Jesus said, “You are the salt of the earth . . . You are the light of the world . . . Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven” (Matt. 5:13, 14, 16). Followers of Christ have a responsibility to preserve the Judeo-Christian fabric of our society and stem the tide of moral decay.
Christians have a responsibility to protect and uphold biblical values.
There are many worthy causes believers can fight for in the political realm—lower taxes, better stewardship of our country’s natural resources, and improved educational standards, to name a few. But Christians have a God-given responsibility to defend their beliefs in three areas of vital importance:
The Declaration of Independence states that “all men are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights. Among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” The right to live is a fundamental right given to us by God.
- What does Psalm 139:15-16 say about the worth of individuals, even those within the womb?
- What biblical responsibility do we have to preserve innocent life whenever possible (Prov. 24:11)?
Be sure to find out where candidates stand on issues concerning life, such as: abortion, cloning, stem cell research that destroys embryos, and euthanasia.
2. Marriage and the Family
The family, which is the first institution created by God, constitutes the basic building block of society.
- How does the Bible characterize homosexual acts (Rom. 1:26-28)?
It is clear that God intended for marriage to be between a man and a woman. It is also obvious from His Word that same-sex relationships are perversions of His original plan. The institution of marriage is under attack by radical homosexuals and their allies who seek to redefine it through the courts. As a result, believers should examine a candidate’s position on this important issue so they can determine whether he or she supports the Marriage Protection Amendment (also referred to as the Federal Marriage Amendment).
3. Freedom (Especially of Religion)
The First Amendment to the Constitution says, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.”
Unfortunately, religious freedom is under attack in this country. Court cases are establishing precedents that, little by little, are restricting religious liberty. It is vitally important that we defend our right to practice our faith.
Believers should wisely exercise their rights as citizens of the United States.
By doing so, we can help preserve the liberties we currently enjoy. Key freedoms include:
1. The right to practice our religion freely.
In many countries, only certain expressions of faith are acceptable, and Christians are persecuted for worshipping and studying the Bible together. In America, we often take for granted our right to attend church.
- Do you attend church regularly? Why or why not?
- What is one specific way believers can preserve their ability to practice their faith (1 Tim. 2:1-4)?
2. The right to vote in elections that are conducted fairly and honestly.
In 1904, Colliers magazine quoted well-known skeptic and author Mark Twain as saying:
If Christians would vote their duty to God at the polls, they would carry every election, and do it with ease. Their prodigious power would be quickly realized and recognized, and afterward there would be no unclean candidates upon any ticket, and graft would cease. If the Christians of America could be persuaded to vote God and a clean ticket, it would bring about a moral revolution that would be incalculably beneficent. It would save the country.
- Jethro suggested that Moses delegate authority to save himself from exhaustion. What qualities was Moses to look for in those who would help him direct Israel (Ex. 18:241)?
- What fruit do we reap as a culture when we seek and support righteous leaders (Prov. 29:2)?
Believers need to educate themselves on the issues, compare the candidates’ positions with biblical values, and then prayerfully consider whom to support. Sometimes, none of the candidates will represent our beliefs perfectly. However, whenever possible, we should strive to select leaders who will make wise choices.
3. The right to express or publish our opinions.
Along with guaranteeing liberty to practice religion, the First Amendment to the Constitution establishes freedom of speech: “Congress shall make no law . . . abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.” Christians have a right to peacefully protest laws and policies, share their opinions with their congressional legislators, and seek to influence public policies. (Contact information for representatives and senators is available at www.congress.org.)
Throughout the Bible, followers of God have stood for what was right, even when their leaders did wrong. Elijah (1 Kings 18:16-18), Nathan (2 Sam. 12:1-14), and John the Baptist (Luke 3:19) confronted the ungodly actions of government officials.
- Does righteous indignation excuse hatred or violence (Matt. 5:44-46)?
- According to Proverbs 22:11, what should characterize our speech when we talk to those in authority?
- How would you apply that verse to a letter or e-mail you write to your congressman?
Closing: Christians have a God-given responsibility to represent Christ in our nation. One way we can do that is to participate intelligently and prayerfully in the democratic process. Exercise your rights now so that your children and grandchildren will inherit an America that is still free.
- Now that you have completed this study, how is God leading you to apply it?
Prayer: Father, thank You for the amazing privilege I have of being a citizen of a country where my viewpoint matters. Grant me the wisdom and strength to fight to preserve my freedoms and the liberties of others. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.