Choose your battles wisely
In the past Christianity has had a strong influence on American culture. That influence has grown much weaker and that fact is reflected in our laws.
Because humans are created in God’s image human life should be protected. Today abortion is legal and there is a movement to legalize suicide by the terminally ill.
God established marriage as a permanent union between a man and a woman. Almost all states have no fault divorce laws which make it easy to end a marriage and many of them allow marriage between two members of the same sex.
If the United States persists in these sins we will inevitably face God’s judgment. Christians have an obligation to do all we can to change the direction our country is going. The primary tool for doing this is evangelism and teaching the Bible so people will know that what they are doing is wrong, but we must also work to change the laws to bring them into conformity to God’s will.
Sometimes the attack on Christianity doesn’t involve promoting immoral activities but consists of trying to remove symbols of God and of Christianity from public life. Often our first impulse is to fight to preserve these symbols. This is usually a mistake. Merely removing symbols does no harm to us and in some cases it might actually do good. Here are some examples.
“In God we trust” is our national motto and appears on all of our money. Secularists want it removed. Christians should want the same thing because except for a small minority our country isn’t trusting God and it is hypocritical for us to publicly proclaim that we do.
“I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.” The words “under God” were added to the pledge of allegiance in 1954. Of course those who don’t believe in God would like to see them removed. But are the words true? Are we really a nation under God? Every nation is under God in the sense that he controls its destiny but the words in the pledge were intended to assert that we are a nation that submits to God and tries to follow his will. In this sense we aren’t really under God and it would be an act of honesty to remove the words from the pledge.
A lot of people are opposed to the presence of Christian symbols such as crosses and Nativity scenes on public property and Christians devote money and energy fighting their efforts. The attempt to remove Christian symbols is a symptom of our country’s moral sickness and not its cause. You can’t cure an illness by treating the symptoms.
If we win all of the battles over symbols so that “In God we trust” remains out national motto, the words “under God” remain in the pledge of allegiance, and crosses and Nativity scenes are allowed on public property, it will do nothing to persuade others to obey God. It is likely that it would be a cause of resentment that would make it more likely for people to reject God. Christians are supposed to live in such a way that we are known for our love; too often we are known for our litigation.
One tactic used in warfare is to trick the enemy into wasting its resources by attacking targets that are of no strategic value. Satan is a master of this and he is often successful. We must oppose any actions by our government that are contrary to God’s command or will limit our freedom to preach the gospel but we need to avoid wasting time and energy fighting over minor issues.