This seems to be another critical time in our nation’s history. What are we to do? Christians usually fall into one of two extremes when it comes to reacting to our culture. Some Christians go all out with political activism. They see our country sliding toward immorality, rejection of our Christian heritage and urge everyone to get active politically. If we can elect the right leaders and enact the right legislation, then we can save America, and there is truth in this statement.
On the other side, we consider the Apostle Paul. This amazing servant of the Lord Jesus Christ lived in a most godless culture. It was because of Rome’s anti-Christian hostility that he was placed in prison. But what was Paul’s attitude toward his imprisonment? Did he say, “We need to organize and replace Nero, a godless leader. No, he never once called for overthrowing the Roman Emperor.
From prison, he wrote the book of Philippians and said, “But I would you should understand, brethren, that the things which happened to me have fallen out rather unto the furtherance of the gospel.” (Philippians 1:12) Guards were led to Christ, Christians were encouraged and bold to stand up for Jesus. He spoke about “joy” and “rejoicing” 19 times in the book.
Many Christians have as a life purpose — prosperity, pleasure and peace. A prison sentence would have been a tragedy to them. But Paul had a greater purpose. He had given his life to Jesus Christ and was dedicated to share the gospel with as many people as possible. This gave him a different perspective on his imprisonment. He felt prison was giving him a chance to spread the gospel to “Caesar’s household,” and that people were encouraged to stand up and share their faith.
So in reality we should do both. Stand up for good, honest and Godly government, but we must not neglect our major responsibility of sharing the gospel with everyone we can. Be both “salt” and “light” in our nation.
Dr. David Bouler of Global Faith Ministries, Chattanooga, Tennessee, contributed this column to the Journal Review. He can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.