As citizens of two kingdoms—Heaven and earth— Christians are blessed with the privileges and responsibilities of both!
“…And Jesus said to them, ‘Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.’” (Mark 12:13-17)
“The authorities that exist have been established by God. For (governmental authority) is God’s servant to do you good. The authorities are God’s servants, who give their full time to governing. Give everyone what you owe him: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor.” (Romans 13:1-7 (excerpts))
Although we owe God our first and highest allegiance, we are also stewards of the “garden” we call the public arena. A garden that is not regularly tended will not produce anything good. Therefore, we neglect our citizenship responsibilities to our peril.
In America we have a wonderful Judeo-Christian heritage that includes, in every generation, the active influence of the community of faith.
Reverend John Witherspoon (1783) said:
“…civil liberty cannot be long preserved without virtue. A Republic must either preserve its virtue or lose its liberty.”
In addition to praying for our leaders:
“I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone- for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior.” (1 Timothy 2:1-3)
We must also work together to be “salt” and “light” as representatives and Ambassadors for Christ in the public arena.
“Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.” (1 Peter 3:15)
“Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” (Romans 12:21)
Responsible Christian Citizenship includes participation in the public conversation about important issues in order to positively influence the ultimate decisions that will affect every aspect of our lives and those of future generations. In our society, that public conversation includes, but is not limited to, such important topics as:
Unborn Human Life — is life unique and does it come from God, and is the purpose of civil government to protect innocent human life?
Traditional Marriage — are there God-given moral laws that are still relevant today? Is the family a God-ordained and society strengthening institution?
Public Religious Expression — should the act of acknowledging God in our public life be prohibited or should religious freedom be preserved for all citizens?
If people of faith do not take part in the dialogue on these important issues, there is little chance that the ultimate outcomes will reflect Biblical values!
Participation in this important public conversation can take many forms, including, but not limited to prayer, education, issues awareness, letters to the editor, contacting elected officials, voting, advocacy, volunteering and campaigning.
The CTV Pews to the Polls program and MichiganAllRise.org seek to be a catalyst to assist Christians in effectively fulfilling their God-given citizenship responsibilities in a way that complies with the IRS guidelines and respects the authority of church leadership.