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Don’t retreat to the sidelines: Christians must continue to engage the culture and be salt and light to a lost world

John Simmons /


America is a unique country in that it recognizes that God is the source of the freedoms we seek to protect through our government. Our Declaration of Independence reads:


“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”


Many of our Founding Fathers were professing Christians who understood the importance of reflecting God’s glory in whatever area they had influence, be it politics, higher education, scientific discovery, or other endeavors.


Noah Webster, known as “The Father of American Education,” said,


“The Christian religion is the most important and one of the first things in which all children under a free government ought to be instructed…. No truth is more evident in my mind than that the Christian religion must be the basis of any government intended to secure the rights and privileges of a free people.”


The vision of our founders was clear: Faithful Christian leaders should be at the forefront of governing, educating, and setting the vision for future generations in the hopes of raising a people that would serve the Lord and be a light of freedom for the world. This is not to say that theocracy is the aim, nor is this a means of pushing for an established religion.


However, as the years have progressed, every sphere of influence in America has increasingly turned away from the vision set by our forefathers. A simple glance at our political and educational landscape will show a spirit of wickedness and lawlessness that is threatening to choke out the last ounces of freedom and religion left in the American spirit.


This can partially be attributed to a decline in how many Americans are making religion a priority in their life. In 2009, 51 percent of Americans categorized themselves as Protestants while 23 percent identified as Catholic, according to the Pew Research Center. In 2019, those numbers dropped to 43 and 20 percent, respectively.


However, these numbers cannot judge how many are living to a biblical standard of what a Christian life looks like — faith in Christ alone for salvation and a life of repentance that reflects the example Jesus set for us — and certainly not all of them are engaged in politics in an official sense.


Add these factors together, and the result will be a people whose hearts and government have strayed far from the Lord. We have tolerated abortion, allowed the government to redefine gender and sexuality, and watched as politicians attempt to eradicate any trace of religion from our land.


Fortunately, there are still faithful Christians in America who must continue to be salt and light in a world that is becoming increasingly dark. Our formula is still the same as it has been for the past two millennia: seek God through constant prayer, stay grounded in a local body of believers, move forward in the confidence that God gives us, and trust Him for the results.


If we do this in each area of influence that God has specifically called us to, God can do more than we could ever ask or imagine. Hearts could be changed, righteousness renewed, and our government restored to the vision set by the great men at our founding.


We cannot buy into the lie that Christians cannot engage in politics or that we must stand on the sideline as our culture disintegrates into chaos. Our call is to be a light in the dark, and we have the King of Kings on our side as we step into this fight.


Winston Churchill said,


“The pessimist sees difficulty in every opportunity. The optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.” May Christians be ever optimistic as we engage in the field before us that is ripe for harvest.