Sunday, February 24, 2013

Baptists and Politics

Ezekiel 11:1-2 KJV
Moreover the spirit lifted me up, and brought me unto the east gate of the LORD'S house, which looketh eastward: and behold at the door of the gate five and twenty men; among whom I saw Jaazaniah the son of Azur, and Pelatiah the son of Benaiah, princes of the people.
Then said he unto me, Son of man, these are the men that devise mischief, and give wicked counsel in this city:

Though Ezekiel was in Babylon and not Jerusalem, he was aware of those who were in leadership there. Of course that leadership had changed since Nebuchadnezzar's first attack. Whether Ezekiel knew the leadership by word of mouth or as the result of his spiritual vision, I am not sure. It does impress upon me that the Old Testament prophets were aware of political things and especially political figures.

Baptists have never been movers and shakers in the political world, at least not before Jerry Falwell and the Moral Majority. J Frank Norris was also politically aware during the days of WWII. But previous to that the most politically involved we see are those Baptists who appealed to Madison not to make any denomination a state sanctioned religion but let each church "compete" for support through the promotion of their ideas. (Many believed that religion would die completely without state support.)

Some say that Baptists never influenced politics only because they never had the chance to do so. I believe it was for different reasons. I believe they recognized a different kingdom than that of this world and that they served to influence it rather than this. That influence may not be so clearly seen today, but it will be revealed forever in the annals of glory.

We needn't spend our time pronouncing judgments on the politicians of our day. We generally only embarrass ourselves when we do that anyway. But we ought to be very aware of them so that we may pray for them
  • With earnestness
  • With intelligence and
  • With compassion
which is a direct New Testament instruction. 

No comments:

Post a Comment