A MESSAGE FOR PASTORS: THE BIBLICAL MANDATE FOR POLITICAL ACTIVISM
by -Rev. Bill Banuchi-
In Exodus, Chapter 32 we come upon a scene that conveys a significant message for Christian leaders today. Remembering that,
“These things happened to them as examples and were written down as warnings for us, on whom the culmination of the ages has come.”–1 Corinthians 10:11
It is incumbent upon us to discern the message for the Church today.
Moses, was called to ascend Mt. Sinai to receive God’s law, leaving the Israelites without godly leadership. In his absence, Aaron sought to please the crowd by giving them a golden calf and leading them into idolatrous worship and revelry.
God burned with anger because of their actions, and was about to wipe them out, but Moses interceded on their behalf and so God relented. Moses then came down from the mountain to establish God’s covenant order to the chaos.
The narrative of this historical event speaks very clearly about the people of God in our own time. You see, today the culture is indulging in idolatry and revelry, while God’s leaders are not present to establish God’s covenant order. Yes, some might be on the mountain with God, and that is good, but we can’t stay there. We must come down to engage the culture to establish God’s order for a just, a peaceful and a prosperous society.
Today coming down from Mt. Sinai means being involved in the political process in this government “of the people.”
In Genesis 24 we read how Rebekah’s family sent her to marry Isaac with a blessing that included “possessing the gates of your enemies,” (Genesis 24:60b). That may not mean too much looking at it through the lens of modern culture, but the word “gates” refers to the seat of power, where decisions are made for the people–that is civil government. In other words, instead of complaining about government, the people of God should be sitting in the very seats of government, “the city gates.”
Not only do we have this clear example in the Old Testament, but we also have specific instructions for action throughout the New Testament.
When Peter declares that we are a “royal priesthood” in 1 Peter 2:9, he is saying that we are to exercise authority in both realms: the “royal” realm referring to civic authority and the “priesthood” referring to spiritual authority. You see, though in times past the duties of the priest and the king were to some extent separate, under the lordship of Christ His Church is to exercise dominion over all! How often have we sung “Jesus Be the Lord of All.” That also refers to the political process.
We must not continue to abdicate our responsibility to participate in the governing process, or our children and generations to follow will pay the price for our complacency.
Charles Finney, Presbyterian revivalist of the Second Great Awakening told us,
“God will bless or curse this nation according to the course that Christians take in politics.”
Let us not be the source of a curse on the next generation–on our children and our grandchildren. Let us be vessels of revival as we humble ourselves and seek His face and turn from our self-centered ways, and fully engage in the political process empowered by His Spirit.
There are several ways we can do that this year, and do our part to “possess the gates.” Here are just a few:
Pray regularly for government on every level from local to national, (1 Tim. 2:1, 2).
Preach and Teach about the Christian‘s responsibility to be involved in the political process, to be the salt and light, (Matthew 5:13).
Hold a Voter Registration Drive or an event to insure that every eligible person in the congregation is registered to vote. (Proverbs 29:2, Matthew 22:21)
Hold Second Sunday Meetings. Once each month, preferably on the Second Sunday, dedicate a Sunday night service to religious liberties issues, by preaching or showing a video or otherwise bringing God’s Word to educate and motivate the saints to be informed and ambassadors of Christ, (Matthew 28:19,20).
Host a Faith & Freedom Weekend or a single service. We will come and preach and teach about our Godly heritage, and our commission to see “America Bless God!” to ignite a fire of active civic participation, (Psalm 33:12).