I’ve never been big on politics perhaps because of the overemphasis that many evangelicals I grew up around placed in electing men to enact though law that which only the Spirit working through the Body of Christ can accomplish.
I had a conversation with a woman a couple of weeks ago that shot a couple of holes in my approach to politics, or perhaps gave me a more redemptive view of them. She mentioned that as an unregenerate young woman, she did place a lot of stock in the government to provide what was best for society, by way of policies and information. Because she believed our government to be basically good and operating for the good of the country, if they enacted a law (say abortion) she would not have questioned it, but rather defended it as a good thing provided for people who needed such an option.
If however, the government, because of the influence of Christians in the political process, legislated against abortion, she then would have followed that as good just as well. She would have been protected from violating God’s law in relation to the sanctify of life, by civil law. Good point. Doesn’t mean she would have been justified before God by keeping such a civil law, only protected from breaking an aspect of God’s holy law that later as a born again believer she would have great remorse over.
Put like that, it brought to mind the possibility of civil law being used as an expression of God’s common grace. Just like God sending rain on the fields of the just and the unjust, so too God protecting the life of the just and the unjust through a civil law that extends to all as a result of His people being active in an electoral process. And couldn’t that expression of common grace be used of God to bring about Redemptive grace in the lives of unbelievers? I think so.
Rather than the Church providing the Biblical rationale in contradistinction to the civil law (which is what we do today with a subject like abortion) the Church could provide the Biblical rationale in cooperation with civil law. That seems to me to be the way it ought to work (if God wills such legislation to pass) as we have been granted by God the freedom to exercise civil influence through the electoral process.
So will we elect the Kingdom of God into greater being? No. I don’t think so. Do we withdraw from that process then and treat it with indifference? No. I don’t think that’s right either. This year, I’ll vote as I always do, but with a greater desire and a greater prayer that my vote will be used with other believer’s votes to be used by God as an expression of His common grace if He wills.
And if such common grace comes to the nation as enacted law, my prayer will be that the Church would capitalize on that as an opportunity to evangelize and not simply sit back and pat Herself on the back as though legislation has negated the need for the Spirit to call men and women to repentance of heart because acts of evil have been prohibited by civil law.