Christian statesman Chuck Colson was called to his heavenly home April 21st. He became seriously ill during a March 30th speech that would prove to be his last.
Several points that he made are well worth noting in this election season, one that has been labeled by many commentators as the most critical in American history. Every Christian should exercise his right to vote; failure to do so is to aid the forces of evil bent on destroying this country. There is no justifiable rationale for Christian indifference when it comes to casting an informed vote to uphold righteous standards in civil matters.
But Colson presented a balanced view that recognizes that changing our country requires more than merely electing different politicians:
“I happen to be one of those who believes that societies are changed by movements at the grassroots. So how do we get that material out to people that they can use it for their neighbors? I think cultures are changed over the backyard fence and the barbecue grill; I don’t believe they’re changed from the top down. And I’ll talk to you tonight a little bit about why I think that is so critical right now. …”
“Everybody looks to the elections and thinks, well the elections are going to settle this problem or settle that problem. Elections are important. Whoever serves in office, it makes a difference what kind of person that is and what that person believes. But elections can’t solve the problem we’ve got. The problem we’ve got is that our culture has been decaying from inside for 30 or 40 years. And politics is nothing but an expression of culture.”
So, to improve the social and moral climate in this country, we have to change the culture. Culture is simply a reflection of what people believe. And politics is a reflection of the nation’s culture. We get the kind of politicians that the majority want and vote for; elected officials reflect the values that the electorate believes in and lives by.
In reality, then, we have ourselves to blame for the state of affairs that is destroying this country from within. The church has historically been a constructive force for truth and righteousness, in influencing a society to seek the Lord and His righteousness. When we fail in that mission, the blame for the dismal state of affairs must be laid at the feet of the people of God.
Colson summarized it this way: “So it comes right back to us. Look in the mirror, that’s where the problem is. And if we can, through the church, renew the church to really bring a healthy cultural influence, then there’s some hope that we can be changed.”
May God grant to us wisdom, boldness, and discernment to stand for the unchanging principles of His truth, and to influence those around us to do likewise. Therein lies the only hope for this nation.