Christian political involvement is actually a major contributor of the problem. It works like this:
The calling of Christians and of the Church is one of uncompromising integrity and morality. There always will be evil in the world, but the calling of believers is to eradicate the principle of sin on a personal level (through a relationship with Christ), and to keep the church pure, rejecting the cultural infiltration of moral relativism. This becomes a powerful projection of the fruit of righteousness where the Holy Spirit has free course and ungodliness cannot abide.
This is not unlike gardening. There will always be thorns and weeds in the world, but the successful gardener does not take on all the weeds in the world. By focusing first on his own plot, he nurtures his precious seedlings into bountiful harvest. Otherwise, the the boundaries of his own plot are lost, and his labors come to naught in a confusing tangle of weeds and thorns.
This doesn’t mean that he is indifferent to the weeds across the fence, and given time and resources he will certainly enlarge his place of productiveness. This is also just the example needed by others who have lost sight of productive gardening practices.
This is just the approach that the Bible teaches in relation to the world of the ungodly. We gain ground against the deadly sins of the culture, only from the advance of godliness among the ranks of the faithful, that is, as faithful men teach others to be faithful. This happens as those who name the name of Christ depart from iniquity.
In contrast to the uncompromising nature of Christianity (not mixing bad seed with good), the nature of a democratic government. is inherently one of compromise. It's a system where donkeys and elephants must find ways to work together for the common cause and the common good. Until recent decades, these compromises were morally rather benign.
Even so, there was reluctance on the part of conservative Christian churches and leaders to enter the political fray. Christians were the silent majority. But then came legal abortion, the greatest in-your-face crossing of moral boundaries of the tine. Obviously, the ship of state was listing badly. The needed answer, it seemed, was to enlist Christians in hope of political resolutions. Thus, under Falwell and company, the once silent majority morphed into the moral majority, and developed into a huge voting block with the clout to bring back America to its “Christian” past (hopefully, but mistakenly).
The established “Christian right” movement is now close to forty years old. It’s first big win was President Reagen (the choice of the Christian right). Has it worked? It has not. Instead, the weeds are tares have infiltrated the church.
Here is why the political answer cannot work.
The approach of the Christian right was (and is), to elect “good” people into office. The compromise? The elected “good” people will work inside and alongside their secular peers, until there is enough support to change the law against compromised moral issues. But consider. This is already a compromised position where wrong must be accepted until right can prevail (in the case of abortion, it’s been a decades long wait, with a body count into many millions). To be inside such a governing is to be partaker with unjust law. This is obviously a forbidden unequal yoke between righteousness and wickedness.
But it gets worse. It’s at the point where many evangelicals brazenly support candidates, not for their integrity or their morality, but for a great economy, or a “conservative” Supreme Court. The candidates so endorsed today, would have been totally unthinkable just a few decades ago. In other words, the Christian right has moved far to the left of the original vision of the moral majority, and even of the common decency of the secular world back then. Where it was once the courts we blamed for the listing of the ship of state, today it is the evangelicals themselves who have shamelessly bartered away the godly heritage, and lightly esteemed their Christian moorings.
God is not mocked. Whatever “success” this brings, it is merely masking ill-gotten gains, something akin to sharing the loot of a pirate ship. It is time to back off, and refocus on the sacred plot to which God has assigned us. This would bring us back to being the light of the world, and the salt of the earth.
Shell Lake, Wis.