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Why is it Important to Combine Religion with Politics? - 11/28/2012
Topic(s): government politics discipleship
Scriptures: 2 Corinthians 9:8; 2 Timothy 3:5



A recent article in Newsweek announced how a current study showed a growing number of people are now calling themselves irreligious and are uncomfortable with any mention of oneís faith in conjunction with their political platform. The article, dated October 15, 2012, says, ďMore Americans than ever are shunning their churches, fed up with the fusion of religion offered by conservatives. Is the GOP base to blame?Ē

Some are responding by stripping any mention of God from their rhetoric, others are insisting that it needs to be kept in place.

Iím thinking that if it needs to be in place, those that are insistent that it should be present need to be able to explain why.

I remember as a Youth Pastor I was constantly on top of my students for being able to explain what they believe and why. The problem with Christianity in America today is that most who claim to be Christians canít tell you what they believe. They try to live according to a moral code rooted in a tradition when they should be surrendered to a Power founded on Truth.

Of course the Source of that Power is the Person of Jesus Christ and you can find all about what Heís bringing to the table by reading and studying the Word of God. And not as an academic exercise where youíre positioning yourself as judge and critic, but rather as an act of discipleship where youíre taking in what youíre reading as the very Words of God and responding accordingly.

Fact is anyone who wants to be in a position of authority should long for the kind of Wisdom that God makes available through prayer and being obedient to His Word. What better way to administrate than from a perspective that draws its strength and insight from Something and Someone Who is both unlimited and Perfect?

But even as most read those lines, thereís a subtle shift in the tone of the conversation because any mention of Christ in the marketplace immediately inspires either uneasiness or disdain.

Why?

Grab on to that cord and follow it to its source and you will have the prevailing reason why religion is so unappealing to a growing number of Americans.

Itís not the media. The media may or may not reflect the majority, but they cannot be compelling without being rooted in fact, at least to a degree.

Itís not those that donít go to church. Most of them are not antagonistic as much as they are apathetic.

The reason Christ is so out of place in government, in business and in the secular arena in general is because most Christians are Biblically illiterate and their lives are sorely lacking when it comes to anything that would stand out when compared to their unsaved counterparts.

When you look at 2 Timothy 3:5, you see a rather harsh bottom line articulated pertaining to some of the personalities that occupy a pew on Sunday mornings. The New Living Translation renders it as:

They will act as if they are religious, but they will reject the power that could make them godly.


Itís that power that equates to the sort of credibility that comes across as appealing rather than irritating.

ďGospelĒ literally means, ďgood news.Ē When you look at the way Jesus championed His Message, even the most decadent sinners were flocking to Him. Compare that to the way in which most unbelievers respond to the caricatures of Christianity that make their appeal all the while working overtime to veil the hypocrisy and corruption going on behind the scenes. And Iím not talking about the organized church, Iím talking about the neighbor who goes to church every Sunday, yet is on the threshold of a divorce, cusses like a sailor, invites the thought of getting abusively drunk every weekend and basically lives a life that doesnít match that little black book he carries under his arm every Sunday to church.

And by the way, itís that kind of person that Scripture is talking about when God says, ďDonít judge.Ē Itís not that you donít make an effort to discern the difference between right and wrong, nor do you keep your thoughts to yourself when observing something thatís not right. It says to not judge using a standard that you yourself canít live up to. Itís like you see somebody speeding and you say, ďYou shouldnít speed!Ē as you go flying by them going even faster.

See, itís that kind of garbage that prevents Christians from being effective in the marketplace and thatís why so many are getting to a point where they donít want to hear anything faith-based from their leaders because itís becoming so rare for someone who says theyíre a Christian, yet not be the kind of ďbelieverĒ referenced in 2 Timothy 3:5.

Itís not the substance of the gospel as much as it is the character of the church-goer that presents the biggest obstacle to authentic Christianity. And it shouldnít be debatable as to whether or not oneís faith should be obvious in the context of what they do for a living. Of course it should be! If God stands ready to make available all that you need in order to do well in every sense of the word, you want that dynamic in place (see 2 Cor 9:8).

Our forefathers depended on it, some of the most successful among us champion it. Itís not new, nor has it changed. The Power and utility of the Christian faith is neither antiquated nor irrelevant. The problem lies in those who would reference it, yet not live by it Ė thatís the problem and until thatís remedied, the church and those who refer to it in a token fashion, will continue to decline both in numbers and influence.