Are you like me in that you have noticed that the church seem strongest and most vibrant when it is being persecuted. This is not exactly an earth shattering revelation, it has been happening since the beginning of the church, but it has been on my mind recently due to a post on Gary Gillespie’s facebook page about how Christianity is taking over the planet.

When I look at the state of the church in the U.S., I see that we are rich, comfortable and free to worship God openly, but we are also soft, nominal and not very evangelical, if you believe the Barna studies. Maybe we would be better off, or more likely to see the revival we have been praying for if we just got out of the way and allowed the society to totally deteriorate, morally, politically, economically and in every other way. With that kind of hard time the church would surely experience the revival we have long prayed for. That would be a good reason for Christians to not be involved in politics. Just concentrate on our own spirituality so that we are not a Barna statistic.

In addition to this practical reason to stay out of politics, the scripture also seems to give us reason to stay out, in that we know that Satan has authority over the kingdoms of the world since he was able to offer them to Jesus during the temptation in the wilderness. If the kingdoms of the world are under the rule of Satan, we have no reason to try to be involved in the government of any of those kingdoms. Does that make sense to you? Should we really just back out of any political involvement because we can expect to see revival as society devolves without any Christian influence. Should we back out of political involvement because these kingdoms are all domains of Satan?

It was with these thoughts as a backdrop that I was reading Romans chapters 3-5 where Paul was arguing that even though where sin abounds, grace abounds even more, that does not give us license to sin. As I thought on that I realized the dilemma that Paul was discussing was essentially the same dilemma I was working through in paragraphs two and three above. Should we stand by and watch society crumble around us because grace will abound? May it never be! As Jeff Shaara says through his characterization of John Adams in his book “Rise to Rebellion”, “We are judged on what we do. If we believe that we are right, we must fight for that belief. If we lose the fight, we cannot be condemned for the failure. But if we do not fight, if we simply endure what we believe to be wrong, no piety, no sermons, no prayers will save us.”

The kingdoms of the world may belong to Satan, but that does not mean we have to let him rule unopposed or without concessions. The wicked judge in Luke 18:4-5 “finally he said to himself, ‘Even though I don’t fear God or care what people think, 5 yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will see that she gets justice, so that she won’t eventually come and attack me!’” indicates the point that persistence can change even an unrighteous ruler. As saints can we do less?

This is challenging to me as I look at our country and the countries of the world. Our role as believers is clear, to carry out the great commission, to make disciples of all nations, but how is that to be done? Does it include fighting for what is right in our own country? I don’t know about you, but I believe that it does. It includes teaching and living honestly among men, not taking a bribe, being a servant of all, not being ruled by the love of money, caring for the poor and standing for justice for all men. These are all part of being a Christian and they are a part of good government.

I am thrilled that the church grows when it is persecuted, but I do not have to like the persecution or the hardships that so many live under, nor do I have to stand by while unrighteous regimes thrive. In our own country I do not have to watch idly while tyranny grows and gains a foothold.

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