The word government strikes thoughts of disgust, patriotism, and bureaucracy. More specifically the words American government strikes these emotions. Ronald Reagan once said, “The nine most terrifying words in the English language are: ‘I’m from the government and I’m here to help’” (Kurtzman). Today in the United States we have people all over the spectrum on their views on government’s role. Let’s ask some questions about what our American government should be and how Christian conservatives should think about their government. Is it good thing, or a bad thing? What is government’s role? What are we as Christians obligated to do in government? These are questions that need to be dealt with to establish a foundation to build a sound view of government.
We come to the first question, is government a bad or good thing? We should start with what type government we have. The American government is a Constitutional Republic. This simply means that the power of government is given to the people who elect legislators to pass laws. There are many approaches to government. One philosophy is that government is a necessary evil that has to be in place to keep order. Another philosophy is that God ordained natural law and government is one of the foundations that he laid down in natural law. The reality is, our government is founded on biblical principles but is weak in that fact that is in the hands of the people. If society falls, so does our government. The key to understanding our government is we are responsible to entrust each generation with the foundations of freedom, when that is not done we collapse. A beginning of collapse can describe our current state as a nation. The previous generation is not passing on the values necessary for this form of government to succeed.
Seeing the current state of our government leads us to the second question. What is the role of government? Some people believe in big government with the federal government in control of every aspect of our lives. On the opposite side of the spectrum we have a limited government with strong state governments and weak federal government. We have Christians that place themselves in both ideologies. Christians that advocate big government are what one may call “Christian Socialists”. They support laws and ideas that impose Christian beliefs and fundamentals on an entire populace. The problem is that this approach is tyranny and goes against the foundations of our government. It is just as bad as Marxists imposing their philosophy and ideas on entire populace. We have Christians that advocate the form of government the founding fathers created and don’t realize that it is a weak form of government. Why is it weak? The element many forget is that politics is going to be a result of society. If society is in decay along with the people then that will be reflected in the political system.
People do not understand that our form of government is not designed to take care of society. It should not have welfare, bailouts, and government paid items. When true conservative thinkers implement their beliefs, they are not supported by the people now because the society has not been educated by the previous generation but by the enemies of freedom. Our system can only be as stable as society is. So who is in charge of society? The church, the Christian church is responsible for the spiritual and philosophical welfare of people. They have not been faithful in keeping society on the right path. We cannot protect our government if the culture has accepted Marxism and socialism. When conservatives run for offices as they are attempting to bring back the traditional America, they find that they cannot do so. The main reason is liberals have taken society and brainwashed them to view anybody who is conservative as a white Christian racist who hates anybody who is not white Christian. The main issue is that bringing back America does not start with the politics. Politics start with the culture and until we change culture, we cannot change the government.
So now we come to what we as Christians should do. First and foremost, we need Christians engaging culture in every outlet possible. Only then can we attempt to keep our government the way our founding fathers intended it to be. This doesn’t mean we can stop being active in government. The thing Christians need to realize is that we must do both. Jesus says in Matthew 22:21b “Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s; and unto God the things that are God’s.” Jesus was talking about taxes, but this can apply to us in the sense that we are given a responsibility in our government. The Roman government was much more oppressive then ours and the people had no voice. In our country we do. We the people are solely responsible if it this nation perishes or succeeds. Christians are called to be active in government because of the form of government we have.
We must remember that Christians in politics can only succeed by changing society and government. We must also have Christians in culture, engaging it. We have looked at what our government is supposed to be, what the role of government is, and lastly what Christians should be doing in government. Now I want to leave you with a call, a call for conservatives to realize that to keep the standards and values of this nation. We must change society in order to save our government. We the people are responsible for the fate of this nation. What will be said of a real patriot when all is said and done? Will he have stood against culture and against the regime that wants to destroy his government? Only the individual can begin a movement, spark a revival, or bring “real” change. The only question is, will he?
Kurtzman, Daniel “Ronald Reagan Quotes: Funny Quotes by President Ronald Reagan” About.com. About.com 1996. Web. 22 Nov. 2012.
Matthew 22:21b The King James Bible Matthew 22:21 Ed. Benjamin Blayney and Francis Sawyer Parris Oxford: Robert Barker 1611. Print.