In this election cycle, many of our churches have opted to remain silent, not wanting to insert “God” into a political debate.
That is tragic, since at its most basic level, this nation is engaged in a struggle over its very identity. Because America is a nation that was founded on a belief in God, and on the fact that His laws should be the basis for our laws.
The Declaration begins with the concept of inalienable rights that were endowed by a Creator, and therefore not legitimately open to negotiation by any government. In fact, it was the attempt by the British crown to abridge those fundamental rights that caused the American Revolution in the first place.
The question that every American should be asking himself is, “Do you want your government to see you as a creation of a loving and eternal Father who loves you and to whom both you and the state are accountable, or do you want your government to see you as a creature of an almighty and all-powerful state?”
Most people, when confronted by that question, are not willing to be seen as creatures of an almighty and all-powerful state. They recognize that another name for such a system is totalitarianism.
The state itself is most interested in eliminating any mention of a Creator from the political discussion. Those invested in expanding the power of the state understand that if citizens are reminded of the existence of that Creator, they might also remember that their human rights flow from Him, and that the purpose of government is to protect the fundamental rights that every human person intrinsically possesses. The state is not at all interested in having citizens remember those facts, so their insistence on silence about that Creator is understandable.
What is not so understandable is the willingness of so many churches to cooperate in that silence.
The voice of the church is about more than issues, although certainly issues matter. It is about more than policies and programs, although certainly those policies and programs have a real impact on our lives.
But more fundamentally, the voice of the church is about reminding our elected and appointed government officials that there is a higher power than the state. And that the appropriate role of the government is not to decide what rights, if any, the citizens will be allowed to have. The appropriate role of government is to protect the rights – to life, liberty, and property – that every citizen was created with.
It is the appropriate role of church to speak, often and persuasively, about the reality of the Creator, about the inalienability of human rights, and about the fact that there is a limit to the legitimate authority of the state. No other entity can effectively fill that role.
When our churches are silent, they create a vacuum that government is hungry to fill. The result is always disastrous.
Today, our beloved America is locked in a titanic struggle over her very soul. Let us hope that it is not lost because our churches opted not to fight for it.