The Best Thing Christians Can Do For Their Country
by Robin Calamaio 12/05/2007 / Christian Living
Many of us are extremely concerned about the state and direction of the country in which we live. There are several reasons for this - and here is the primary one. We believe there is but one God who is "the same yesterday, today and forever" (Heb 13:8). The Bible does not have an Old Testament God ... and a New Testament God. Actually, this one God has graciously preserved His Old Testament activities "for our instruction" (1Cor 10:11) - so we might know what activity provokes His "visitation."
The Bible abounds with priceless information on God's dealings with all the nations. He speaks of their formation, life-span - and demise. There is no current government (or nation) that will constitute the coming eternal state. But God, in a present grace and power, still addresses the nations - granting promises ... and issuing warnings. As believers, we know that disaster is waiting at the end of unheeded warnings. His most laconic statement: "The wicked will turn to Sheol (the grave, the nether world), as will all the nations who forget God" (Ps 9:17). Nations that reject the dominion of the living Creator will be aborted by Him. The God of the Old Testament is alive and well. He always has been.
So, what can a Christian do for his/her country? Most power positions are occupied by non-Christians. But, even if some are, only a small segment of human activity can be controlled from there. Assaults upon legitimate moral norms fly from all quarters. Government and corruption are often synonyms, deceptive business practices are often the norm, "artists" assault traditional values - etc., etc., etc. Present moral containment is like trying to herd cats. So, is the Christian powerless - even a victim - before this moral onslaught?
The Bigger Picture On Law, Morality and Politics
The Bible tells us we are in "the last hour" (1Jn 2:18). So, what will this world look like at the end of this hour? Well, we already know. The end times will be like the days of Noah and like Sodom and Gomorrah. (See Gen 6-9 and 18,19 and Lk 17:26-30). God knows "the end from the beginning" (Isa 46:10). Ultimately, we will not be able to stop this.
The Smaller Picture - Our Personal Circle
While "our citizenship is in heaven" (Phil 3:20), our life in our current society is a very real one. Our family is real - and so are our friends, co-workers and fellow countrymen. When the Israelites were exiled to Babylon, God told them to "seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the Lord on its behalf; for in its welfare you will have welfare" (Jer 29:7). There are two directives here. First, benefit that society by doing positive things. Second, pray for that society. Could it be ... God directs us in this same vein toward our native country?
For the Christian, right here, right now ... you ... what can you do to benefit your country? Fortunately, God has given two primary outlets that call for 100% of your energy and will keep you fully, and productively, engaged in your society. The impact of these actions will not be fully appreciated until The Judgment - and they can be done in any present environment ... good or bad. These are totally under your jurisdiction and control ... and will produce positive results. They are your personal behaviors (righteous living) and your prayers. These are only two things - but both are plurals.
Abraham's "Deal" ... And Living Righteously
Abraham knew God was preparing to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah. "Will You indeed sweep away the righteous with the wicked? ... Far be it from You ... that the wicked and righteous are treated alike!" (Gen 18:23,25). He "bartered" with God until "a deal" was struck. If God found ten righteous people in Sodom, the whole area would be spared. While our ultimate righteousness is that of Jesus Christ Himself (Jer 23:6), each of us can fervently pursue living a righteous life (according to God's standards) - and improve the way we think, act and react. I can make internal decisions to live righteously ... and so can you. It is highly likely this may stay His Hand - or at least move Him toward surgical strikes and not a wholesale crushing. We are talking about the same God here you know.
Praying ... Specifically for Leaders
"First of all then, I urge that entreaties and prayers, petitions and thanksgivings, be made for ... kings and all who are in authority, in order that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in godliness and dignity. This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior" (1Tim1-3). Can you do this? I can do this. This is totally under our control. And I am assured these prayers, offered in faith, will make an impact. God will use our labors in this area. So what do I pray? For starters, I envision what God can turn that person into - not what that leader may currently be like. That really helps. Second, I ask God to open his/her eyes to the Judgment he/she is heading toward! Most leaders have no idea they must account for their governance when they stand before the King of all the Kings and Ruler of all the Rulers. I ask for God Himself to reveal this to them. If He does, positive things will follow - fabulously positive things.
All of us know that the overthrow of a society poses great danger. Longer term, the result may prove positive, but then again, it could turn into a greater tragedy - for us, and our descendants, and our fellow countrymen. Our goal is internal societal change that is viewed by God as positive change. From God's viewpoint, this is not complicated. The establishment of just civil law - from His value set - should be installed and fairly applied to all citizens.
"All Hands on Deck!"
If you are a Christian, and you think you are powerless in moving your country toward God's standards ... well, you either lack faith (which you can grow in), or you are in ignorance (but no longer), or you have been deceived. We have a Creator who is quite willing to address your current understandings and spiritual direction ... and change you. You are to be a weapon in His Hand "for the destruction of fortresses ... destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God" (2Cor 10:4,5). We do this when we live, speak, and pray according to His design for our lives. You can do this. You can. So can I. Christian, ... get to it.