Introducing The Topic
What is this post about? Well, Doug had a suggestion.
Hey.. I have a suggestion. You mention quite often about leaving the man alone (author’s note: that is, President Trump) and come to grips with the issues instead. I do not in the least believe the two can morally or ethically be separated.. but consider a post of the issues alone for discussion. I’m not suggesting any sort of grand debate.. but I would be willing to share opinion on issues alone. (from here)
Why Do Christians Have To Be Involved In Politics?
Why do I think we should strive to focus on the issues instead of a person? Well, we will eventually get to that subject, but first let’s talk about why Christians have to be involved in politics. Politics is a rather gruesome subject.
What is the problem with lawmaking? To make laws, we have to negotiate and make compromises with each other. Because we are sinful, some of the compromises don’t garner much respect. The United States Constitution contained a notorious example. That document implicitly recognized that State governments could maintain the institution of slavery. Until it was amended after the Civil War, the Constitution indirectly mentioned slavery twice.
- Article 1, Section 2 does not use the word slave, but it effectively required that when Representatives and direct Taxes were apportioned, slaves would be counted a three fifths of a person.
- Article 1, Section 9 allowed the States now existing to admit any persons they thought proper to admit until 1808. That included slaves, of course
Why? Constitutional Topic: Slavery provides a good explanation of how early Americans regarded slavery. Consider this excerpt.
By the time of the Constitutional Convention in 1787, slavery in the United States was a grim reality. In the census of 1790, there were slaves counted in nearly every state, with only Massachusetts and the “districts” of Vermont and Maine, being the only exceptions. In the entire country 3.8 million people were counted, 700,000 of them, or 18 percent, were slaves. In South Carolina, 43 percent of the population was slave. In Maryland 32 percent, and in North Carolina 26 percent. Virginia, with the largest slave population of almost 300,000, had 39 percent of its population made up of slaves. (from here)
When that many people are enslaved, there is no easy solution. Suddenly freeing a bunch of people who have never been taught how to be responsible for themselves could easily lead to economic and social chaos and misery (Look up what happened during Reconstruction after the Civil War.). Moreover, the prevailing opinion among most whites was that blacks were innately inferior. So lots of people were honestly afraid blacks could not properly be taught how to be responsible for themselves. So even the whites who detested slavery understood it did little good to castigate slave owners. Instead, they worked to devise compromises that facilitated a long term strategy to free the slaves.
Realizing that slavery made little economic sense, instead of trying to prohibit slavery, which would have made the ratification of the Constitution impossible, they included a provision in the Constitution to prohibit the importation of further slaves. That is, instead of focusing on the problem, they focused on the solution (see ARE YOU FOCUSING ON THE PROBLEM OR THE SOLUTION?). They strove to make the Constitution better than it might otherwise had been.
When we accept Jesus as our Savior, we prove our love for Him by obeying His commands. When our government does not demand that we do something contrary to God’s commands, that includes obeying our government (see Romans 13:1-7). When we can make our government better, does it make any sense to believe that Jesus would want us to leave the operation of government to non-Christians? No. Of course not.
Still have doubts that Christians need to be involved? In God and Government, Pastor Tim Crater wrote the following.
God and Government
Tim Crater, Feb. 2000
During my years in Washington I’ve encountered a peculiar notion among evangelicals about government and the work of government, called “politics”: Government is a nuisance, and politics is dirty, beneath the concern of the children of God. To be involved with it is to devote precious time and energy to re-arranging chairs on the Titanic. Now, aside from any particular political agenda or issue, the Bible is clear–Government is of God. It is as much a God-ordained institution as marriage and the family, both of which, at times, can lapse into unpleasant and dreadful conditions and yet we don’t forsake and dismiss them with the cavalier attitude we do with government. We try to restore them. (continued here)
What’s next? Not sure. I am still thinking about this one.