There can be no doubt that a culture war is underway in our country. Anti-religious forces, personified by the American Civil Liberties Union and other such groups, constantly exploit the legal system to further their values of secularism, pluralism and “diversity,” and to drive every trace of our Judeo-Christian heritage from public view. The entertainment industry and much of the media support the same anti-biblical agenda. In the face of all this, what are we as Christian citizens of the United States to think and to do?
First, we should give thanks. Despite all the victories of the secularists, our culture retains more remnants of its biblically-based heritage than that of any other country in the so-called “Christian” world. Second, we should pray — for our rulers (including those judges who sometimes cause us so much irritation and agony), for revival (of the professing Church, for starters), for unbelievers (especially our cultural opponents). God is still on the throne of the universe and he still answers prayer that is according to his will. Third, we may exercise our democratic privilege of voting, for judges when that is possible and for those at all levels of government who appoint them. Even when they strive for objectivity, judges remain men and women also with opinions, convictions, values and biases. Given the choice, I prefer judges who share my core values and biblical faith.
Fourth, we need to commend our faith to others by our own godly and well-ordered lives (read 1 Peter 1-5 about this). God has commanded us to obey civil authorities — and that is not conditioned on our liking or agreeing with the law. The time might come when, like the early believers, we have to choose between obeying God and man, and then the choice is clear (Acts 4:18-20). But God has not commanded us to place Ten Commandment monuments in state judicial halls. He did tell his people Israel to post his commandments in their own houses (Deut. 6:6-9). It is possible for us to be so caught up with symbolic public displays of religion that we neglect the place where faith is transmitted best — our own hearths and homes. Both Old and New Testaments tell us that God really wants to write his laws in our hearts (Jer. 31:33; Heb. 8:10). When that happens, we will preach much without saying a word.
Finally, we need to remember that God’s kingdom does not depend on any earthly government for support (John 18:36). Throughout history, Christians have tried to gain political power to support God’s kingdom and every such attempt has resulted in dismal failure. That has been true whether we think of Constantine, Calvin or the Christian Coalition. The time is coming when all earthly governments will disappear and God’s kingdom will reign from pole to pole (Rev. 11:15). When that happens, it will not be of our doing but of God’s. There is a very good reason why we pray: “Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever. Amen.” (Matt. 6:13.)