Tuesday, October 23, 2012

On the perception, and reality, of Christian Voter Participation

"For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places."  Ephesians 6:12 

"Government goes to those who show up." Matt Kibbe

Let's discuss a dirty little secret of American Society.  American Christianity is perceived to be very political when, in reality, it's not.  As a result, the Church faces the worst of both worlds.

The church currently catches all the flak of widespread political participation, but without fixing the problems.  The problems linger and, with them, the perception of the Church as political lingers.  If the reality of Christian political participation were ever to match what the outside world already perceives, we could fix the problems, which would also change the perception.

Government and politics is an arena of spiritual warfare.  From Nero, to the Jacobins, to Hitler, to countless others, Government is frequently a center of institutionalized evil.  Satan will work through government if believers don't show up.

And we don't show up...and the problems linger.

When only a quarter of our team is on the field, it leads to demoralizing fights over abortion and homosexuality.  If our entire team showed up, we'd win and it wouldn't be close.  Winning this fight (and fixing the problems) would, I believe, also transform how a lost and dying world perceives the Church.

All the great periods of social reform in American history began in the pulpit.  The American Revolution began in the pulpit.  Ending Slavery began in the pulpit.  Civil Rights began in the pulpit.  But the Church can't fix the problems if the Church doesn't show up.

Government goes to those who show up, and the perception of the Church as political won't go away by abandoning the political process.  The perception of the Church as political will continue until the Church engages the political process with sufficient strength to fix the underlying problems.  The Church already has to deal with the negatives, it might as well fix the problems and reap the benefits.

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