Christians and Civic Responsibilities
I was going through my books yesterday because I was relocating one particular bookcase and came across a book written by the late Dr. Charles Ryrie called, The Christian & Social Responsibility. It was published in 2008 by Tyndale Seminary Press and is just under 100 pages, a short read. The book is divided up into 14 chapters and they include:
- Salt and Light
- What Are Social Ethics?
- What is the Gospel?
- God’s Character and Social Problems
- Man in the Image of God
- What We Learn from the Old Testament
- Jesus’ Teaching on Poverty and Wealth
- Jesus’ Teaching Concerning Duties to All People
- The Priorities of Our Lord
- The Christian and Civic Responsibilities
- The Christian and Poverty
- The Christian and His Work
- No Distinction
- An Agenda
As I scanned through the book, I focused on chapter 10, The Christian and Civic Responsibilities. This chapter focuses on the Christian and civic duties or responsibilities concerning his/her involvement in voting and the government itself.
The problem that I see with many Christians today is their constant concern and worry about the “fate” of America. It gets under their skin. While I understand how evil can be and certainly is vexing to the person who recognizes and shuns it, the reality is that we live in a completely fallen, evil world. Everyone we meet has a sin nature and too many people are guided solely by it. When placed in a situation where that sin nature is tempted to do all it can for self-aggrandizing measures – like being involved in the political arena – the temptation is often too great to ignore for most people.
We see one politician after another today living for themselves, lying to protect themselves in the process, and not even worrying about the effects of their lies. This is clearly the case with the recent WikiLeaks revelations of Democratic National Convention (DNC) emails that were brought to public awareness. The amount of evil in those emails is astounding. Will anyone be prosecuted for their collusion? It’s possible that Debbie Wasserman-Schultz might see the inside of a courtroom over the revelations, but she might be the only one. In fact, the new interim DNC Chair is also clearly shown to be involved in the scheme to bring down Bernie and Trump, but when CNN’s Wolf Blitzer interviewed her, the focus was not on any potential illegalities on her part (or anyone else), but on who might have hacked all those emails and why.
Before we go further, let me clearly state that Christians living in America (or any nation that allows its citizens to vote and take part in government), have a responsibility to do what is in the best interest for their country. However, in his chapter on Christians and Civic Responsibilities, Ryrie delves into Liberation Theology, which has taken on numerous ideals within today’s political arena and shows why it is wrong even though it has become so surreptitiously woven throughout the fabric of society.
Liberation theology, prominent in so many countries, directly counters this New Testament teaching on civic responsibilities. Casting Marxism in Christian terminology, this viewpoint advocates the overthrow of oppressive governments and economic systems. The poor and oppressed of the earth, God’s true people, must be liberated at any cost. Thus violence plays a vital and necessary role in liberation theology. Furthermore, this violence is not immoral. Indeed, it is commended. 
Most Christians I know would reject such a notion that Christians are to violently overthrow what might be considered an “unjust” or “evil” government. They would never agree with that mentality or participate in it. As Ryrie points out, “…there is no biblical mandate to overthrow such governments or to Christianize them.” [2; emphasis added] Clarifying his comments, Ryrie points out the following.
Some, however, believe that Christianizing is God’s purpose today. Since the risen Christ is Lord, we should expect that His Lordship will be affected in all areas of life today, including the political. This is a form of postmillennialism. Often promoted by those of the Reformed tradition who would normally be expected to be amillennial (meaning, no millennium – ed). The principal errors of this teaching are two: it fails to recognize that the theocratic laws of the Old Testament are not the laws of the New Testament, and it roots its teaching about politics in the doctrine of Christ (i.e., since He is Lord, that lordship ought to govern governments).
Observe: liberation theology sees governments as instruments of salvation; Christianizers see them as instruments of lordship; but the Bible sees them as gifts of God’s *providence.
What place do movements have that attempt to promote righteousness in government while recognizing the need for obedience and the distinction between the New Testament teaching and the Old Testament theocracy? It is universally true that ‘righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a disgrace to any people’ (Proverbs 14:34). But no nation except Israel can claim that God will heal their land if the people humble themselves and pray (2 Chronicles 7:14). 
I’m aware that there are Christians who disagree with Ryrie. Many take 2 Chronicles 7:14 completely out of context and wrongly apply it to America. It has become the norm within evangelical circles. They have connected the promises that were given specifically to Israel and have wrongly applied them to America. This, they believe, gives America the rights and privileges of Israel because they reason that God “created” America since our founders utilized biblical principles in the creation of the documents that founded this nation, and so God is Lord and King of America. It simply is not true, but there is no convincing some. Certainly He is Lord over all that ultimately occurs in His Creation and one day will actively, personally, and physically reign over the entire earth. For now, He allows Satan to attempt to bring his promises of Isaiah 14 to fruition, which ultimately still play directly into God’s sovereign purposes.
Regarding the national state of America today, I firmly and unequivocally believe that regardless of what transpires over the next several months in the political arena, the primary job of the Christian remains the same. That is to evangelize the lost. The Great Commission of Matthew 28 has never been rescinded and it is to be done in good times and bad, when persecution has abated and when it is blazing hot.
While a political climate that is sensitive to Christians might seem to make things easier for Christians to spread the Gospel, in reality, the thing that really spreads the Gospel is persecution. This has been proven over and over throughout church history. Whenever persecution ramps up, the Church grows. It separates the wheat from the chaff. It proves the Christian’s mettle and separates those who are simply professing Christians from those who are true. Under persecution, Christians are forced to choose whom they will serve. Nothing does that like persecution and being forced to throw yourself on the One who saves. It forces Christians to move away from those things that have no eternal value like nothing else can.
Regardless of who America’s next president will be – Trump or Hillary – the reality is that in either case, this world will continue tumbling toward the one-world government that God has revealed will occur toward the end of the last days, and which I believe we are currently in now (it started with the 1st Advent of Jesus over 2,000 years ago).
I really don’t care who you vote for because ultimately, things will continue to move toward that one-world government. God is allowing and will continue to allow Satan to establish his own visible kingdom on earth over which he will be allowed to visibly rule through his coming spiritual son, Antichrist. That is all too clear from Scripture except to those who tend to view prophetic discourse allegorically. Shame on them.
The coming one-world government is so much bigger than the next presidential election. I also believe – as I have repeatedly stated in numerous articles here and elsewhere – that the political system in America has been overtaken by evil people bent on bringing their goals to fruition (and who work for Satan, whether they are aware of it or not).
Not long ago we had electronic voting machines installed and there were many complaints about people casting their vote for one person and watching the monitor actually change their votes. Congressional hearings changed nothing even after testimony from expert programmers pointed out how easily one line of code could make that change. Huffing and puffing by lawmakers all around ended with no real change. It was all for show.
So instead of paper ballots – the old tried and true way of doing things (and I believe the situation with George W. Bush vs. Al Gore was designed to force a new system on voters), we now have electronic voting with machines that could easily have been rigged to change votes. This was pure Hegelian Dialectic at work.
In the 2012 election, there were also many examples of voter fraud by people who bragged on their social network pages about how many times they voted for Obama because they didn’t want Romney elected whom they believed would destroy a woman’s right to an abortion. These people were never prosecuted. In fact, the DOJ never even noticed them. While there was one person here or there who was arrested and charged, it was so minimal as to be offensive to thinking people.
Yet, the media told us nothing about this voter fraud. Instead, they focused on the perceived attitude of evangelical Christians who allegedly “stayed home” and refused to vote. People are welcome to believe that, but in doing so, they underestimate the abject evil of Satan and his hold over many nations and the people who lead those nations. In case people have forgotten, Satan is the ruler of the evil kingdom of this world. He began working in earnest to countermand and take over this entire earth, as Jesus was taken up to heaven in the Ascension (John 14:30).
For me, the reality is very simple. Regardless of who wins the Oval Office, Satan’s plan for world domination will continue unabated. He will get what he wants because God is allowing that to happen. That’s the only reason he will get what he wants, but please note that even there, Satan is playing right into God’s hands and God will hold Satan up to ridicule to the entire Creation, which will then be forced to recognize there is only one God, one Almighty, one Most High. Not only will Satan be forced to reckon it, but this evil world will also see it and be forced to accept it. That’s what this whole thing is all about.
While the political landscape changes from time to time, with conservatism gaining and then liberalism gaining, one truth for the Christian stands out clearly for its constancy. What is our job? What is our purpose for being here? Is it to “Christianize” America? Is it to make this nation “great” again? Or is our job to live in such a way that people see the truth within us and come to desire that same truth?
Ryrie closes his chapter with the following paragraph.
The Christian’s primary responsibilities are evangelism and godly living. Through witnessing he changes people; through godly living he does affect society; and through private and public obedience he honors God. 
Vote for whomever you wish to vote for in the upcoming presidential election this November. Exercise your right at the voting booth. However, do not dare to believe for one moment that putting the “right” person in the Oval Office will somehow negate Satan’s plans in any way, shape, or form. While at the very most, it might “slow” things down just a tad, in the end, God will allow Satan to do what he can to bring his promises of Isaiah 14 to fruition. Once Satan exposes himself to all of Creation in such a way, the physical and visible return of Jesus will destroy Satan’s works.
Do not be misled. Put your mind on the things above (Colossians 3:2), and understand your purpose and calling here and now. See it in the grand scheme of God’s design. By all means, vote for the candidate of your choice. Don’t stay home. Vote. But…do not be naive enough to put your faith in that candidate if he/she wins the race. God is in control. Not them. God is the One who is sovereign, not your candidate.
Never forget that God is in control regardless of how things may look to you.
 Dr. Charles C. Ryrie, The Christian and Civic Responsibilities, (2008), p. 66-67
 Ibid, p. 67
 Ibid, p. 69
* in another part of the chapter, Ryrie discusses how Christians are to be in obedience to the government because it reflects the fact that God has set up government to benefit society. We gain benefits from that government (even in most evil times), therefore, we should be thankful for that government system, in spite of the fact that evil people can gain access and use it for their selfish means.
Entry filed under: Agenda 21, christianity, Cultural Marxism, Emotional virtue, eternity, israel, Judaism, Life in America, Political Correctness, Politically Correct, Politics, Religious - Christian - End Times, Religious - Christian - Prophecy, Religious - Christian - Theology, salvation, second coming. Tags: amillennialism, charles c ryrie, civic responsibilities, government, hillary, postmillennialism, presidential candidates, trump, vote.