Christian Civic Engagement Ministry – Introduction
The purpose of a Christian Civic Engagement Ministry is to engage in the area of civil government ensuring policy and legislation is influenced by God’s Word, His Truth, and His Gospel.
The need for Christian Civic Engagement is increasingly important in a world and culture disconnected from the Lord. Policies and legislation passed by government impact God’s people. They can either encourage people to live Godly lives or they can encourage ungodly lives.
Policies and legislation mirrors three things:
1) the character of people voted into office,
2) the character of people who engage and communicate with elected officials once in office, and;
3) the character of the people who voted them into office.
As Christians retreat and disengage from political discussions it follows that the character of those who step in to fill the void will not reflect Christian values. This is exactly what we are seeing today. Policies and legislation now often encourages and rewards ungodly living and thereby places barriers between the lost and the gospel message. This is why Christian Civic Engagement matters.
Why It Matters
The churches primary mission is to “…go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you” (Matthew 28: 19-20). This task to make disciples, to encourage people to make public pronouncements of their faith, and to encourage people to live lives more like Jesus is challenging enough in a fallen world. It becomes progressively more difficult when people are encouraged to pursue and live ungodly lives by the civil government. It becomes even more complicated when civil government becomes increasingly hostile to Christian teachings and Christian lifestyles. Please read this previous article regarding The Good News and Civic Engagement.
Influence, Appeal, and Plead!
What is missing today is God honoring Christian influence and God has called us to be this influence. His command is captured in Jeremiah 15:19, “…If you return to me, I will restore you so you can continue to serve me. If you speak good words rather than worthless ones, you will be my spokesman. You must influence them; do not let them influence you!” This call is renewed in 2 Corinthians 5:20 where Paul declares, “So we are Christ’s ambassadors; God is making his appeal through us. We speak for Christ when we plead, “Come back to God!” Influence, appeal, and plead.
Christian Civic Engagement’s ultimate goal is to actively answer the call to influence, to appeal, and to plead to the world through the political arena. Its goal is to see God’s Kingdom glorified by protecting and encouraging the civil and cultural conditions to allow the Church to fulfill the Great Commission.
What it is Not
Please note, Christian Civic Engagement does not include or support any idea where civil government should be used to force anyone to become a Christian. This idea is inherently unbiblical and ineffective. A relationship with Jesus must be an individual decision made through free will. Nor does Christian Civic Engagement place any lasting hope that civil government enacted policies and legislation will bring about lasting solutions to problems immorality and sinfulness has brought. Only the saving grace of God can restore our fallen world.
What it Is
What Christian Civic Engagement believes is that policies and legislation are positively impacted when God’s perfect principles and standards are taken into consideration and incorporated into policies and legislation. It may be true that it is impossible to legislate morality, but it is equally true that every law in existence has the goal to try to legislate behavior.
Policy and legislation, absent of positive Christian influence, increasingly reflects the nature of those elected into office as well as the nature of those who are doing the influencing. Do we want to see man-centered, secular thought dominate policy and legislation or do we want to see God-centered, biblical principles be the focus? Do we believe policy and legislation is better with or without Godly influence? Should laws be influenced by God standards as made clear in the Bible? I believe the answers are clear.
What is also clear is that Christians are no longer influencing policies and legislation in ways that bring glory to God and that must change…now!
Stand by for more to come. Contact us if you would like more information on establishing a Civic Engagement Ministry in your church or community.