Sunday, November 4, 2012

What Can I Do Today to Make a Difference?

"The only thing necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing." 
Edmund Burke

Politics and Christianity. Some, even Christians, grimace at the suggestion. But just what is our role as Christian citizens in a culture characterized by abortion, same-sex marriage, euthanasia, stem cell research, cloning, pornography, and the new tolerance?

Some believe Christians ought to stay buried behind the church doors and stay out of politics. But is that really biblical? Check out Old Testament instruction. Psalm 97:10 says, "Hate evil, you who love the Lord" and Psalm 82:3-4, "Vindicate the weak and fatherless; do justice to the afflicted and destitute. Rescue the weak and needy; deliver them out of the hand of the wicked." If government is practicing evil, then as believers we are admonished to speak out.

Furthermore, the New Testament encourages our responsibility to governing officials. Romans 13 teaches us to respect our leaders and to pray for them assuming that they are ministers of good, not evil. But what if they are enacting laws that fly in the face of the Scripture and God's holy ordinances? Do we still obey?

Jesus' disciples serve as a good role model here. Unashamedly preaching Christ even when threatened by the government and thrown into prison, they boldly proclaimed, "We must obey God rather than men." That is to be the principle by which we live and witness. If government policy ignores the teachings of Christ and blatantly disregards godly principles, such as the sanctity of human life, then we answer to a higher authority.

In the New Testament, bold, courageous followers of Jesus were willing to go to the lions' arena for publicly proclaiming Christ in the culture in which they lived. John the Baptist lost his head for decrying Herod's illicit relationship with his brother's wife. Would it have been better for John to stay hidden in the wilderness preaching to the tumbleweeds? Some might say so. At least he would have kept his head. New Testament believers knew nothing of this dichotomy of church and state that we hear so much about today. To be a Christian influenced EVERY area of life.

With such a rich heritage, how did we 21st century Christians get so soft, passive, and timid? Every age has had its martyrs, even the age in which we live. Sometimes we forget that today thousands are killed for their faith in other lands. Think back. Many lost their lives speaking out against slavery and even civil rights in the 60's. Deitrich Bonhoeffer was hanged for publicly criticizing Nazi Germany and the ten Boom family was imprisoned for hiding Jews during WW II.

What moved them to look beyond their fear and reach out in love to the weak, the captive, and the unjustly tormented? Corrie ten Boom's sister was asked that very question one day. She replied, "I don't want to hide the Jews. I would rather stay here safely in my home with my clock maker father and my sister and pretend all is well. But the LOVE OF JESUS CONSTRAINS ME. I cannot be silent."

It makes me wonder if we have lost our first love. We are no longer driven by passion for Jesus. Coming back to Him means allowing ourselves to be relentlessly pursued by the lover of our souls and then being willing to serve Him no matter the cost, knowing that anything less is not worth living for.

How then can we make a difference in our corner of the world? Here are some suggestions. You can add to the list.

1) Pray--our first and foremost responsibility.
2) Write your congressman/senator when a bill hits the floor that goes against religious liberty or moral principle.
3)  Call your representative to let him/her know your position. (When God's people band together, officials take notice. Many times, multiple phone calls have been the very thing that turned the tide in the favor of Christians).
4)  Sign up with an organization that can keep you informed about legislative alerts. Focus on the Family, Concerned Women for America, and America's Center for Law and Justice are just a few of the good ones.
5)  Pray at an abortion mill with a group of others.
6)  Attend a "March for Life" in Washington, D.C conducted every January.
7)  Volunteer at a local crisis pregnancy center, rescue mission, youth house, or children's home.
8)  Form a prayer group specifically targeting cultural issues.
9)  Boycott stores that sell pornography.
10)As a parent, encourage libraries and schools to put a blocker on pornography on the internet.

The important thing is CHOOSE ONE THING TODAY you can do to make a difference in your world and let your Christian testimony shine through. You will be in good company with 1st century believers who will be cheering from their stands in glory! As for me and my house, we WILL serve the Lord!


chaplaindebbie said...

Great post, Eileen. It is our responsibility as God fearing Christians to do what we can to help our government reflect God's laws. I wish to add to your list the fact that we, as parents and grandparents, need to raise our children/grandchildren knowing these truths. I say this because once your children are on their own, their spouses can have a huge influence on them. They need strong values that they can carry into that marriage to keep them from faltering in their beliefs.

Eileen Rife said...

Yes, so vital. And not just knowing them, but showing them.

Our girls often accompanied us to pray and counsel at abortion mills. They, too, wrote letters as social studies projects. And they saw us weep and pray for our country.

Good point, Debbie.

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