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Delighting in my God, I desire to dwell in His pleasure and to help others experience true delight.

"Delight Yourself in the Lord;
And He will give you the desires of your heart.
Commit your way to the Lord,
Trust also in Him, and He will do it.
And He will bring forth your righteousness as the light,
And your judgment as the noonday.  
Rest in the Lord and wait patiently for Him;..." Ps 37:4-7a

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Practicing Good Statesmanship

United States Capitol



Have you heard about the fanatics, mostly Christian, who planned a revolution against the government? 
They were disgruntled over what they perceived as unjust taxation and illegitimate circumventing of our freedoms, both religious and political.  From their perspective, the government had become destructive to our safety, life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness among other rights which they considered bestowed by our Creator not by the government.  They believed their rights were being continually trampled upon making revolution necessary because of a long list of government intrusions and abuses.  Furthermore, they believed the actions they were taking as revolutionaries were in line with their Christian faith.  In fact, they believed it was their duty as Christians to stand up against what they perceived as tyranny and to institute a new government that would protect our people from government or criminals who would harm Americans or take our stuff.  

Because they viewed political and religious matters as intrinsic to freedom and the moral fabric of humanity, they were not afraid to talk about and fight for these issues.  To these men politics and their responsibility as citizens of heaven are inseparable, since most of what we call politics involves moral or religious principles.  They would not relegate political and religious speech to some lesser status in order to be accepted by the politically correct.  These zealots were willing to accept the consequences of the actions they were about to take.  What do you think about the beliefs of these revolutionaries?  Would you tell them to stop being offensive?  Would you tell them to keep their opinions to themselves?  They did take up arms against the government.  They started a new country called the United States of America where we have a government of the people by the people for the people.  We the people need to be like these brave political activists who laid down their lives to stand for what was right and good.


What do I mean by being a political activist?  It is important that we define terms.  We live in the greatest country on earth, but in the words of Edmund Burke,  

“All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.”  

Heritage Foundation offers a number of resources and
is a good place to go for information on current events
and history.


So what I am suggesting by political activism is this:  that we are actively involved in the political process.  

Who is it that decided we shouldn’t talk about politics and religion, anyway?  To be consistent with Biblical teaching as well as the beliefs of those who founded this country and our founding documents, religious perspectives necessarily shape our vision of government.  Not only should we be educated and educate our children in accordance with Biblical principles and be involved in political and religious discussion, we must be aware that we ARE the government.  As responsible citizens, we must be participants in deciding who represents us and how they represent us.  We must vote and participate in the process.  




 
Imprimis is the free monthly speech digest of Hillsdale College and is dedicated to educating citizens and promoting civil and religious liberty by covering cultural, economic, political and educational issues of enduring significance. 



We can participate in the process in a number of additional ways beyond these and running for office.  Support the candidates you believe in with your finances, yard signs, and your time.  Join organizations that will help keep you informed and recommend actions for you to take.  


Freedom works is one organization of many you can become involved with.


Write to your senators and representatives on matters of importance to you.  Volunteer at the polls on election day and bring your children.  Educate friends by passing information along through social media, email, and written information discussion.  Yes, you may have to face some negative responses, but those who laid the foundation for this country were willing to lose all.  Shouldn't we be willing to take some insults or rejection to uphold the cause of freedom and the American way of life?
  
Rev. Rob Schenck praying for our nation at the White House.



We must also pray for our governing leaders, those we agree with and those we don’t, “for there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God." (Rom 13:1).  In 1 Timothy 2:1-4, Paul also “urge[s] that entreaties and prayers, petitions and thanksgivings, be made on behalf of all men, for kings and all who are in authority, so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity.”  Nowhere in the Bible does it say to be uninvolved in reasoning about the issues of the day or in the politics.  Certainly our history indicates that Christians have been very involved in the public discourse and in the political process.

Matthias Burnett, A Baptist pastor in the early 1800’s, said, “Consider well the important trust . . . which God . . . [has] put into your hands. . . . To God and posterity you are accountable for [your rights and your rulers]. . . . Let not your children have reason to curse you for giving up those rights and prostrating those institutions which your fathers delivered to you. . . . [L]ook well to the characters and qualifications of those you elect and raise to office and places of trust. . . . Think not that your interests will be safe in the hands of the weak and ignorant; or faithfully managed by the impious, the dissolute and the immoral. Think not that men who acknowledge not the providence of God nor regard His laws will be uncorrupt in office, firm in defense of the righteous cause against the oppressor, or resolutly oppose the torrent of iniquity. . . Watch over your liberties and privileges - civil and religious - with a careful eye.”   

Abraham Kuyper was a Dutch Christian political activist and statesman who was the Prime Minister of the Netherlands from 1901 to 1905.  Fighting against the secular humanist take over of his culture at the time, he believed we have a moral duty to be involved in politics.  Kuyper said, “When principles that run against your deepest convictions begin to win the day, then battle is your calling, and peace has become sin; you must, at the price of dearest peace, lay your convictions bare before friend and enemy, with all the fire of your faith.” 

Faith and Action is a Christian outreach to top-level government officials located in Washington, DC, throughout the United States and around the world. Our purpose is to challenge the minds and consciences of public policy makers with the mandate given by Christ in the two Great Commandments: Love God With All Your Heart, Soul, Mind and Strength, and Love Your Neighbor As Yourself.

We have a solemn responsibility to be and to raise up good and godly citizens.  In order to leave those citizens after us the legacy that was passed down to us of freedom to pursue their own course, we must stand up for our core principles and support candidates that most closely uphold truth, righteousness, and the American way.  This is good statesmanship, something all Americans should practice.
I must tie up the loose ends.  What does good statesmanship have to do with living in delight?  I believe the Apostle Paul explains this with his statement For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain."  He knew the delight of walking with God no matter what it demanded.  
Our founding fathers too understood that we must be involved in our own happiness by being statesman.  Patrick Henry’s famous call to arms indicates what he thought of sitting on the sidelines while his rights were negated,  “Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery?  Forbid it, Almighty God!  I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!”  He wasn’t happy about what was happening in his country at the time, but he knew he must be part of the solution.  
We the people ARE the government.  The Constitution tells us it was formed “in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity.”   These are conditions for delight in life.  The Constitution here tells us that it was established to set the stage for Americans to pursue their own individual course to living in delight.  However, these can only continue if “WE THE PEOPLE” participate.  
Delight-directed living is more that a happy feeling, it is pursuing life fully engaged.  

Here are more articles encouraging Christian citizens to be active in the political process:



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1 comment:

  1. Yes!! Our vote and support of time and is worthy and our Christian duty.
    thank you for this post full of fabulous information!!
    I am your newest follower..pls follow back if you can.

    ReplyDelete

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