should fulfill our civic responsibility by rendering to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s. That means that we should be politically active in some measure. We should at least vote—if not do more. But while we are doing what we can for our beloved country, we should not lose sight of that “better country”—our heavenly home (Heb. 11:16).
My plea is for balance. For the Christian, what is the proper balance between Heaven and earth—between the USA and that “better country”? I suspect that God’s balance for His children will vary among His children. It will be according to their gifts, abilities, family settings, and backgrounds. So what should you do?
You should honestly examine your own soul. Do you find yourself excited about political issues but bored with spiritual concerns? If so, you’re out of balance. Do the stubs in your checkbook indicate great concern for America and little concern for Fundamental evangelistic efforts? If so, you’re out of balance. Do you talk with people about political concerns but fail to witness to them? If so, you’re out of balance. And if you are out of balance, your priorities are wrong. You need to “connect” with God’s Word and get a spiritual tune-up.
You must not forget that your priorities should be spiritual matters—God, Heaven, Hell, sanctification, fruits of the Spirit, evangelism, etc. These should be uppermost and most obvious in your life. You must honestly look at your own soul in the light of God’s Word—and you must then decide how you are going to live during this bizarre time in our history. You must come before the Lord in the privacy of your own prayer closet and seek Him. May God help you to do just that!
David Harper pastors Bible Baptist Church in Wakarusa, Indiana.
(Originally published in FrontLine • July / August 2004. Click here to subscribe to the magazine.)