IS CHRISTIAN ACTIVISM BIBLICAL?
IS CHRISTIAN ACTIVISM BIBLICAL?
Realizing the moral and religious implications of policies and laws that are being made, Christians are getting more open to engaging in politics and civil affairs. Yet, what does this mean from a biblical perspective? Is there such a thing as “Christian Activism”? Here is an excerpt from Stephen Green of The Christian Voice, a UK-based online ministry, seeking to “analyse current events in the light of scripture, proclaim God’s word to those in public life and provide the information Christians need in order to pray with the mind of God and witness in these dark days.”
DEFINING CHRISTIAN ACTIVISM
So, how widely can we define ‘Christian activism’? Christian Aid describes their poverty relief as ‘Christian activism’. Praying for the persecuted church is described in places as ‘Christian activism’. The American Civil Rights movement had many Christians involved in it, following Christian principles. On his website, the Labour MP Stephen Timms, describes numerous Christian social projects he knows as ‘Christian Activism.’ Evangelism can be ‘Christian activism’ and pavement counselling outside abortion clinics definitely is.
But, writing about the latter, Dave Hunt says on his website sound-doctrine.co.uk : ‘No matter how commendable the goal of such tactics, there is not one example in the entire Bible (his emphasis) of political or social activism ever being advocated or used by God’s people.’ He goes on: ‘There are numerous cases of civil disobedience in Scripture, but it was never engaged in for the purpose of forcing an ungodly society to obey Biblical principles.’
So, that’s that then? Well, Dave Hunt actually commends Operation Rescue for saving lives, but he says it should be about that alone, not about overturning Roe v Wade. I rather think one would be content with the first objective, but we must surely take issue with Hunt when the latter says: ‘the abolition of slavery … (has) not made society any more godly.’
CHRISTIAN ACTIVISM ‘JUSTIFIED’
Last year, giving the William Wilberforce lecture in Hull, the birthplace of the Christian reformer, The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, supported Christian activism as he attacked the “moral relativism” that he said is now eroding Christian values in society and Government.
He told Christians we are justified in mounting vigorous campaigns against the State if it is eroding Christian morality. ‘If the State perpetuates in the corporate life of the nation what is directly contrary to the Christian understanding of God’s purpose, then Christian activism in respect of changing the law is justified, primarily when the State is responsible for ‑ so to speak ‑ compromising the morality of all its citizens.’
Wilberforce would have agreed. He saw that slavery degraded and compromised the morality of Britain as a whole. Whether individuals or society would become more godly as a result of abolition was not the point. A national sin was being committed, and it would have national consequences.
Actually, Dave Hunt is closer to us than one might think. He goes on to accuse Christian activism of being ‘too narrow and selective’. He says, ‘We must not only rescue the unborn, but the children in public schools who are being perverted through the teaching of immorality, witchcraft and occultism.’ Amen. And then: ‘We must denounce sin, call for national repentance, and preach the gospel in convicting power.’
Amen again. He is talking about exercising the prophetic function of the church, which is what we do, and encourage the Church to do, in Christian Voice. But does that make us ‘activists’? Perhaps we should look at the roots of the word ‘activism’ itself. Activ-ism is to do with being active, which itself is to do with taking action of some kind. So, I see activism as the adding of actions to prayer and prophetic witness. I speak of ‘prophetic witness’ instead of just ‘the prophetic’ in order to emphasize that we are proclaiming the word of God rather than predicting the future; forth-telling rather than foretelling.
That means we have to look at the example of the Prophets to see if they added actions to their witness. We must also ask if the Lord Jesus said anything positive or negative on this topic and see what the Apostles had to say. I am taking it as axiomatic that it is our Christian duty to proclaim God’s word against wickedness, to pray for our leaders (and specifically to pray that they will do right) and to seek the peace of the nation in which we find ourselves (Jeremiah 29:7).
By Stephen Green. First published in Christian Voice, June 2008. For entire article, CLICK HERE.
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Help us publicize what is happening in Rio Grande no Norte, Brazil, with the Cristian churches and temples.
As the CODIV19 pandemic lower its numbers, the Estate of Rio Grande do Norte (Brazil) announced a State Decree to open commerce and other sectors with rules of social distancing and sanitizations.
Many people, otherwise, are not respecting the cautions and warnings in beaches, parties, stores, do not respecting the minimum 6 feet distance, do not use masks and a lot of other counter sense actions, but the Estate are not doing harder actions to prevent it. The people are living as the pandemic was gone.
The Estate, governed by the far-left, create a State Decree different to the Cristian churches and temples, making it clear that it is a way to difficult its opening and also make it easy to create some embarrassing situations to they. In the S.D., beyond the rules imposed to commerce, gyms, stores, bars etc., the is two that was not imposed to they, just for churches and temples.
1) Create a document visible to public to show how the church is working with the rules of social distancing and sanitizations.
2) Subordinates religious temples to the general public, delegates to anyone the power to inspect the temples, demand the framing plan and even denunciate to authorities, a power that has not been given to the general public for any other activity, such as bars, shopping malls, gyms, banks and other.
So, why this need? Why the temples and churches are so dangerous to social health than commerce, shoppings, bars etc.? Why no other segment has these two obligations? Why people can inspect and also denunciate as they can’t do with others?
This is clear an attack to the Christians, put different and harder rules to us. We call it hypocrisy when you promote one thing and do another.
The far-left always sells the discuss of freedom of speech, democracy defense, celebrate the diversities, live the differences, spread the love, combat the fascism, but with Christians, it do not accept they speech, do not consider they a people to be included in the difference and diversity. It do not accept anyone who thinks different, contradicting the defense of freedom of speech, already made some movements (last government) to shut down and silence churches. The left-far is much more near to fascism than the right.
So please, we need your help to spread this situation to the world the help stop the religious persecution. Fearing retaliation from the extremist left, we tried to create an email, we tried to create an e-mail in some providers via TOR network that do not need to put phone numbers, but they are very limited in its daily or monthly sent quantity, much below 10 for day. It way we need such help.
Unfortunately this limited viewpoint fails to identify that early christians were not in a democracy and did not get to elect / influence who would be next in line to rule over them. The Bible indicates Lot was vexed by the wickedness around him – but then again lot had no democratic say in how the King of Sodom ruled.
I suggest Christians in our democracy will not be guiltless at the judgement, if they neglect their duty to choose approporiate leaders and willing accept lawlessness and allow debachery to assume rule over their households, children, and controlling institutions. That is simply being salt.