By Jeff Ziegler
Published January 1, 2001
Should the Christian patriot be involved in political activity? Is there a legitimate issue in the separation of church and state that would inhibit such endeavors? And shouldn’t Christians, as some would assert, simply take care of their own lives and leave everyone else alone?
Indefatigably, Christians are called to be dynamically active, not only politically, but in all spheres of life. Christians are not to live a life of self-centered introspection, but of service. Such service would include involvement in the various strata of civil government. Christianity does not depend on political means for the success of its mission, yet involvement in civil government is meaningful, for it is one of the divinely chartered institutions of social order. The other governing institutions are signified by self-government, the family, and the church.
The operative word here is Christianity, which is a far larger nomenclature than any one church structure or denomination. In other words, the Christian patriot is to act in spreading the good news of Christ’s Gospel along with the moral instruction of God’s Word into the political realm. This in no way suggests an organizational takeover of the state by the church, nor that the church neglect her ecclesiastical duties. Simply put, Christians are to be salt and light in the arena of politics, as in any other realm. The visible, institutional church is to function in her Levitical and Prophetic role, instructing the civil magistrate as to the duties and requirements of God’s law, and when needs must, rebuking the same, when God’s law is impugned or ignored.
The goal of Christian activity in the political sphere is not a dictatorial theocracy, but the support of a decentralized republic that acknowledges Christ as Lord. A true Christian patriot will not place significance on political coercion for the state is not God, nor should it be viewed as the great moral engine to mold human ethical behavior. The proper stimulus for involvement in the civil realm is to render politics much weaker, for the state has taken on a monolithic, messianic character that has suppressed ecclesiastical, familial, and self-government. Practically, this translates into aspiration and work for smaller civil government, less taxation, and more individual freedom. The Scriptures do not favor an ecclesiastical elite, or a specific church body, ruling over the populace, nor are Christians to have hope in political salvation. In fact, our Puritan and Pilgrim forefathers arrived on these shores fleeing such religious tyranny.
The Christian patriot should abhor the idea of the state imposition of religious polity and doctrine, in other words, the state controlling the church. A smaller civil government would be less tempted to violate the establishment clause of the First Amendment. Presently, our Federal government, through the auspices of the IRS, has established what it considers a “legitimate church” through the creation of the 501c3 tax-exempt status. This is a clear attempt to establish a state religion and control the church. Accordingly, such regulation is blatantly unconstitutional. Christian patriots must resist all efforts to undermine or eviscerate a biblical understanding of the First Amendment of the Constitution. The ACLU has not, does not, and must not be allowed to define the purpose and scope of this amendment.
Hence, the Christian patriot must see that both the church and the state are established by God as separate institutions, that are not to undermine, nor interfere with each other’s respective duties. To the church is given the “power of the keys” to bind into fellowship and instruct its members, and, when necessary, sanction and excommunicate the unrepentant. The state is given the “power of the sword” to promote and reward righteousness, and to punish and restrain wickedness. Accordingly, the church and the state in juxtaposition, are to be viewed as augmentations one to the other, in the honoring of Christ and His Crown.
Therefore, Christians are not prohibited from involvement in the civic sphere, nor is the church to be silent in her moral directives to the state. The state must uphold the law of God, thus promoting maximum liberty and justice for all. The state is to protect the church, so that she is free to perform her divine charter. The church must educate the state regarding its understanding of God’s law and how it is to be applied.
Finally, it is imperative that the Christian patriot realize that all of life (including politics) is religious. It is never a question of religion or no religion, only a question of whose religion. Thus, one must acknowledge the impossibility of divorcing religion from the civil sphere. Civil government will reflect the notions and ideas of the dominant religion of that day. For example, the religion of Secular Humanism supports the “freedom” to practice pornography, abortion, and euthanasia. Economically, Humanism supports forced socialistic wealth redistribution and the welfare state. Its idea of law punishes the victims of crime and seeks to excuse lawless behavior. Some see this as the ultimate in political freedom, yet, the religion of secularism, in application, abuses women, robs the unborn and the elderly of life and liberty, restricts or confiscates private property, and creates conditions wherein lawless behavior threatens moral anarchy and social collapse. In contrast to secularism, Christianity displays the kindness, benevolence, liberty, law and justice that established and prospered America for over 200 years.
Consequently, the Christian patriot, while supporting the separation of church and state, must understand that neither institution is separate from God. Finally, only a Christian ethic, undergirded by an explicit confession of Christ’s lordship in our founding documents is able to support a truly decentralized constitutional republic. Only in this context, can notions of life, liberty under God, and the blessings of prosperity be fully realized. A goal that every true patriot must be willing to pledge their lives, riches, and sacred honor to promote and defend.
Rev. Jeffrey A. Ziegler, the president of the National Reform Association, is also founder and president of Christian Endeavors and Reformation Bible Institute, co-founder and moderator of The Association of Free Reformed Churches and The Ohio Reconstructionist Society, editor of the Revival Flame newsletter, and an ordained minister. He has lectured in over 600 churches and ministerial conferences in North America, Great Britain, and Germany. Jeff is also president of The Continental Group, a think tank for political activism. His articles have appeared in the Chalcedon Report, and The Christian Statesman. He can be reached at 35155 Beachpark Drive, Eastlake, Ohio 44095. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Who is the Real Jesus?
Ever since the dawn of modern rationalism, skeptics have sought to use textual criticism, archeology and historical reconstructions to uncover the “historical Jesus” — a wise teacher who said many wonderful things, but fulfilled no prophecies, performed no miracles and certainly did not rise from the dead in triumph over sin.
Over the past 100 years, however, startling discoveries in biblical archeology and scholarship have all but vanquished the faulty assumptions of these doubting modernists. Regrettably, these discoveries have often been ignored by the skeptics as well as by the popular media. As a result, the liberal view still holds sway in universities and impacts the culture and even much of the church.
The Real Jesus explodes the myths of these critics and the movies, books and television programs that have popularized their views. Presented in ten parts — perfect for individual, family and classroom study — viewers will be challenged to go deeper in their knowledge of Christ in order to be able to defend their faith and present the truth to a skeptical modern world – that the Jesus of the Gospels is the Jesus of history — “the same yesterday, today and forever” (Hebrews 13:8). He is the real Jesus.
Speakers include: George Grant, Ted Baehr, Stephen Mansfield, Raymond Ortlund, Phil Kayser, David Lutzweiler, Jay Grimstead, J.P. Holding, and Eric Holmberg.
Ten parts, over two hours of instruction!
Running Time: 130 minutes
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God’s Law and Society powerfully presents a comprehensive worldview based upon the ethical system found in the Law of God.
Speakers include: R.J. Rushdoony, George Grant, Howard Phillips, R.C. Sproul Jr., Ken Gentry, Gary DeMar, Jay Grimstead, Steven Schlissel, Andrew Sandlin, Eric Holmberg, and more!
Sixteen Christian leaders and scholars answer some of the most common questions and misconceptions related to this volatile issue:
1. Are we under Law or under Grace?
2. Does the Old Testament Law apply today?
3. Can we legislate morality?
4. What are the biblical foundations of government?
5. Was America founded as a Christian nation?
6. What about the separation of Church and State?
7. Is neutrality a myth?
8. What about non-Christians and the Law of God?
9. Would there be “freedom” in a Christian republic?
10. What would a “Christian America” look like?
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Ten parts, over four hours of instruction!
Running Time: 240 minutes
Watch over 60 on-line video interviews from God’s Law and Society.
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Patrick Henry’s famous declaration not only helped launch the War for Independence, it also perfectly summarized the mindset that gave birth to, and sustained, the unprecedented experiment in Christian liberty that was America.
The freedom our Founders envisioned was not freedom from suffering, want, or hard work. Nor was it freedom to indulge every appetite or whim without restraint—that would merely be servitude to a different master. No, the Founders’ passion was to live free before God, unfettered by the chains of autocracy, shackles that slowly but inexorably bind men when the governments they fashion fail to recognize and uphold freedom’s singular, foundational truth: that all men are created in the image of God, and are thereby co-equally endowed with the right to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”
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Welcome to the Second American Revolution!
This DVD features “Liberty: The Model of Christian Liberty” along with “Dawn’s Early Light: A Brief History of America’s Christian Foundations.” Bonus features include a humorous but instructive collection of campaign ads and Eric Holmberg’s controversial YouTube challenge concerning Mitt Romney’s campaign for president.
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Available for the first time on DVD, this documentary spectacular also includes intimate in-depth conversations with Francis and Edith Schaeffer. With the on-disc study guide, this presentation forms a unique course of comprehensive study. While this series forms an innovative analysis of the past, this outstanding work is more than history. Each episode focuses on a significant era, yet speaks clearly to 21st-century man with answers for modern problems.
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