By Ramon Arias
Can politics save us? This question can be answered in many different ways, the most common answers are: yes, no, maybe, who knows. Which one of these four answers would you choose? Whatever your choice is the correct answer is: no, politics cannot save us or our society.
If we pause to analyze human history and its political development, it is not difficult to arrive at the conclusion that it has always been dangerous to believe that politics can save anyone. When we look with special interest to a nation like Israel and we study its history after God constituted its social identity with a system of government under God’s jurisdiction, there is much we can learn about our times. Once Israel was established in the Promised Land, they confronted the religious philosophy of the false god, Baal.
Baalism was nothing more than an ancient form of secular humanism. The confrontation Israel had with that version of secular humanism reminds us that the people of God have been engaged in that battle for millenniums. So, nothing has changed in our times, the ancient battle between the church and secular humanism continues.
The Book of Judges, found in the Bible, is a book that not only every Christian should read but seriously study and compare it with modern times. It clearly shows how the people of God would rebel and sin against the moral and ethical law of God. This attitude in the Israelites left God no other alternative but to let their enemies rise, adverse societies and worshippers of Baal (humanism), to overpower and dominate them. What is quite surprising is how easily the Israelites adopted Baalism (Judges 2:13, 3:7), which is nothing more than humanistic ideas where man absurdly believes he can replace God in a desperate effort to find its national salvation.
The painful lesson the Israelites had to learn is the same lesson the people of God have had to learn throughout history. That lesson is that there is a cultural war and to try and make concessions with Baal (secular humanism) is impossible because reconciliation between these two perspectives cannot happen at any point in life or its institutions.
Finally, the Israelites had to learn to fight to reestablish the ideas of God.
The pulpits of America would do well and a great service to its people to dedicate time to the Book of Judges verse by verse to find out that it is not a book dedicated to military strategy but rather how to deposit your faith in the living God. The treasure lesson in Judges is to discover God’s morals and ethics as revealed in His Law to bring order, stability, peace and progress to society.
In the history of the Book of Judges, a Christian finds much practical values and instructions on how the church ought to be. That includes the importance of discovering how humanistic ideas only destroy and enslave the human race and its social institutions, including the church.
Even though politics cannot save us, and Christians should not look to the state as its social redeemer, that does not exempt him from questioning all the political promises and what the politician is basing them on. The Christian is forcibly obligated to pay close attention to political action and be politically active because politics affects all of society at some point.
Statistics reveal an astounding apathy on the part of the majority of evangelicals to not become involved in political action. This can only be the result of the pessimistic and pathetic teaching they have been receiving for decades that Christians should not be involved in politics because of the corruption.
This rationalization is not only totally contrary to the entire biblical context, but it annihilates Christian influence to go against secular humanistic ideology. What every Christian needs to understand and acknowledge is that civil government was not established by man, but by God himself. This being so, it is logical and common sense to become legitimately involved socially to clean up and sanitize politics (Matthew 22:21; Romans 13:1; I Timothy 2:1-4; I Peter 2:13-17).
As children of God, we should not think it odd that as a result of sin God considered it necessary to establish civil government because of the dominance of sin upon humanity. Therefore, society would avoid destroying itself (Genesis 9:4-6).
As Christians, it is our responsibility before God and our society to elect the best qualified men and women to public office so every law-abiding citizen is protected and can live in social stability (Exodus 18; 1 Timothy 3:1-7). Any one who advocates contrary to this not only believes he is wiser than God, but is in favor that evil people dominate the political arena. Such a person is a worshipper of Baal (secular humanism) even though he or she may use biblical terminology to camouflage their true self.
If Christians in the early colonies had not become involved in politics and in the War of Independence from Great Britain, there would be no United States of America.
The character of those Christians who recognized the supremacy of biblical authority over the English Parliament and the English Crown, is what determined the kind of politics this nation that was about to be birthed would exercise. This nation was founded on the biblical perspective because that is the lifestyle of those who were forming this new society. Of course, we do not hear this today nor is it taught in our schools or institutions of higher learning, much less the media, and it is even sad to say not even in most churches.
Do not be deceived, everything revolves around what we think and what we believe.
What we are living as a nation in our political system and civil government is nothing more than the reflection and convictions of those we elect into power. Our elected officials are a mere reflection of us, the citizenry.
If we want positive, constructive, and permanent change in politics and civil government, it is time to elect people who will truly reflect their moral and ethical conviction in relation to God and His law like in the time of the early colonies. True U.S. History tells us that in the formation of this country even those who did not embrace biblical faith submitted to it because it was the most intelligent and wise thing to do to be assured of developing an effective society.
It is high time to stop looking only at partisan tags, be it Democrat, Republican, Independent or any other party. We need to elect people who not only talk about biblical precepts but also live them and they can be corroborated in their lives. Strong people with a solid back bone that will stand firm in order to change the political course of the nation are desperately needed.
If we do not elect this kind of men and women to public office, Christians will continue to bow to the Baals (secular humanism) infiltrated in our culture that will ultimately destroy it.
It is time that men and women who fear and respect God step out into the political arena no matter what the social “coliseum” may look like. Christians must see politics and civil government as God seems them, a ministry in which we should become involved in a wise and intelligent manner knowing full well what God would have us establish.
Politics cannot save us, that is an attribute that only belongs to the grace of God toward humanity and the reason why Jesus came to earth. But the children of God that experience the transformation and renewing of their minds through the Word of God, are obligated to sanitize politics so it may be the effective instrument that God intended it to be for the good of society.
If the just do not take political action, then the unjust will continue to dominate us.