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Thursday, August 23, 2012

Bringing Jesus to the Center of the Political Universe

Rise to Serve: Calling Believers to Civic Involvement
I'm just a Jesus guy in a political firestorm. Should I get alone in my prayer closet and shut out the world? Should I pick a team and (as my middle child used to say) scream bloody Murphy, angry and red-faced in the streets? What does the Bible say about all of this?




Five great questions of life: Life * Love * Learning * Labor * Leadership

Leadership: What Difference Will I Make?

Bringing Jesus to the Center of the Political Universe


By Evan Nehring

A national commentator recently called Wisconsin, "the center of the political universe." For those of us who have been living round-the-calendar election battles the last four years, it's hard to argue.

I'm just a Jesus guy in a political firestorm. Should I get alone in my prayer closet and shut out the world? Should I pick a team and (as my middle child used to say) scream bloody Murphy, angry and red-faced in the streets? What does the Bible say about all of this?

I'm a Canadian with a green card (US permanent resident) working towards naturalization as an American citizen. My apologies to friends and family north of the border for the American focus of this series of posts. I encourage you to add a Canadian perspective. Readers from around the world are likewise invited to share your perspective on faith and freedom.

Rise to Serve: Calling Believers to Civic Involvement

Civil government was first established in the new world aboard the pilgrim ship, The Mayflower.

Mayflower Compact
Having undertaken, for the Glory of God, and advancements of the Christian faith and honor of our King and Country, a voyage to plant the first colony in the Northern parts of Virginia, do by these presents, solemnly and mutually, in the presence of God, and one another, covenant and combine ourselves together into a civil body politic…
A century and a half later, the United States declared independence from England with these words:

Declaration of Independence, July 4, 1776
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights…
After the Revolutionary War, our current US Constitution was laid in place with these words:

United States Constitution, March 4, 1789
We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

Our union remains, both dignified...

Madison, Wisconsin Capitol Building

...and divided.

Madison, Wisconsin Capitol Building

Where do God, the Church, and individual believers fit with civic involvement today?

President Abraham Lincoln, during the Civil War, said: “…that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom -- and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”

President Abraham Lincoln at Gettysburg
November 19, 1863
Gettysburg, Pennsylvania

America is a republic. Our republic is a form of democracy where we the people elect representatives to local, state and federal offices to create, execute and uphold the law.

Government of the people, by the people, for the people…

In a republic a significant portion of the ruling power is entrusted to the citizens through the ballot box.
  • When we vote and when we enter public discussion, we have a share of ruling power.
  • Therefore all citizens who are old enough to vote have a responsibility before God to know what God expects of civil government.
We have seen corruption and mud-slinging and we have stepped back to not get dirty.
  • But America is a republic…of the people, by the people, for the people…
  • If we do not rise to serve, we take our ruling robes and cast them aside.
So what does it all mean, and, as believers, where do we start? I'll be posting for the next few weeks a continuous series on believers rising to serve as citizens of the republic.
 

Action

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Question

How important is civic involvement to you as a believer? Comments are most welcome! Let's keep the conversation respectful. Disrespectful comments may be removed. Spirited debate is welcome!


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