If you missed Part 1 of this series - please scroll down to find it.
There are many people in the United States who believe Judeo-Christian beliefs and morals have played a vital role in our national history and should continue to define our national character. They would like to see legislation and public policy that stays in line with traditional moral, Christian values.
One of the reasons they support this idea is their belief that an America based on Christian values would be a nicer, safer, more comfortable place to live. No murder, no theft, no lying. Respect for others, respect for property, respect for the government and its laws. Respect for life. Respect for marriage and family. Public schools that teach abstinence until marriage and don’t try to convince our kids that they evolved from monkeys. Freedom to pray in school.
Wouldn’t it be nice to live in a nation where you don’t have to worry about what your children will learn in school, whether they will be safe there, and whether you can turn on your car radio without being swamped with foul language and even fouler ideas? Wouldn’t it be easier if our government supported the same values we choose for ourselves and forbid behavior that goes against those values?
But is our comfort a valid motivation for how we should cast our vote as Christians?
It’s not easy to carry on a constant battle against the world to keep our minds and hearts—and those of our children—pure. But that is what God asks us to do. Jesus told his disciples, “Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation” (Matthew 26:41).
We are told to be on our guard against the temptations of the world because those temptations will always be there. God does not want you to get comfortable in your own little part of the world. He wants you to be constantly on guard against the forces of evil around you. Nor does God want you to “fit in” in an ungodly world.
The apostle Paul writes: "Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness? ... What does a believer have in common with an unbeliever? … Therefore come out from them and be separate, says the Lord." (2 Corinthians 6:14-17)
This doesn’t mean we should surround ourselves with people who look and act like us and have nothing to do with the rest of the world. Instead, God tells us to have nothing to do with the way they live. He tells us to be different. To look different. To think and act in a different way because we have the revealed Word of God and the power of the Holy Spirit.
God calls us to be a light to a darkened world. One important thing to remember about a lamp in a dark room is that it stands out. It is different. Being different isn’t comfortable, but it is God’s command.
"You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven." (Matthew 5:14-16)
Trying to change the laws and policies of America for our own comfort is not God’s will. If we think the United States should be guided by Christian principles, it should not be because it makes life a little easier for those of us who are Christians.
The rest of this week I will continue this series on the hidden motivations that might affect us during this election season. Most of the posts will be excerpts from my book, Separate for a Reason, which will be released next month. If you would like to read an advance copy of the book and hear my full argument in favor of separation of church and state in America, you can join my book launch team here or send me a message through my Contact page.
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What is my mission as an author? The goal dearest to my heart is to help Christians think about what they really believe and then to act as if they believe it. It all begins with understanding what it means to be a Christian. Then we have to learn to live like a Christian.