As many of you know from last week’s article, we were privileged to spend a few days in our nation’s capital last week as we prepared for June’s Rebuilding Faith Rally. It was an enjoyable time and much was learned. Here are the three lessons that stood out the most as we considered the idea of government and what we need to do to restore our culture to the fear of God it once had.
– Anyone who tells you that God wasn’t a part of America’s foundation is dead wrong.
Though we already knew that America had a strong heritage based on a belief in God and the Bible, it was truly eye opening to see just how much influence churches and ministers had during our nation’s founding years. As we toured the capitol building it quickly became apparent that there weren’t just a few references to God here and there – nearly every single event or person memorialized within the building’s walls had some connection to a belief in God. Pictures of prayer meetings and Bible reading hang on the walls. Statues of ministers can be found throughout the building. The very chamber of the House of Representatives (the one you see during the State of the Union address, of course) displays the words “In God We Trust” above the Speaker’s seat and has an image of Moses as the centerpiece of a collection of images depicting history’s great lawgivers. The fact is, the idea that the founders planned a “separation of church and state” in the sense of keeping God out of government is a myth.
– There are still many men and women fighting for religious liberty, but they need our help.
While in Washington we were privileged to listen to various representatives and senators speak on topics that are pertinent to religious matters in America today. While we know that freedom of speech within our buildings is already being targeted in certain areas, it’s comforting to know that there are still folks who are dedicated to preserving the free exercise of religion. As Christians we should constantly be in prayer for our governing authorities (1 Timothy 2:1-2), but we should especially be mindful of those who regularly face opposition in their attempts to stand for our religious rights on federal, state, and local levels.
– Christian influence works from the ground up.
As much hard work as those folks are putting in and as encouraging as it is to see them stand up for us, their work won’t last long if we don’t start turning the tide in this country. It matters very little how many governing buildings have “In God We Trust” or the Ten Commandments inscribed on them if the people within those walls have no fear of God in their hearts as they decide how to govern. Though morality can be legislated in the sense that moral laws can be made, it can’t be legislated in the sense that moral people can’t be developed simply through legislative processes. They can pass laws preserving religious freedom, but they can’t make people seek Jesus Christ. They can speak out against the major anti-God agendas in America, but that doesn’t mean people will believe. That’s where you and I come in. It’s far too easy for Christians today to delegate out all that God expects from us, whether in evangelism, charity, morality, or anything else, but the only way the morality of the nation can be turned around is through the power of God’s Word.
What does that mean for you and me? First, our congregations must step up our efforts in teaching God’s Word from the pulpit. We can’t hold back on the difficult subjects, and we can’t be afraid to offend anyone in the pews. It’s time we go back to speaking directly about the WHOLE counsel of God’s Word and start confronting ourselves and each other with the truth rather than pointing at all that’s going wrong outside our doors. Second, the Bible has to leave the building with us. If our actions from Monday-Saturday (with the possible exception of Wednesday night) don’t reflect what we study on Sunday, how can we claim to be the light of the world? If we keep waiting on lawmakers to do something about homosexuality, abortion, drug abuse, or anything else while ignoring the homosexuals, fornicators, drug abusers, liars, drunkards, or anyone else with a sin problem who desperately needs Jesus, we shouldn’t expect anything to change.
So, this is why we’re going back to Washington, D.C. to hold the Rebuilding Faith Rally this June. It’s time Christians started realizing this world isn’t going to get any better or reflect God’s image any more until we do something about it. That’s what we’re going to talk about, and I hope to see you there. If not us, then who? Let’s always face the world with the Isaiah attitude – “Here am I, send me!