MAY 2004 – How should we Christians respond to our society that is largely turning its back on the very values that have made the country great? Should we be involved in the political system to change laws and institutions so that they more closely reflect God’s mind? Or should we only be concerned with changing hearts?
I believe the answer is that we should be waist-deep in both. As Christian activists, we believe there is a biblical charge to restore our country to its godly foundation using the means that have been granted to us, means like voting and exercising our free speech rights to oppose those things that God opposes. At the same time, Jesus clearly tells us in Matthew 28 that evangelism and discipleship are priorities.
So, for American Christians who take the Bible seriously, we have two mandates to understand and to fulfill: restore our society to one that honors God, and at the same time, share with our neighbors how to find Christ and mature in Him.
And while we’re doing all that, we must remember that our success is totally in God’s hands. As I’ve written many times over the years, our duty is simply to be obedient.
Sure, we want to preserve a free world for our children and grandchildren. We want them to experience the same precious freedoms that we have enjoyed. However, in the end, all our efforts must be done in such a way that God is honored. That’s how Jesus did things, according to John 17:4: “I have brought you glory on earth by finishing the work you gave me to do.”
Below are some questions for your Sunday School class or small group about a Christian’s role in society. Search the Scriptures to learn what the Bible says about these questions. Then pray about what part you can play in making God’s invisible kingdom visible here on this earth.
- If there is no God, can there be right and wrong?
- Has the church put as much emphasis on helping the needy in your community as it has on buildings and programs?
- Does the vulgarity in entertainment affect Christians as much as non-Christians?
- Do Christians have an obligation to vote?
- Should a Christian vote for a candidate based on the candidate’s stand on moral issues?
- Do the messages heard in Sunday School and during the worship service on an average Sunday make a difference in the day-to-day lives of most church members?
- Are the rights of Christians to speak out against homosexuality threatened by proposed “hate” crime laws?
- Would the government ever make it a crime to preach or teach that homosexuality is a sin? Would it do the same for adultery?
- Is there much difference in the lifestyles of the average Christian and the average non-Christian?
- Discuss the difference between “going to church” and “being the church.”
- Is our society becoming more moral, less moral, or staying about the same?
- Is the child growing up in a single-parent home at a disadvantage? How can your church help?
- Is the United States a Christian nation or a secular nation?
- How does the dominant religion of a country impact its civic and cultural life?
(Editor’s Note: From the late 1970s through 2010, Don Wildmon, founder and president emeritus of American Family Association, wrote hundreds of monthly columns for AFA Journal. This one strikes home in light of what is taking place and where we are in America. It is offered again in the hope that Bible-believing God-fearing people will engage the culture and transform it into a better reflection of what God intends.)