Should We Get Involved?
Magazine May/June 2007
used by permission
Recently the Movie "Amazing Grace" came to Big
Screen Movie theaters around the nation and those Christians who viewed the
movie, had to come to grips with "Should Christians be involved in the systems
of this world?" I am speaking about
yes politics. The May/June issue of Kairos Magazine Published by
Eagles Wings Ministry brings to light what our responsibility should be.
long we Christians have been told to separate ourselves from the world and have
relinquished a Godly influence in all areas of our Nation to the point that it
has become almost all secular. This was not the intent of our founding Fathers.
Those early men and women knew that a nation without Faith in the One True God
and a spiritual foundation, would not endure the ravages of time. The History of
Democracies shows that once a people realize they can vote off restraints and
vote entitlements, the nation will bankrupt itself. The articles below I hope
will give some light to all who read them.
The Apostle Paul gave the early Christians
directions in various parts of the New Testament, i.e.
Romans 13, about our roll and duty to civil government. The
Hebrew way of life was wherever you made your life, that's where you were to
make your influence. The Lord gave Dominion over the earth to man and Adam gave
it to the devil. Jesus came to redeem and restore mankind to God the Father. He
also said ALL Authority was given to Him, therefore GO INTO ALL the WORLD and
Good News of Gospel
to all the nations.
I hope these articles give you a better
perspective as to our role of "in the world but not of it."
Many Blessings in The Master, Pastor James C Exner
Integrating The Secular and Secular
by Dr Larry & Judy Keefauver
WE GET INVOLVED?
Sacred and Secular
TERTULLIAN, to Joan of Are, to M.L. King and into the present with Amnesty
International, Christian involvement in and confrontation of secular
government, war, the military and civil service has been debated. Let's
consider the truth that Israel was a theocracy and even when a monarchy
emerged to meet the cry of the people [never was God's idea!], the
spiritual leaders-judges, priests and prophets-certainly locked horns and
got intimately involved in the political and governmental processes.
Consider Jeremiah protesting naked in Jerusalem's byways and Nathan
getting in David's face or Amos decrying the injustices inflicted upon the
poor, innocent and helpless.
We know that St. Paul stirred it up directly with the
local rulers in Palestine including Felix and Festus as well as with
Caesar himself! Confrontation, conflict, persecution, violence and
martyrdom have marked Christian confrontation with governments throughout
both Western and Eastern civilizations. Yes, we honor and respect civil
authority which as been given by God to protect us. Yes also, Christians
must confront secular governments and institutions (i.e. educational,
scientific, political, business, media and the arts) whenever those
secular entities speak or act in opposition to biblical truths and values.
"It's time to call sin,
"sin!" and to stop extolling one political group over another when each
party has unbiblical platforms and certain candidates and elected
officials who trample biblical ethics and morality,"
This issue of
candidly confronts some of the critical issues we must
address out of Christian faith and duty. It is both our civic and
Christian obligation to speak, act, lobby, vote and work to implement
Kingdom values into our cultural lifestyles. We must oppose ethnic
prejudice, environmental rape by multinational corporations, murder in the
womb, exploitation of illegal workers and the poor, political corruption
and greed, hatred between religious extremists, anti-Semitism (God has a
covenant with Israel defining her boundaries and existence and her enemies
are indeed God's), scientific dogmatism masquerading as fact, pornography
in all its forms, persecution of minorities, and a host of other unjust,
unrighteous movements in our culture and government.
It's time to call sin, "sin!" and to stop extolling one
political group over another when each party has some unbiblical stands
and certain candidates and elected officials who trample biblical ethics
and morality while using religion to court votes. Examine the candidates
by biblical standards and run for office yourself if God mandates it.
Get out your
Bible, your checkbook, your voting ballots and turn to your phone, email
and platforms to lift up God's righteousness in confronting secular issues
that compromise biblical absolutes. Let "Justice run down like water, and
righteousness like a mighty stream" (Amos 5:24).
Political Activism: Choice or
Responsibility? by Robert
We are living in sobering times when the need
to be politically active is greater than ever. Be equipped to take a stand for
truth & righteousness in your generation with this stirring call to activate
"All that is necessary for evil to
triumph is for good men to do nothing."
This oft quoted maxim
has been receiving a lot of attention lately. There is a growing realization
that we are in a deeply evil age with the grave and imminent threat of the
empowerment of evil over good (at least for a season) if there is not, soon, a
passionate rising up of good men and women to get involved and do something.
A recent trip to
London has left me chilled to the bone with fear for our future. I knew that
things were bad in Europe; I knew that Europe is unquestionably in a
post-Christian era, and that secularism and materialism rule the day. I further
realized that Islam was quickly, militantly, blatantly advancing. But I had not
realized how bad, indeed how seemingly hopeless, the situation is.
Unless there is a
miraculous, unforeseen move of God to change the hearts and minds of Europeans,
I predict that Europe, as we have known it, will cease to exist in our
generation. Furthermore, unless there is a miraculous awakening of awareness,
zeal, spiritual fervor and corresponding political activism, I predict that we
in North America will not be far behind.
Clearly, if it ever
was, political activism is no longer a matter of choice for the Believer in
Jesus. I feel there are three keys we must individually and corporately lay hold
of if we are going to turn the tide in our generation. I invite you to receive
this exhortation with sobriety of spirit and an attitude of prayer, asking the
Lord what it is He would say to you.
1. We must
eradicate the mindset of a sacred/secular split, which has emasculated the
Church and created a subculture of Christianity rather than a counter culture
that infiltrates every sector of society.
of the most demonically inspired lies that the Church in America has accepted
almost without exception is the notion that certain areas; (preaching, teaching,
worship leading) are "spiritual" and other areas (education, business,
government) are unspiritual. The subconscious teaching of the
Charismatic/Pentecostal church in particular is that you need a special
"anointing" for the "spiritual" areas, but the only thing really involved in the
"secular" areas are hard work, good education, and perhaps godly character.
There is very little
encouragement in the Church to see these various sectors of society influenced
by men and women of God for Kingdom purposes. This mind set must change if the
Church is going to be anything but a subculture in our day. We must instill in
our young people that, as they go into the field God has called them to, they go
as ambassadors bringing His truth into every realm.
2. We must overcome
our fear of being labeled "extremist' in our positions, simply because some of
our predecessors have not been as inclusive or wise in their public
communication as they could have been.
I remember watching a
major network news program a day or two after the Tsunami, in which hundreds of
thousands lost their lives. The interviewer had on as his guests several
religious leaders from different backgrounds - Jewish, Buddhist, Catholic, New
Age, and Evangelical Christian. The interviewer asked what would happen to the
souls of the countless thousands of innocent people who had been swept away in a
moment, among them, tens of thousands of innocent children.
One by one, the
religious leaders gave their answers, all trying to bring comfort and hope.
However, when the Evangelical Christian was asked the same question, I cringed
as his reply essentially talked about people spending eternity in hell without
"Unless there is a miraculous,
unforeseen move of God...I predict that Europe, as we have known
it, will cease to exist in our generation."
While I understood and appreciated his desire to be true to the Gospel, the
fact is his answer probably did more harm than good. It presented God only as
Judge, in a moment when humanity was grappling with a natural disaster that had
no human or moral cause, and was looking for something reassuring to hold onto.
Our brother could - and should - have found an answer that, while not
compromising the Gospel, was more appropriate to the brokenness and devastation
of the situation.
share that story, though it does not relate directly to political activism,
because I think that part of the reason many Bible believing Christians today
are shying away from the political scene is that they don't want to be perceived
as "homophobes" who support the killing of abortionists.
Two elements have led
to the public perception of Evangelical Christians being extremists in this
regard. One is the media's desire to lampoon us and paint us in the worst
possible light. The other is our lack of wisdom and discernment in how we have
presented ourselves in the public sphere.
sanctity of marriage and family and the sanctity of human life are crucial
issues that demand our careful attention and support. Having said that, we must
be careful to earn our place in the national conversation by not becoming narrow
reactionaries focused on these two issues to the exclusion of all else.
We must become vitally trained, involved and active on every level local to
There are countless
things anyone of us could do that could make a huge impact on the world around
us. Has God given you the tools to be a counselor to teens who would otherwise
choose abortion? Should you be serving on your local school board to speak into
curriculum & policy that affects thousands of children? What about getting
Christians registered to vote? Or perhaps giving your life to a cause like
working against modem-day slavery, anti-Semitism, or the secular humanist agenda
in the socio-political realm; there is no end to addressing these needs but
there must be a beginning!
Many of us have been
crying out for an end to those things that set themselves up against God's
Kingdom reign of truth and peace. Could it be that God is asking us to be the
answer to our own prayers?
"There are countless
things any one of us could do that could make
a huge impact on the world around
I want to be the first
to admit - I have not been active enough at all in these arenas. I have not been
trained by the Church or by empowering Christian non-profit organizations to be
involved in this way. But, at this time, we cannot be silent any longer. We must
become trained and active. Now.
Please hear me. Please
This is not a matter
of "burden" or "interest" nor is it a good idea for those who "feel like getting
involved". The integrity of the Gospel, countless souls, and the future of
Western Civilization itself are all at stake.
whom much has been given, much is required (Lu 12:48). May we be found faithful.
ministry flows out of a deep passion for Jesus that is characterized by a
distinct prophetic edge.
the Body of Christ. They have ministered in 25 nations
around the world and maintain a significant burden for the
Eastern United States and for Israel.
At the Jerusalem Summit in London. England.
Robert Stearns interacted with dignitaries including
Baroness Caroline Cox, a Christian who serves
in the House of Lords.
The New Slavery; Bringing a
Godly Perspective to Immigration Reform.
by Dr. (Bishop) Harry R. Jackson
Christians are currently having an unprecedented
impact on American politics.
Both the 2004
and 2006 elections were determined by citizens who voted their
values - not party preferences. In both races Christians and the
secular community alike voted against issues they feared. In 2004,
they saw Bush as a defender of moral values, family, and the
security of the nation. In 2006 they voted against a war that had
spiraled out of control and a Republican legislative branch which
seemed too partisan to be effective.
negative backdrop of voting based on fear, the Church currently has
an opportunity to lead with vision and positive moral values. We can
set the pace and priorities of both parties - if we seize the
moment. We can also change the public relations myth that presents
people of faith as spoilers instead of servants. We must be bold
enough to define emerging moral questions and give the culture
is, ''Which issue is the Lord calling us to address?" My vote is for
comprehensive immigration reform. Immigration is perhaps the second
most important issue of the next decade - after the war in Iraq. The
reasons for its importance are five-fold:
The cost of
American products and services will go up as "illegals" are
prosecuted or given amnesty.
criminals and gang members are crossing the borders along with eager
workers seeking a better life.
opportunities for minorities and other Americans at the lower end of
the economic spectrum will shift dramatically based upon the
increase in the number of Hispanic voters will shift the balance of
power in U.S. politics.
security can be breached by Al Quaeda and other groups.
In addition to
the reasons enumerated above, there are several important moral
questions involved with the existence and exploitation of illegal
aliens. Every American knows that one of the biggest blights upon
America's legacy of freedom and economic opportunity was slavery.
Slaves were pushed beyond normal human limits. They were treated
like chattel or livestock versus full-fledged human beings. It took
the nation over a hundred years and a civil war to wean itself from
its first addiction to cheap labor.
Like a man
returning to smoking, our generation has once again become hooked on
cheap labor. Unfortunately, we are forgetting that this kind of
labor may be dangerous to our national health.
are simultaneously criminals and victims. They are victims of what I
would like to call "the new slavery." The Evangelical Church, by and
large, has not addressed this question. Simplistic solutions are
being put forth by both parties and many are pandering for future
of amnesty programs often opine that U.S. citizens are not willing
to do jobs that "illegals" eagerly perform. This statement is
patently false and overlooks the issue of worker exploitation.
American citizens will not do some of these jobs because they are
dirty, dangerous, and dead end.
Let's take a
look at what's really going on in the world of immigration reform.
In December 2006, Swift & Co. was raided and 1,200 people were
arrested on alleged identity theft and immigration violations. This
company is a meat processor who was hit in six states by federal
authorities. This kind of raid sends a signal to large companies
that they are not exempt from the laws of the land.
As much as I
rejoice over the way companies like Swift are handled, I am
concerned about smaller companies operating in remote areas. These
companies' survival may actually be challenged by hasty enforcement
transitions. Let me give you an example of what can happen in a
weekend 2006, Crider Inc. based in Stillmore, GA lost nearly 700 of
its mostly Hispanic 900-member work force. Stillmore has an
interesting history. In the late 1990s, Hispanics began to move to
the area. Since then, the Hispanic population has tripled in the
state of Georgia. Therefore, problems we would normally equate with
border towns in other states began to occur in the deep South - the
buckle of the “Bible Belt.” At that time, Crider's processing lines
were made up predominantly of African-Americans.
The change to a
Latino workforce, the majority from Mexico, was gradual. The
company's officials have repeatedly assured the press that their
illegal hiring practices were unintentional (which I find hard to
"IT TOOK THE NATION OVER A HUNDRED
YEARS AND A CIVIL WAR TO WEAN ITSELF FROM ITS FIRST ADDICTION TO
"LET'S SERVE OUR CULTURE WITH
AUTHORITY AND MORAL CLARITY"
standards seemed to deteriorate. The poultry industry is known for
slippery floors and bitter cold working conditions. Crider, however,
took employee danger to another level with the accidental death of
one of its employees in a forklift accident in 1997.
But what do you
do when the change comes too fast? How do we add quality jobs to the
national economy? Don't get me wrong, I am not in favor of giving a
shady company a get-out-of-jail-free pass. I do want to recommend
that a strategic approach be taken to cleaning up the thousands of
companies who are practicing a new form of slavery.
community temporarily benefited from the new jobs which were made
available. Unfortunately, the company did not have time to think
through its transition. Under the current structure, these positions
have no potential. They are an invitation for workers to be
permanently added to the bottom rung of the American work force. In
the future, even naturalized employees will want something to look
forward to a career path or a personal road to prosperity.
upward aspirations of future workers must be balanced with the
company's ability to turn a reasonable profit. Crider is
experiencing a crisis and still needs 300 employees to return to
normal output levels. Simply put, the transition is not working.
What does this
mean for this company, the community, and the nation? The answer is
that immigration reform has to become a priority - not an
afterthought. I recommend we close the borders and start the long
process of Americanizing U.S. / businesses so that free enterprise
can truly work.
let me reiterate that immigration reform is the second most
significant issue on our political plate. I call upon the
Evangelical Christian movement to begin to develop a clear solution
to the problem. I personally plan to help mobilize a meeting of the
minds of the black church, the Hispanic church, and the powerful
white evangelical movement.
We must take an
anti-amnesty stand, while vigorously protecting our borders. In
addition, we must make sure that those who legally enter the country
are treated with dignity. This dignity would include offering them
professions which will keep them from being maimed, humiliated, or
marginalized as true Americans. Immigration reform will be a dirty
and unpopular job, but somebody's got to do it.
serve our culture with biblical authority and moral clarity!
Dr. Harry R. Jackson Jr. pastors Hope Christian Church, a 3,000
member congregation in the nation's Capitol with his wife,
Michele. Having earned an MBA from Harvard, Jackson is a best
selling author, ministering nationally and internationally. His
books include In-laws, Outlaws and the Functional Family, The
Warrior's Heart and High Impact African-American.