July 4th has come and gone. Americans all over the world celebrated the unique freedoms and liberty that we share as a commonality of this great nation. Some celebrated with barbecues and fireworks simply because that is what is done on their day off- just another holiday. While others, patriots, reveled not only in the celebrations, but in the reasons for the celebrations.
Our family attended a God and Country service at our church on the day before that took advantage of the opportunity to remind us exactly we have to be thankful for. Normally, my children would attend their age-appropriate classes while my husband and I worship in the main service. However, my 11 year old son is one of the most patriotic little persons that I could have ever hoped to give birth to and I knew that he would eat up every moment of the service. Knowing that, we allowed him to come to “big church” with us that day. I’m so glad I did.
We attend a church in Sugar Land, Texas that isn’t afraid to speak out on the moral political issues of our day. It’s a rarity unfortunately in this day and age and so I certainly don’t take that kind of pastoral courage for granted.
As a congregation, we celebrated unashamedly this land we call America and the blessings that God has so richly bestowed upon us. The choir and orchestra were beautiful and each song was better than the next- from God Bless America to God Bless The USA, the veterans (young and old alike) throughout the congregation were recognized and honored with their particular branches of military music, and grateful, proud, new citizens were presented flags and their certificates by one of our State Reps. It was a moving service and my mother’s heart swelled with pride as I watched my son’s face filled with patriotic awe and emotion. Anyone with pride of country couldn’t help but sit with a lump in their throat throughout the service at the reminder of what an incredible blessing it is to have the privilege to be an American.
That being said, I watched my fellow congregants reveling in the service just as much as I did. Each and everyone cheered, got teary eyed at certain moments, and agreed with one another that there certainly is no better place on earth to call home as there is America. In it’s worst state, with a grievous and overreaching government, America is still the beacon of hope to America and our pastor reminded us of that.
However, I was sobered this week as I looked back and realized that while my fellow church members seem to reflect the same patriotic love and fervor as my own family, only about 50% of them cared enough about what was happening in this country to even register to vote. More appalling and disheartening is the fact that out of those 50% only 50% of THOSE registered even ever make it to the voting booths! Why are Christians some of the leading groups sitting out and failing to do their duties as Americans and getting out to vote their values? This is truly a silent majority– a pathetically shameful silent majority at that.
It’s time for the church members to get off their duffs and quit playing lip service to their heritage. Their heritage is being held hostage and they are too busy with life to be bothered with it. David Barton said it the best when he wrote directly to Christians all over America:
In other words, the Constitution gives us the power to elect our leaders, but if we elect the wrong kind of leaders, the Constitution will be absolutely worthless in their hands.
Notice this same lesson taught in the Scriptures. Was there any nation in the history of the world that had better civil laws than Israel? I don’t think so; God Almighty wrote their laws, and that’s as good as it’s going to get. But how good were their laws when they had rulers like Ahab and Jezebel, or Manasseh, or Jeroboam, or Rehoboam, or other wicked leaders? Their superb laws were absolutely worthless under such corrupt and deficient leaders.
Our Founders understood this, and the most frequently quoted Bible principle that I have seen in their writings is the one set forth in Proverbs 29:2, which declares, “When the righteous rule, the people rejoice; when the wicked rule, the people groan.”
He goes on:
But in recent years, Christian voters have not taken their voting stewardship seriously. In fact, in the last four elections, Christian voter turnout has fallen by forty percent. Today, there are 60 million Evangelicals in America, but only fifteen million vote. In fact, of the 60 million Evangelicals in America, 24 million are not even registered to vote! To have been given the power to determine the quality of our government and its leaders and then not to use that power is reminiscent of the servant in Luke 19 who received a trust from the Master and then decided not to do anything with it — not to get involved.
In closing I leave you with a quote from Reverend Charles Finney made in the early 1800’s:
“The Church must take right ground in regard to politics. . . . God cannot sustain this free and blessed country which we love and pray for unless the Church will take right ground. Politics are a part of a religion in such a country as this, and Christians must do their duty to the country as a part of their duty to God. It seems sometimes as if the foundations of the nation are becoming rotten, and Christians seem to act as if they think God does not see what they do in politics. But I tell you He does see it, and He will bless or curse this nation according to the course [Christians] take [in politics].”
Wake up, Church!