Articles / Conversation / Featured Hot Button / Hot Button

July 4th – a stewardship of freedom & faith

As we at The Cross Church celebrate our nations independence today we are grateful for the sacrifice of the many men and women who have given their lives to protect the freedoms we so richly enjoy in our great land—especially those fighting the war in Iraq currently. We should never take them or our freedom for granted. To all the families who have sons and daughters in the military today, our prayers are with you and your children; we appreciate you greatly!

Freedom is a precious thing. It is not the desire to do what we want, but the power to do what we ought.
Visible manifestations of our freedoms such as burning the American flag is not an expression of freedom at all, but of disdain for our nation, its constitution, and its citizens. Taking the life of an unborn child is not an expression of freedom, but a complete disregard for the sanctity of human life. Gay marriage is not an expression of freedom, but of disrepute for God’s divine design of marriage (cp, Romans 1:18-32)

This is key for the church to think about today—doing what we ought to do, not just what is expedient to do. As the church is gallingly trying to reinvent itself today to adapt to the tensions, struggles, moorings and beliefs of our postmodern world, we must never forget beloved: the cross waves higher than the flag. I am proud to be an American and thank the Lord for our great nation; but first and foremost, I am a citizen of heaven and my principal allegiance in this life is to the Lord Jesus Christ.

As Christians, we have a stewardship to use the freedom we enjoy in this great country as a voice for the faith.
The Lord has given every Christian the duty of being a faithful witness and testimony to His gospel of grace. We are to be salt and light in the sphere of influence that the Lord has sovereignly placed us. Right where we live, whether we are 11 or 88, we can be a witness for the Lord and His truth. The most tool for evangelizing this world is the transformed life lived out, right where we live.

But some believers today (and thankfully they are decreasing in number) see the way to transform our nation is through the political realm, not by proclaiming the gospel.

In response to their cobelligerence, I submit the following:

If every member of Congress were Christians; if every member of the Supreme Court were saved; if every judicial appointee by the President confessed Christ as Lord; and if the President and every member of his cabinet were born again, it would have little impact upon the spiritual condition of our nation.

God has not sanctioned the government to set the spiritual tone of our land. That influence and power comes through the ministry of the local church by the proclamation of the gospel (Sola Fide, Sola Gratia, Solus Christus).

You cannot call boldly to repentance those to whom you are beholding to pay political capital. Evangelical political activism is a playground for Christians who really don’t believe in the transforming power of the gospel and think that legislation is the key to societal moral restitution rather than regeneration.

In trying to legislate a cultural morality, they unwittingly remove the offense of the cross. Their tongues can’t help then but stutter instead of speaking clearly when given opportunity to proclaim the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. Why? Because faith to them must be cloaked in politics; and relationships within those circles guarded, courted and smoothed over, rather than confronted and called to repentance.

They do this for the purpose of garnering acceptance in the governmental arena, to insure continued access to mainstream media, and shore up alliances with nonbelievers for the purpose of moral recovery through the veneer of family-values living. Politics is the art of compromise and makes poor bedfellows for anyone in genuine biblical ministry.

When Daniel Webster was asked why he attended a little country church and didn’t attend the politically acceptable church in the heart of town, he replied, “at that church downtown they preach to Daniel Webster the statesman; in that little country church, they preach to Daniel Webster the sinner.”

If a pastor of a church were to run for political office and was elected President of the United States, he’d be stepping down. For though the President has weighty duties and responsibilities, the care for the souls of men through the gospel is far greater— for it is an eternal work that the servant of Christ does.

God is “He who sits in the heavens [and] laughs…” the Psalmist says. At what; at who? “…the rulers that take counsel together against the LORD and against His Anointed.”

Better is the ministry of the Lord’s design, than the playground of politics. Better to preach the Word; better to herald His gospel; better to love your neighbor; and better to call lost people to repentance by grace through faith in Christ alone.

Have a safe and wonderful 4th of July with your family and friends.

His Truth is Marching On…
Acts 20:24