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Government is not the Solution

In this series I have hoped (in as much is possible in three blog posts) to talk some about a Christian perspective in voting.  I appreciate the comments of others in helping to accomplish this goal.  In this post I want to address a concern I have.

It seems that some people look to the government as the solution to all of man’s problems.  “Immorality is high in our nation, thus we need to change the laws to make man moral.  We have too much poverty, thus we need to tax and redistribute.”  The argument seems to put the weight of responsibility on the government and elected officers.

Now please read this post in context (i.e. read the earlier posts), I’m not saying that government has no role, but I am saying that Christians should not put their trust in government to accomplish true change in a nation or group of people.  Change, the kind which honors God, only comes when individuals are so overwhelmed by the gospel that they turn their lives over to Him.

This type of change is seen in the conversion of a sinner.  This type of change is the work of the gospel on the heart of the man.  This type of change results in a new man.  It results in a new attitude.  It results in a new life.  It results in people dedicating themselves to righteousness.

Government can limit evil, but it can’t remove the evil from its citizens.  Government can punish crimes, but it cannot justify the criminal.  Government can commend the one who does good, but it cannot change his/her status before God.  Only Christ and the power of the gospel can purge our lives from sin, justify us before God, and give us a new heart and place before God.

So Christians vote tomorrow if you believe that you can limit evil and promote good, but please do not put your trust in the government.  Put your trust in the gospel and make the priority of your life to apply that message to your life and share it with others.

Now, to steal a political phrase, THAT IS CHANGE YOU CAN BELIEVE IN!


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6 Comments

  1. Consider some of the practices that government officials currently debate, legalize, or even finance with our taxes: abortion, gambling, divorce, pornography, homosexuality, contraceptives for unmarried teens, and “education” that justifies… some or all of these. Should Christians, gospel preachers, and even churches speak out about such issues, or should we remain silent? If we do not speak out, how do we fulfill our God-given duty to preach the truth and rebuke error? See Revelation 3:19; Galatians 6:1,2; James 5:19,20; I Thessalonians 5:14; Ephesians 5:11; 2 Timothy 4:2-4.
    Many current government decisions will have major impact on our families. Men are responsible to provide for their families, including protecting them from harm (1 Timothy 5:8; Ephesians 5:28,29). Parents are responsible to provide a wholesome upbringing for our children (Ephesians 6:4; Proverbs 22:6). If my vote can help protect my family from evil government decisions and can help provide a more wholesome environment in which to raise my children, why should I refuse to vote?

  2. Wesley

    November 2, 2010 at 9:31 am

    John, I hope that you read this post in context. If you would have then you would see that we agree. Posts 1-3 in this series addressed this very point that Christians should vote for the purpose of limiting evil and promoting good.

    The point of this post is to make sure we do not go too far and putting our trust in government to change people and not God.

    Wesley

  3. Wesley, ( I don’t believe we’ve met, but you added me on faceboook the other day), very good post! This is something that I’ve definitely observed to be a major problem in this country for many christians. I grew up in a country that didn’t have the fallacy of believing itself to be a Christian Nation, and thus the believers over there interacted with politics and social morality in a totally different way. The emphasis for many Christian groups, both churches and charities, seemed to be more on the education and conversion of the people rather than the enforcement of moral laws. For example, take the abortion issue. You can vote to pass legislation that makes abortion totally illegal, but it’s still going to happen, only this time in much worse conditions. Only by educating someone on the value of life can we ever hope to change peoples mentality away from this abhorrent practice. If you look at the political history of the 20th century, especially in America, you have certain moral laws enforced because that is what society believed. Then the 60s happened and we see a massive cultural shift in perceived cultural norms, both for good and bad. The problem is now that these counterculture beliefs are no longer counterculture, it’s mainstream. I am a social libertarian (almost social anarchist, but that’s for another time) meaning that I believe that moral decisions that do not interfere with the safety or rights of others should be left soley up to the people and not up to government. Christ gave us a choice in everything we do, we are given complete free will to follow Him or to follow the world. Legislating Christian morality does not make the ground more fertile for unbelievers; it makes the country safer for those who are already saved, and places yet another massive brick wall between those who need Christ and those who have Him. By voting for the moral majority and the republican or tea party I believe that one would be doing more harm to the Gospel than by voting for any other party. Christians are continually driving a wedge between the saved and the lost by allying themselves with those who pander to their beliefs, even though it won’t come to naught. You don’t save people by voting.

  4. I apologize if my post seemed to contradict yours. I agree with you, but I was concerned that others might not vote believing that everything would be taken care of by God. I think that we both agree that God works through providence and if Christians do nothing, nothing in this world will change for the better. ~ John

  5. Wesley

    November 2, 2010 at 7:10 pm

    No need to apologize. You can speak freely on here.

  6. David stated: “I believe that moral decisions that do not interfere with the safety or rights of others should be left soley up to the people and not up to government.”

    Wouldn’t abortion interfere with the “safety” of a yet to be born person? If we vote “pro-choice” and deny the person-hood of the unborn how is that different than voting “pro-choice” on slavery and denying the person hood of slaves?

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