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|Wake Up, Church!||09/04/2009|
This is the greatest and most important hour for the true, Bible-believing, New Testament church to impact the world. The prophet Isaiah, in referencing the chosen people of God, said, "Arise and shine for the glory of the Lord is upon you."
We have repeatedly been told that we need to change, with the assumption that any change is good change, but I am deeply concerned about the proposed changes. It does not sound like we are being challenged to improve, but to destroy the basic foundational beliefs that made this nation great. Our founders were committed to principles found in the Word of God and rightly referred to as the "Judeo-Christian ethic." Today's agents of change apparently believe in something completely different.
Not all of our nation's leaders have fully upheld our basic, foundational precepts and they should not be excused. The violation of these principles has led to tragic consequences. It cost us blood and treasure to expunge slavery during the Civil War. It cost more anguish and turmoil to gain equal civil rights. Throughout our history when we have moved away from Judeo-Christian principles, we have wisely moved back toward them. Yet it is ironic that the very man who benefitted most from this battle to implement our foundational beliefs, President Barack Obama, is leading the charge to abandon them.
I cannot emphasize enough the truth that the positive changes we need in this country cannot come through political institutionalization. A politician can provide a positive example and push for positive principles (wouldn't that be a nice change!), but cannot undermine the strong foundation of our country and expect it to stand. Washington D.C. is not the hope for America; the true church in the form of the body of believers is the hope for America!
Of course, the main objective of the church is to win people to Christ, but when a genuine change takes place in a person, they become a better citizen without the government legislating it. Transformed people naturally accept their responsibility in this great democratic republic and strive to "love their neighbors as themselves."
I am not talking about imposing our faith or forcing people to confess a personal relationship with God. America has never believed in some Islamic-style theocracy. The "separation of church and state" is nowhere in the Constitution or Bill of Rights, but the idea that the two institutions should live in harmony, not locked in a constant power struggle, is certainly a part of our foundation.
What I am encouraging is a return to the belief system that enabled us to be great. There is no greater source or force for positive influence than truly committed, transformed believers. The Bible talks about change in individual lives. This is referenced as "a change of heart" or "a spiritual new birth" by which a person becomes a new creation in Christ. As a result of this change, we are to love God with all of our heart, soul, mind and strength and then love our neighbor as ourselves. This means that God is to be first. He is our source; we depend upon Him for guidance, protection and provision. It means that all elected authority should function in line with this basic belief system, not imposing religion but offering protection and support to the population. Our founders understood the absolute necessity of keeping the individual free of overbearing, controlling, all-consuming federal power. They limited the government to protect individual freedom.
When a person becomes a follower of Christ, we can rightly ask, "What are our civic responsibilities?" First, we are to pray for all who are in authority. We are to ask God to give them wisdom and direction as they seek to lead. In a democracy that functions in a healthy fashion, the elected officials -- legislators, judges and president -- are all accountable to the voters.
But there is underlying problem in a free democracy: if the people's hearts are corrupt, the elected representatives will be corrupt. If the general population becomes self-centered, irresponsible and dependent upon the handouts of others, it breeds an elected class of self-centered, irresponsible legislators.
If the church functions properly and has the profound and positive effect that it should, dedicated believers must be willing to serve in public office and stand by the convictions and principles that made us a prosperous and charitable people. It means that we are to study the candidates who are running and make certain they are fully committed to these extremely important principles. We must avoid a commitment to a political party and we must not be swayed by smooth talkers and people who make promises that actually make us dependent upon the person making the promises and upon the system of government we are foolishly allowing to grow rapidly while actually diminishing the well being of our citizens.
The supporters of LIFE Outreach International are a good example of the kind of people who can make the real meaningful and necessary difference. They are committed to God and they care about their country. They live beyond their own world and seek to make a difference in someone else's. They are truly a light set on a hill. They are willing to become their brother's keeper. They are wise enough, however, to seek to help those compassionate mission and relief workers who effectively help the truly needy. They want proper oversight of the outreaches. They want truth to be continually shared and they want to hear the testimonies of lives changed by the transforming power of God's love. Because they, too, have experienced this change, they are willing to show an interest in others just as they do for their own families.
One thing I have noticed, however, is that many Christians do not actively participate in our political process because they have been disheartened by the deception, corruption and manipulation. We must not allow ourselves as believers to be discouraged. We must participate in this wonderful process of choosing our leaders. When those chosen do not support the principles we know to be important, we are responsible to vote them out. When we see our nation drifting away from its moorings, we must rise up in peaceful opposition to change the direction of our country by placing leaders in office that will return to the foundational principles and make certain our judicial system does not legislate from the bench.
We must rise up! We must stand up, speak up, and encourage the right people to get involved and vote for candidates who will enact sound policy. Surely every observer can see that we are moving in the direction of socialism that actually smacks of Marxism. Our president has appointed czars who are self-avowed communists, extreme abortionists and known tax cheats. Present leaders are calling those who challenge their proposals racists, Nazis and terrorists. If some of the proposals on the table become policy, this nation will crumble under the weight of foolishness. The major media ignores all of this, but Christians must not. We cannot be indifferent or silent during this time. Churches and ministers must stand up to one of the most serious threats in the history of this great nation.
We are witnessing a threat far more subtle than terrorism, but equally as dangerous. Sadly, much of the media will not report the truth. It benefits their social engineering agenda to disguise or ignore certain facts and events. The church, the true Bible believers and those committed to rock solid principles, are the only hope we have for a secure and prosperous future.
In 1980, I travelled this nation crying out, "Wake up America!" I am crying out now, "Wake up, church! It is time to arise and shine!"
"Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord rises upon you. See, darkness covers the earth and thick darkness is over the peoples, but the Lord rises upon you and his glory appears over you." (Isaiah 60:1-2)
Author: James Robison
Editor: Randy Robison
Word Count: 1338
About the author: James Robison is the founder and president of LIFE Outreach International, a Christian media ministry and mission relief organization. He and his wife, Betty, host of the television program Life Today; He has authored numerous books, including The Soul of a Nation, The Absolutes: Freedom's Only Hope and True Prosperity.
Media Contact: Randy Robison, editor at jamesrobison.net . Photo available upon request. Reprint rights granted with attribution for complete, unedited article. Revisions allowed only with approval.