About Jesus - Steve Sweetman
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
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.
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
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.