William Wilberforce wrestled with the same question we wrestle with today: should I get involved with politics? Pastor and former slave trader, John Newton , encouraged Wilberforce to serve in political office, saying:
"The Lord has raised you up to the good of His church and for the good of the nation."
Five great questions of life: Life * Love * Learning * Labor * Leadership
Four Tips for Believers Getting Into Politics
By Evan Nehring
My political hero is William Wilberforce. He studied and worked tirelessly in London to end the slave trade in the British Empire. This Sunday's multimedia presentation in Wausau includes a video clip of Wilberforce that moves me like no other.
Wilberforce wrestled with the same question we wrestle with today: should I get involved with politics? Pastor and former slave trader, John Newton , encouraged Wilberforce to serve in political office, saying:
The Lord has raised you up to the good of His church and for the good of the nation.
I have some tips to nudge us in Wilberforce’s direction.
Involvement Tip #1: I bring me
The first time I showed up at a local county caucus meeting, I was well aware that both Democrats and Republicans have all kinds of negative baggage and are disliked by millions of people across the country. At that point I didn’t care.
- When I show up at party gatherings, I bring me.
- I am showing up to be a support for what I agree with and an influence to change things I disagree with.
I don’t need to carry all the party baggage. I work out my own salvation with great care and fear and trembling.
- I bring me...and you can bring you...
Involvement Tip #2: Limiting the power of the courts by appointing "originalist” judges is the most important issue facing the nation today.
The last stand of limited government is happening right now in the nation’s courts.
Justices and judges appointed by presidents and governors, or voted in by some states, have the final say in what is ruled constitutional.
- Progressive justices are interpreting the Constitution in ways that allow all sorts of laws to stand.
- Originalist justices are trying to hold the line and keep the Constitutional basis for our country.
If we lose this battle, we lose the relevance of the Constitution, and America completely breaks away from our limited government founding.
- There is right now a shaky 5-4 majority of originalist justices at the U.S. Supreme Court.
- Four of the justices are over 70 years old: two progressive, and two originalist (including Kennedy).
I submit to you that there is no greater consideration in this year’s presidential and senate elections.
Involvement Tip #3: Should We Vote for Only Christians? …No
We’ve had overtly Christian presidents who have royally messed things up. We’ve had presidents not from a traditional church background who have excelled.
Vote for the man or woman that will uphold our religious liberties and respect our Christian worldview.
- Our aim is not to have every elected official be a Christian, but to preserve a country where people can be invited into a saving faith in Jesus Christ.
Involvement Tip #4: Add Citizens to Your “Prayer List for Authorities”
I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people— 2 for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. 3 This is good, and pleases God our Savior,4 who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. (1 Timothy 2:1-4)
I submit to you that it is more important to pray for the citizens in constitutional leadership of this country than for the elected officials.
- You have ruling robes, as do your fellow citizens, and you need to call out to heaven for strength, wisdom and protection!
ChallengeThese are four pretty diverse tips, aren't they! Please chew on them and consider adding a couple of tasks to your to-do list. I'm telling you, you'll be blown away by the influence you can have if you rise to serve!
I have just one more post this week to complete my Rise to Serve series. It'll be filled with practical ways to assume the robes of citizen-ruler.
For those in the central Wisconsin area THIS WEEKEND, please consider attending my Sunday, November 4 Wausau multimedia presentation: Rise to Serve: Calling Believers to Civic Involvement.