What posts have gone before?
- PART 1: We spoke of my personal goal for good government. Is it the same goal you might have? Perhaps.
- PART 2: We considered the primary obstacle to good government.
- PART 3: We reviewed the defensive components of a strategy for good government.
- PART 4: We reviewed the offensive components of a strategy for government.
PART 5 begins a discussion of tactics. This post is the first in a series about how ordinary men and women can affect the operation of our government for the better. This posts explains why we must participate in politics. How do we get motivated?
Why We Must Participate In Politics
What’s our obligation? Consider the words of George Washington (under his picture at the beginning of this post). Because our government protects our freedom and the freedom of our family, friends and neighbors, we have an obligation to protect it. Whereas Washington spoke of protecting the government of a free society with arms, here we speak of the peaceful duties of citizenship.
- the state of being vested with the rights, privileges, and duties of a citizen.
- the character of an individual viewed as a member of society; behavior in terms of the duties, obligations, and functions of a citizen: an award for good citizenship.
Most of us have the odd idea that joining and participating in a political party is something only a political junkie would do.
One who is obsessed with all things political, watches C-SPAN, and votes in every election. Rachel Maddow is often credited with coining this term.
Example usage: I am such a political junkie, I need to stop writing emails to Senator Feinstein and get out more.
The political junkie, however, for the most part merely seeks entertainment. Many regard politics as a blood sport and fun to watch. These vote for the one they think the winner of the contest.
Voting is important. Writing our elected representatives is also important, but more is required. Consider.
to learn and not to do is really not to learn. To know and not to do is really not to know. ― Stephen R. Covey, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change (from here)
To know and understand in politics, we must participate in politics. Why would we do that? If politics fascinates us — if we crave to learn about politics — then God has given us a call to participate in some way, however large or small.
The end of learning is to know God, and out of that knowledge to love Him and imitate Him. — John Milton, quote reported in Josiah Hotchkiss Gilbert, Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers (1895), p. 364. (from here)
Whatever calling we have, we must apply what we learn in the way we think our Lord Jesus would have us. Do we care about the freedom of our family, friends and neighbors? Don’t we innately understand the importance of being a good citizen?
We all know what the Bible says about justification by faith. In fact, the first reference goes back to the Old Testament.
Habakkuk 2:4 New King James Version (NKJV)
4 “Behold the proud,
His soul is not upright in him;
But the just shall live by his faith.
We demonstrate our faith with works. We know Jesus expected us to help the poor and needy. Thus, the Apostle James spoke of the relationship between faith and works.
James 2:14-17 New King James Version (NKJV)
14 What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him? 15 If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food, 16 and one of you says to them, “Depart in peace, be warmed and filled,” but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit? 17 Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.
What we often forget is that God made us all poor; He made us all needy. We come into this world with nothing. If we are fortunate, we have good and capable parents. Yet even the best of parents must depend upon others, including that institution we call government.
In the United States, we don’t have a king. We live in a constitutional republic. We elect officials we constrain with laws, laws we enforce as good citizens. As good citizens, we insist that the people who rule in our name obey the law. So it is that as citizens we must be spiritual warriors, protecting our families friends, neighbors, and ourselves from Satan’s mechaniations.
Spiritual warriors? Does that sound weird? Then remember how Satan tempted Jesus with all the kingdoms of the world.
Matthew 4:8-10 New King James Version (NKJV)
8 Again, the devil took Him up on an exceedingly high mountain, and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. 9 And he said to Him, “All these things I will give You if You will fall down and worship me.”
10 Then Jesus said to him, “Away with you, Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only you shall serve.’”
Could Satan tempt Jesus with that which he does not control? Of course not! Then Satan rules this world. To follow Jesus we must resist Satan and force him to flee (James 4:7). So let’s open our Bible and consider the meaning of Matthew 22:15-22, Romans 13:1-7, Ephesians 6:10-20, 1 Timothy 2:1-7, and Titus 3:1-8. Let us also consider that we call the first five books of the Bible the Mosaic Code. Let us remember that in 1 Samuel 8 the Bible warns us against allowing ourselves to be governed by a king instead of God. Let us remember the alternative to good citizenship; it is slavery. If we are unwilling to take responsibility for our government, then those who govern us will enslave us.
What do warriors do? They organize, train, and equip for war. Then, when they must, they battle their enemies.
In posts to come, we will consider how Christians can fight on that complicated field of battle we call politics. Hopefully, when we participate in politics we will mostly find our find ourselves merely in disagreement with people we call family, friends, and neighbors. Sometimes, however, our disagreements will be more serious. Then we must call upon our Lord for greater wisdom and greater strength. Then we must remember who it is we love most.
Matthew 10:34-39 New King James Version (NKJV)
Christ Brings Division
34 “Do not think that I came to bring peace on earth. I did not come to bring peace but a sword. 35 For I have come to ‘set a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law’; 36 and ‘a man’s enemies will be those of his own household.’[a] 37 He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. 38 And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me. 39 He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for My sake will find it.