The word of God is real. God has laid certain moral imperatives. They all revolve around love. That is the way of Jesus.
What then should the followers of Jesus have to say about God’s ways? Should we influence government and be involved with politics to do so? For example, what about these historical issues?
- Advocating for outlawing infanticide, child abandonment, and abortion in the Roman Empire (in AD 374)
- Granting of property rights and other protections to women throughout history; prohibiting the burning alive of widows along with their dead husbands in India (in 1829)
- Outlawing the painful and crippling practice of binding young women’s feet in China (in 1912)
- Followers of Jesus played a major role in the struggle against slavery. In fact, two-thirds of the leading American abolitionists in the mid–1830s were Christian clergymen who were preaching “politics” from the pulpit, saying that slavery should be abolished.
- In the 1960s, the American civil rights movement that resulted in the outlawing of racial segregation and discrimination was led by Martin Luther King Jr., a Baptist pastor who dared to preach about such “political” issues (which were, in actuality, also deeply moral issues).
Disclaimer: I am personally opposed to what is known as “Christian Nationalism”. Our focus is on the Kingdom of God, making disciples of all nations and bring the good news of Jesus that “God so loved the world …” We disciples of Jesus are “a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. Once you were not a people, but now you are God’s people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.” 1 Peter 2:8-10
These reforms all required changes in a country’s laws, which is a political process that could not have happened unless numerous followers of Jesus had been teaching government officials and those who influenced them about the evils of these practices.
Is this not a moral imperative from Jesus? Is this not the way of love?
“So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.
“Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few. | Matthew 7:12-14 (ESV)
Should we pursue justice?
“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you tithe mint and dill and cumin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faithfulness. These you ought to have done, without neglecting the others. | Matthew 23:23 (ESV)
Should we consider this about men of faith?
And what more shall I say? For time would fail me to tell of Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, of David and Samuel and the prophets— who through faith conquered kingdoms, enforced justice, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, quenched the power of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, were made strong out of weakness, became mighty in war, put foreign armies to flight. | Hebrews 11:32-34 (ESV)
Perhaps we should pray about this from Malachi. Do we say or imply that those who do evil are good in the sight of God or do we look for justice?
You have wearied Yahweh [the Lord] with your words. But you say, “How have we wearied him?” By saying, “Everyone who does evil is good in the sight of Yahweh [the Lord], and he delights in them.” Or by asking, “Where is the God of justice?” | Malachi 2:17 (ESV)
The big picture: If we see evil, will we speak out? Will we advocate for the way of God and justice? Will we sit on the sidelines or get into the arena?
Every way of a man is right in his own eyes, but the Lord weighs the heart. To do righteousness and justice is more acceptable to the Lord than sacrifice. Haughty eyes and a proud heart, the lamp of the wicked, are sin. | Proverbs 21:2-4 (ESV)
- Acts 17:31 — Because He has fixed a day in which He will judge the world in righteousness through a Man whom He has appointed, having furnished proof to all men by raising Him from the dead.”
- Psalm 72:1–2 — Give the king Your judgments, O God, And Your righteousness to the king’s son. May he judge Your people with righteousness And Your afflicted with justice.
- Isaiah 11:4 — But with righteousness He will judge the poor, And decide with fairness for the afflicted of the earth; And He will strike the earth with the rod of His mouth, And with the breath of His lips He will slay the wicked.
- John 5:30 — “I can do nothing on My own initiative. As I hear, I judge; and My judgment is just, because I do not seek My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me.
- John 8:15–16 — “You judge according to the flesh; I am not judging anyone. But even if I do judge, My judgment is true; for I am not alone in it, but I and the Father who sent Me.”
- Revelation 19:11 — And I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse, and He who sat on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and wages war.
My conclusion is the we must speak out for the way of love. We must not neglect justice. That includes advocating for our government to do the “right thing”.