Do you think Christians obsess over politics and the ballot box to the detriment of the Great Commission? Last week a listener to my Memorial Day podcast raised that very issue.
I suggested we could honor the fallen by praying for our country and by voting. Randy commented, “I think it’s our obsessive belief in the ballot box that has diminished the Great Commission for many Christians.” Do you agree or disagree with Randy? Does he have a valid point?
I agree with Randy that many Christians are more obsessed with the ballot box than the Great Commission. That is indeed unfortunate since the Great Commission was our Lord’s final instruction to us. But I disagree that their obsession with the ballot box is the problem.
Mother Theresa invested her life in helping the dying poor of Calcutta to die with dignity because they were beings created in the very image of God. She was certainly obsessive about it. I’m glad she was. I suspect Randy is too.
William Wilberforce, a devout Christian who was a member of the British Parliament in the early 1800’s, led the charge to end the slave trade throughout the British Empire. He destroyed his health in the process. He was obsessive about it. I’m glad he was. I suspect Randy is too.
God gave one of our former board members, Art DeMoss, a talent for making money. He loved coming up with ways to make money. He was very good at it. He loved giving it away to support Christian missions. He tithed 90% and kept 10%. However, he was even more obsessive about personally telling people about Jesus. I was at his funeral. Probably 1,000 people stood to indicate that he had personally introduced them to Jesus. Wow! I’m glad he was obsessive about making money and introducing people to Jesus.
I am obsessive about saving innocent children from Planned Parenthood. I was once one of those unwanted children. I am obsessive about protecting religious freedom in America so that more people can hear about Jesus. Therefore, I am also obsessive about the ballot box which is where those issues will be won or lost. But I am also obsessive about making God the issue in every issue. I am obsessive about the Great Commission. I see no contradiction in being obsessive about all those things.
My dad was Bill Bright. He wrote a booklet entitled Your 5 Duties as a Christian Citizen which encouraged American Christians to vote. He wanted to go chain himself to the pillars in front of the Supreme Court until Roe v. Wade was overturned (That’s practically the definition of obsessive). Had he still been alive, he would have shouted for joy when the Supreme Court finally did just that.
However, you never met anyone in your life who was more obsessive about the Great Commission than Bill Bright.
- He started Campus Crusade for Christ. When he passed away 20 years ago, he left behind 27,000 full-time staff and 200,000 fully trained volunteers spanning the globe.
- He wrote an evangelistic booklet called The Four Spiritual Laws. Over two billion had been printed by the time he passed away.
- He was the prime mover behind the Jesus Film which has been translated into 2,000 languages and viewed by billions of people.
- He traveled 80% of the time for 50 years to tell people about Jesus all over the globe.
- He talked with anyone who would listen about the person he loved most—Jesus.
His obsession with overturning Roe v. Wade and encouraging believers to vote never dampened his enthusiasm for the Great Commission.
Being obsessive about the ballot box does not make you apathetic about the Great Commission. Being obsessive about helping the poor does not diminish your passion for the spread of the gospel. Being obsessive about freeing slaves does not mean you don’t care about telling people about Jesus. Being obsessive about combatting abortion or racism does not make your heart cold toward Jesus’s final command.
What makes a person apathetic about the Great Commission is being apathetic about Jesus. That’s the real problem.
The Apostle Paul said, “To live is Christ!” When you think about it, that’s very obsessive. I suspect Randy would agree that most Christians in America probably cannot relate to the Apostle Paul on this point, because their hearts are lukewarm.
- They go to church Sunday morning, but then on Monday morning they say, “It’s just business.”
- They assume the worst rather than the best about their fellow Christians.
- They gossip in their prayer groups.
- They are quick to criticize.
- They are slow to forgive.
- They think nothing of watching movies that use Christ’s name as a swear word.
- They only pray on Sunday mornings or when they need something.
- They don’t open their Bibles every day to hear from God.
Their love for God has indeed grown cold—but not because of the ballot box. The solution is not to quit caring about the poor, freeing the slaves, or opposing abortion and racism. The solution is to repent and love God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength.
Never fall prey to the false binary trap that you can’t wholeheartedly embrace the Great Commission while encouraging other believers to be faithful stewards of the one vote which God gave them. According to Matthew 25, you are either a “faithful” steward or a “wicked” steward. Followers of Jesus should be faithful stewards of the Great Commission, their money, their time, their talents—and in a constitutional republic like America, they should also be faithful stewards of their God-given vote.
God is the issue in every issue—from the Great Commission to the ballot box.
I encourage you to order a copy of the booklet, Your 7 Duties of a Christian Citizen on the Resources page. It answers the question: What does God expect of me as a citizen in a constitutional republic? It suggests very practical ways you can make a difference every day—from praying, to voting, to voting with your wallet, to making GOD the issue.
Our primary calling as followers of Jesus is the Great Commission, but as faithful stewards of everything God gives us, it does not stop there.
God is the issue—in every issue.
By Brad Bright
©2023 Brad Bright. All rights reserved.