Nov. 15, 2012
In a recent article in the Washington Times titled Evangelicals Struggle to Stay Relevant in Republican Politics the inevitable question following the recent elections was asked- do evangelicals need to change to be relevant? The simple answer is no. Christians will always be relevant because Christianity is true and the truth is always relevant. People in America, and particularly in the political realm, often forget history. Christianity started in the middle of a hostile, Roman-controlled Israel when its Founder was brutally executed on a cross. Christians were then persecuted, killed, maligned and had no political power. Then they turned the world upside down with their doctrine. They proceeded to spread the message of God who came to earth as a man, died to redeem all mankind to Himself, then rose again conquering death forever. Now you can find Christians in every corner of the globe and the Gospel message has not changed for it transcends all time and all culture and is always relevant.
It is a mistake if one thinks that evangelicals derive their relevance from their politics. The politics of a Christian are merely an outworking of the message of salvation in a sin-cursed world. All have sinned and the punishment for sin is death, Christ bore our sin in His death on the cross and by His resurrection we can live forever with Him. Our earthly leaders die and new ones rise and some of them bow to Jesus the King and some defy Him. Christians dont fear irrelevance nor do we fear even death. Christ has conquered death and He reigns and will one day return and make all things right. As a Christian I seek to influence the political process because I love my neighbor and know that following Gods standards will bring blessing on the nation and glory to God. If my fellow man decides to follow a path contrary to God I am not worried about my own relevance but about the terrible consequences of sin.
I believe evangelicals are very relevant politically to both parties. They have in recent years been much more in line with the Republican platform than the Democratic platform. The Democrats were not always the party of abortion and homosexual advocacy. The Democrats moved away from the principles that evangelicals hold and so evangelicals moved away from them. Evangelicals vote on principle and if neither party supports their principles they may feel inclined to sit out or to vote for a lesser known party. It is vital that the major parties appeal to the values of evangelicals because evangelical values such as natural marriage and a respect for all life are best for the country and because so many people ascribe to these beliefs as evidenced by the many conservative members of the House elected with evangelical support and by the fact that natural marriage was more popular than Mitt Romney in the four states that voted on it.
It is interesting that people wonder if Christians can stay relevant to the GOP. I wonder if the GOP can stay relevant to Christians. Men have tried to silence us, governments have tried to kill us, and cultures have tried to drown out our message. But we just keep moving forward and we often thrive in spite of persecution. What seems like defeat to those who oppose us is merely the mercy of God delaying His judgment while desiring that all would turn from sin to Him. Man can defy Gods law and ignore His created order but man will never change it. The Republican and Democratic Parties will fade away, and America will fade one day too. But Christianity, never. While Christians should strive to elect those that hold our values we should remember that salvation will never come from the GOP but only from Jesus.