Why Christians Should Defend Godly Principles in Local Government
During a recent sermon, I heard a pastor condemn Christians for putting too much emphasis and trust in politics. This is a common occurrence. I regularly hear from pastors that politics is a distraction from the true work of the Gospel. "Politics is temporary, while we should focus on the eternal," they argue.
A few days after that sermon, I testified at the Colorado Capitol in favor of a bill that would recognize life, and all its rights thereof, at the moment of conception. There were eight of us testifying in support of the bill, but not a single pastor. How do I square these two seemingly contradictory scenarios? On one hand, pastors argue that Christians are too preoccupied by politics. On the other hand, when it comes to the work of writing our state's laws, Christians rarely show up.
Similar pastors have pointed to Romans 13:1 as a blanket justification for taking a backseat in shaping our state. "Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God." If God establishes all leaders, why get involved in the legislative processes that shape the state? Our call is simply to obedience – regardless of the rulers.
Perhaps the breakdown takes place along the lines of elections and statesmanship. We focus a lot on elections and personalities, but we ignore the hard work of actually shaping a state.
The debate over the church's role in civic society is not new. Dr. Gary Steward of Colorado Christian University explores this issue in his recently published book, "Justifying Revolution: The American Clergy's Argument for Political Resistance, 1750-1776." From before the Founding, ministers thought it important to engage in public life and debate over the direction of the country.
America is a unique nation in world history. We are a government of the people, by the people, and for the people. It is the people who shape our nation's laws, not a monarchy or dictator. And, as our nation continues to become more secular and anti-Biblical, so do our laws.
While it seems that conservative religious leaders are sitting on the sidelines of policy making, that’s not the case for all religious leaders. Many religious leaders of the woke persuasion testified in support of abortion access at the same hearing I mentioned above. They testified that God created abortion, as if God would bless the act of murdering an innocent child.
These religious leaders often show up to testify in support of LGBTQ rights and against religious freedom. Organizations like the Interfaith Alliance of Colorado support teaching the "the foundational themes [of critical race theory] from kindergarten through 12th-grade." Some faith leaders have testified that children should be able to meet with counselors and begin sex reassignment surgery without parental involvement, and support Planned Parenthood in leading the sex education curriculum for Colorado's public schools.
Here in Colorado, the woke religious leaders are winning on every issue. The priests of wokeness are writing our laws. Not because they are winning the culture wars, but because they are showing up and engaging in the political process to shape our state.
Christians can no longer take the leadership of our school boards, cities, counties, states, and nation for granted. Those in control of our communities are pushing a radically secular, racist, godless agenda. This agenda is not working as crime skyrockets, homelessness increases, drug overdoses reach record numbers, races divide, and teens suffer from youth suicide.
The Bible says, "When the godly are in authority, the people rejoice. But when the wicked are in power, they groan" (Proverbs 29:2). In this blessed nation where we can shape our laws, Christians must begin to take action to properly steward their communities to thrive. Our country works better when our laws reflect timeless Biblical principles. It's time for America's Christians to take the civic stewardship of our communities seriously. Please consider taking local leadership positions and guiding your communities in a more godly, righteous direction.
Jeff Hunt is the director of the Centennial Institute at Colorado Christian University.