About Jesus  -  Steve Sweetman

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Christianizing Your Country


I was born in 1951 and was thus raised in 1950's style Evangelical Christianity that was still heavily influenced by the revival movements of the previous century.  This was one reason why many Evangelicals in the 1950's had little to no interest in political involvement.  "It's a worldly endeavour," I recall hearing.  All this changed in the late 1970's when Evangelicals like Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson led the Conservative Christian Right to American political prominence, resulting in Robertson's run for the White House in 1988.  From the 1950's until now, the Evangelical political pendulum has swung from one extreme to another. 


Many Evangelicals now believe their political involvement can embed a Christian consensus into the legislative process that will Christianize their nation.  This makes Evangelicals just as much a  political movement as a Christian movement.  History proves that when the church politicizes itself it loses its distinct counter-cultural community identity it was created to be.      


Government legislation leads no one to Jesus.  It does not redirect one's eternal destiny and can never purify the souls of men and women who are at the core of any culture.  Besides, Jesus did not die for your nation.  He died for individuals in your nation.  Until the day comes when Jesus returns and all nations submit to Him, you can search the New Testament for yourself.  You will find no one attempting to Christianize the first century Roman Empire through political involvement.  You will, however, find men and women leading individuals in the empire to Jesus who formed a distinct counter-cultural community that represented and exhibited the Kingdom of God to the kingdoms of men.   


I am not opposed to individual Christian political involvement.  I do not wish to return to the 1950's lack of faith inspired participation in cultural concerns.  Christians have, and still can, inspire cultural corrections in democratic nations.  The Methodist Movement of the 1700's was the fundamental factor in ending the practice of slavery in England; but still, the New Testament emphasis is to lead individuals, not nations, to Jesus. 


I believe today's Evangelical emphasis on political involvement is becoming Biblically unbalanced.  There is no New Testament support for turning the Christian movement into a political party that history proves will eventually push the saving grace of the cross of Christ to the sidelines.  Ern Baxter, a prominent Bible teacher in the Charismatic Movement told me this in 1987.  "If Pat Robertson becomes president of the United States he will have demoted himself from being a preacher of the gospel to becoming president.  Baxter puts this issue into proper Biblical balance.      


Much time, energy, and prayer, has been invested in bringing our western nations back to their Biblical roots -  roots that I do not believe were as Biblical as we often think.  It is now time to invest ourselves in returning church to its Biblical roots as being a distinct counter-cultural community that proclaims and exhibits the life and values of the Lord Jesus Christ to the kingdoms of men, because how church goes is how culture goes.  National revival begins with ecclesiastical revival. 


I conclude that people need Jesus more than they need conservative Supreme Court judges and a legislature that forces Biblical practices on an unbiblical population in an attempt to Christianize their country. 


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