I pray this finds you, your family, and your fellowship in the best of our Lord’s care and grace.
I’m sure you’re all watching and praying as the tragedy unfolds in Afghanistan, and puzzled by the level of incompetence demonstrated by our national leaders. We must, however, restrain ourselves from pointing the finger at others, but rather take this opportunity to make sober assessment of where we might be partly responsible for what we see. It was President James Garfield, an ordained minister of the Gospel who told us that,
“Now, more than ever before, the people are responsible for the character of their Congress. If that body be ignorant, reckless, and corrupt, it is because the people tolerate ignorance, recklessness, and corruption. If it be intelligent, brave, and pure, it is because the people demand these high qualities to represent them in the national legislature. If [one hundred years from now] the next centennial does not find us a great nation…it will be because those who represent the enterprise, the culture, and the morality of the nation do not aid in controlling the political forces.” (A Century of Congress,” Atlantic, July 1877, p. 63-64)
Never before in the history of our nation has there been such a clear divide between two spiritual-political camps vying for control of a nation, and in fact, the world. There’s nothing new under the sun. It’s the age-old conflict between God and Satan.
But for the first time in the history of our nation one side is driven by an animus toward God manifested in a determination to usurp His authority and rejection of Biblical morality. It was Sam Adams, rabble-rouser of the revolution who told us that,
“It is in the interest of Tyrants to reduce the people to ignorance and vice. For they cannot live in any country where virtue and knowledge prevail.”—Boston Gazette, Oct. 5, 1772
If virtue and knowledge no longer prevail in this land assigned to us to steward, then we, the guardians of Truth–the Word of God–must take full responsibility for our failure. The longest-lasting Constitutional Republic has endured because of men and women who have gone before us like Frederick Douglas who speaking of biblical values said,
“I feel it my duty to do all in my power to infuse this idea into the public mind, that it may speedily be recognized and practiced upon by our people.”
Pastor, God is calling up a modern-day “Black Robed Regiment” to educate our people in the ways of righteousness and duty to be the salt of the earth and the light of the world, to steward our civic government in a way that will preserve our liberty to preach the Gospel for the next generation and beyond. President Reagan admonished us when he told us that,
“Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it on to our children the bloodstream. It must be fought for and protected and handed on to them to do the same, or we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children what it was like in America when men were free.”
So, what am I saying in a practical sense? I’m asking you, respectfully, to pray about foregoing your determination to keep politics out of the pulpit. If Jesus is truly Lord of all, then He must also be Lord of our government and politics. I believe it is unbiblical to abstain from preaching and teaching the stewardship of liberty. Granted, they didn’t teach you that in Bible School, and perhaps taught that it is improper to bring politics into the pulpit, but to exclude any part of life from the dominion of Christ is to preach less than the full Gospel, for the earth is the Lord’s and everything in it, including, and especially today, our politics and government. Yes, Christ and the Cross must always be pre-eminent, but we must also include the stewardship of liberty in our portfolio of topics to preach as they impact the lives of our people. Yes, avoid a “political spirit,” but never cease to preach righteousness as it applies to our politics. The only political party or candidate that deserves our support is the one that supports the principles of the Bible, and we must be clear in teaching our people to vote for candidates who support those values.
We were all born “for such a time as this.” As my fellow laborers in the vineyard, I believe it is your desire to be found faithful as we look forward to those words, “Well done, good and faithful servant.”
I am personally at a point in my life and ministry that my sole desire is to “finish well.” I must pass the mantle on to the Elishas of our day and pray for a double portion of the Spirit for the times require no less.
It is my solemn wish that you will prayerfully consider this challenge and choose to be different. Choose to let the Holy Spirit lead you in ways too few Christian leaders would go, but so many are needed.
I remain available to help you in any way I can, to help equip you with resources, guidance and encouragement. I confess; this is not the way for those who lack courage, but if you are yielded to the Holy Spirit you will receive the power to be His effective witness wherever He sends you, whether it’s at the next school board meeting, the next town council, in the State Assembly House, or simply at your next Church service. One thing I have learned is that you can never underestimate where God will send that totally yielded vessel.
Please feel free to let me know what you sense the Spirit is saying to you concerning this challenge. Your response would be a source of encouragement for me.
Again, I remain available to help you pursue the vision God has given you.
In His Grace,
Rev. Bill Banuchi
Reply to: email@example.com
P.S. I invite you to join us at our next CLOTH meeting. (Christian Leaders of the Hudson) on September 4th , 4:00 PM at Circleville Presbyterian Church to pray with and fellowship with other like-minded leaders in response to John 17:21. Call Chip Murray at 845-544-4005 for details.
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).