By Allen Jackson, Crosswalk.com
It’s time for the Church to be honest. We've been asking God to preserve our freedoms and liberties, but we really want Him to provide somebody else to do it for us.
America, this grand experiment in self-government, was founded upon the idea of a government “of the people, by the people, and for the people.” But we have given many of those ideals away, becoming dependent upon the government to take care of us instead. Unfortunately, recent years have made it abundantly clear that the government and other public institutions are no longer interested in serving the best interests of the people. They have broken our trust, and we need to learn to stand in new ways.
During Covid, when churches were closed but liquor stores and casinos were allowed to remain open, we were largely complicit. As children are being mutilated by “gender-affirming” surgeries, we choose not to enter the discussion, so we won’t be labeled or canceled. When the Supreme Court ruled that abortion was NOT the law of the land, the Church largely stayed silent instead of moving into action to ensure the protection of the unborn in our individual states.
Here's the truth: For many decades, the Church has been willing to talk about a gospel of personal salvation, but we really haven't had the courage to stand up and take God's Truth into our culture.
We need a new response.
We are at a pivot point in history, and our future depends on the response of God’s people. We are going to have to accept responsibility for our lives in a way that we have not wanted to before. As a child, someone else fed us when we were hungry—all we had to do was make noise and food showed up on our table. We need to stop acting this way, waiting for others to do the work for us, and begin to do the heavy lifting ourselves.
It starts with watching and listening to what’s happening around you. Notice what people in powerful positions and the media tell you. What are your friends, neighbors, and coworkers discussing? What topics get praised, and which ones are shamed into silence?
Think about what you see and hear. How do the news reports compare to what you see happening in actual life? Does their reporting reflect reality, or something different? Where are people trying to feed you lies and lead you away from God’s Truth? Where are others interjecting God’s truth into the public square in surprising ways?
Then act. Begin to use your voice and give your energy to impact our culture with our biblical worldview. Look for opportunities to bring God and His truth into the places you frequent, more fully and more completely than ever before.
We can’t expect that showing up to vote will be enough to preserve our liberties and freedoms. If that’s all we do, we will lose them. It’s time to become active participants in protecting them. Vote, absolutely we should participate. We also must lead with our faith at our kitchen tables and with our friends. We cannot expect politicians to have more moral courage than we would demonstrate.
We cannot abandon the public square.
The time has passed for polite Bible studies, huddling in our buildings, and acting like the world is going to solve our problems. Church, we absolutely MUST awaken to what’s happening around us and live out our faith in the midst of culture.
Christians are told on a very frequent basis, “Don't be political. Jesus wasn’t political.” I disagree. It's true that Jesus did not run for office or endorse a candidate. But he had a great deal to say throughout his public ministry about those in authority over His people—in the Jewish religious community, the Jewish political system, and in the Roman secular authority over Israel.
Instead of staying silent on the issues of our day, God expects us to be light and salt, bringing His truth into our culture. After all, when we engage with the world, it's not just to buy groceries, sign up our kids for a sports team, and try to secure a better income for ourselves. The point of engaging with our culture is to share the good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ. We have an assignment to take the truth of Jesus Christ to our generation, and if we don’t, we're abandoning them to the darkness. As horrific as it is that we have an open border and national debt that is completely out of control, it's even worse if we abandon the public square to the objective truth of scripture.
Please understand—I'm not arguing for some sort of crude nationalism. But we have to recognize that the liberties and freedoms we enjoy are unprecedented in human history, and they have come to us because of the unique Judeo-Christian heritage of our nation. If our generation abandons those principles because of political or cultural pressures, our children and grandchildren will bear the consequences.
The changes in our nation are not because of the ungodly, the politicians, or the political party we don't like. It’s because of the failure of the Church. Throughout scripture, when God's people suffered defeat, it was not because of the prominence, ability, or strength of their adversaries. It was because of the failure of their own hearts. And if we see our freedoms and liberties continue to be eroded, it will not be because of expressions of darkness. It will be because we have extinguished the light.
We can make an impact.
We are not alone in recognizing the darkness in our nation. Knowledgeable people are stepping forward to warn about the dangers we face. The centralization of our banking system and our food supply gives people in power increasingly greater control over our personal freedoms. Instead of wringing our hands in despair, we need to recognize the risks, focus on what God is doing, and then join Him.
There are many practical things we can do.
It starts by becoming better informed about issues in our local communities—what public policies seek to glorify God, and which ones diminish Him? Use your efforts and your voice to bring your biblical worldview into discussions about those topics.
When selecting local leaders, look for those who reflect God’s character in their lives and their decision-making. Stand with those who align with God, vote for them, and encourage other Christ-followers to do the same.
Express support for legislation at the city, county, and state levels that helps preserve our freedoms and liberties locally, rather than abdicating them to the federal government.
Search your own heart, and determine to seek God’s standards of purity, holiness, and righteousness. Call on God to show you where you fall short, where you are blind, and where you need His perspective. Ask for His help as you seek to bring His light into your community and be faithful to accomplish whatever tasks He assigns you.
It’s time for us, the people of God, to recognize the season in which we are living. As we awaken to what's happening around us and boldly choose to follow the Lord in new ways, we will see our communities begin to change. That’s what will bring a more distinctive outcome to our current circumstances—far beyond the impact of any election. By you and I standing for our biblical worldview everywhere we go—from the kitchen table to the public square—we lead with our faith and direct our nation’s heart back to God.
Photo Credit: ©Getty Images/wwing
Allen Jackson is senior pastor of World Outreach Church, a congregation of 15,000, and founder of Allen Jackson Ministries, which broadcasts his biblical messages across the world on TV, radio, and the internet. He is the author of Intentional Faith, and his latest book, "Big Trouble Ahead," which was released from Thomas Nelson Publishers in August 2022.