Thursday, August 10, 2006

Christian Citizenship 101

According to James Dobson, half the Christians in America are not registered to vote, and of those who are, only half go to the polls. In an age when atheistic and humanist governments have gained control of nations across the world, this statistic is frightening. It is even more alarming when we consider that nearly 170 million innocent people have been brutally murdered by these regimes ( Christians and Voting).

In addition, a study by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life revealed that about two-thirds of Americans say their faith has little to do with their voting decisions (Pamphlet: “Why Christians Should Vote,” Focus on the Family). Is it any wonder that our religious liberties are under attack and the right to murder our children is encoded in our nation’s laws? Billy Graham was right when he said, “If America is to survive, we must elect more God-centered men and women to public office—individuals who will seek divine guidance in the affairs of state” (“Why Christians Should Vote”).

But there is much more we can do to help restore righteous government to America than simply casting our vote on Election Day. Following are a few areas in which we can exercise our responsibility to be salt and light in the political arena.

Study the U.S. Constitution and be prepared to defend it.

Learn about the issues without relying on the nightly news, which can be heavily biased against Christianity and constitutional government. Obtain Christian voter guides from sources you trust, and subscribe to independent news sources that are committed to reporting the truth. Some of my personal favorites are Focus on the Family’s Citizen Magazine (available at family.org), though sometimes it’s a little too far to the right for my Libertarian side; Christianity Today; World Net Daily; Christian Coalition of America Action Alert (actionalert@cc.org); and The New American Magazine.


Inform others about the issues by writing letters to the editor, blogging, or calling in to talk-radio shows. Ask your pastor’s permission to make voter guides available to the congregation.

Help ensure that godly people, committed to protecting and preserving our system of limited government, are elected to office—assuming they are competent. Beyond voting, consider running for office or supporting good candidates with your time or finances.

Join civic, community, or school organizations (PTA, school board, etc.) to influence decision makers. Sign up with watchdog organizations that are working strategically to preserve our God-given liberties. Two of my favorites are FIJA and The Rutherford Institute. I also recommend joining citizens groups that are dedicated to promoting responsible fiscal policy, such as TRIM, the National Taxpayers Union, or Citizens Against Government Waste.

Teach your children their civic responsibility (don’t assume they will learn this in school).

Intercede for government leaders. Pray for the conversion /removal of corrupt leaders.

Hold our elected leaders to account. Contact to praise or chastise.

Write or e-mail officials to voice your opinion about pending legislation. Contact candidates running for office to find out where they stand on current issues.

Promote government action that defends the rights of society’s most vulnerable members—the unborn, the disabled, and all those who cannot speak for themselves (a case in point would be the Terri Schiavo tragedy).

Oppose legislation that violates the Constitution.

Work to defeat/impeach corrupt judges, especially at the local and state level. At the national level, encourage Congress to be responsible in this area, since Congress has the power to impeach federal judges. “Bad judges are a nemesis to those who hold high moral principle to be a foundation of our society,” said Bruce Armstrong, a staff member at the U.S. C&MA National Office. “It doesn't help to ‘pass godly laws’ if the judicial system can arbitrarily overturn them—and pretty much without accountability.”

Respect the rights of others to live freely. Unless they are harming someone else, do not use the power of government to force unredeemed people to behave in redeemed ways. This undermines our Christian witness by alienating those we are trying to reach with God’s love.


If any of you out there can think of something I missed, just give me a holler.

3 Comments:

Anonymous Scott Howard said...

I would encourage all citizens to vote. It is very disturbing to hear so many people complain about things when you know that so many people do not even vote.

August 10, 2006 6:16 PM  
Blogger Luke Camara said...

As a pastor I fear the day someone asks me the question of voter guides and flags in the worship room.

August 11, 2006 9:14 AM  
Blogger Julie said...

Thanks for your comments, Scott and Pastor Luke. Pastor Luke, I have really enjoyed reading your blog, and I'm honored that you posted to mine!

I figured at least one pastor would be uneasy about that suggestion! And I agree that voter guides are not appropriate for the worship room or sanctuary. At the churches I've attended, the guides were available on a table in the church foyer. That way, people who wanted them were free to take them, but those who didn't were not under any pressure to do so.

Iknew a couple who asked their pastor's permission to make available a petition banning partial birth abortion in the foyer. The pastor said no because he didn't want to offend visitors who might be pro-abortion. On one level, I could see where the pastor was coming from. But on the other hand, when I think of all the Scriptures that command us to speak up for the weak and the fatherless, I feel maybe the pastor was a bit short-sighted. If we fail to promote government action that helps the defenseless because we are afraid of offending someone, whom do we fear: God or men?

Thanks again for your comment!

August 11, 2006 1:01 PM  

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