|Christians and Politics|
By Ronald L. Dart
It’s hard for Christians to keep our hats on straight in the political season. There is no time when it is more important that we do, for ours is a government of the people and by the people. Since Christians fall in that category called “the people,” we’re responsible for what this government does.
What do I mean when I say it is hard to keep our hats on straight? There are two broad categories of Christians at large in the world. Those who read the Bible regularly and those who don’t. About a third of Christians read something from the Bible at least once a week. About a third read something from the Bible once a year or less. The other third fall in between. In the 18th century, those numbers were very different, because the only book many had was the Bible and from that book they learned to read.
While the founders of our country were careful not to establish any religion, they all were biblically literate, and they governed a people who were biblically literate. When Thomas Jefferson drafted the Declaration of Independence, he didn’t speak of this or that God, he spoke of the Creator. That the founders and presidents publicly acknowledged “the Creator” as the guarantor of the rights of man was very important. Where did the idea germinate that this is, or was, a Christian nation? It came from people reading the Bible, and their lifestyle and human relations were influenced by the Bible, if not governed by it.
I am not talking about reading the Bible and then trying to preach it to your neighbor, but about living a life influenced by the Bible which in turn influences the people with whom you come in contact. The influence of the Bible on early American society was indirect, but pervasive. Moreover, the influence of Christian conduct on society was powerful. The strongest influence on the moral fiber of this young nation was: the Bible. Our problem today arises because we’ve lost our moral compass. It happened because, as Christians, we have let our country down. Christian influence has waned because we are no longer plugged in to the source of our moral authority.
In this insane political season, grounding ourselves in this understanding is paramount in making the decisions that may very well shape our liberty to worship God as He leads us.