Christian Citizen Statesmanship – Returning Politics to a Noble Calling.


Prof. William Wagner

WFFC Distinguished Chair for Faith & Freedom at SAU

Only Christian citizen statesmanship can return politics to its once a noble calling. 

A Divine Roadmap

Although not often accepted in secular academic circles today, the Bible teaches that God’s moral precepts naturally exist on each of our hearts.  It is written,

the word is very near you; it is in your…heart so you may obey it.

Timeless moral Truths form the fundamental foundation for constitutional good governance. Self-evident, they provide a moral compass, guiding personal and institutional decision-making. Endowed by our Creator, they provide moral points of reference against which a culture measures right from wrong, good from bad, just from unjust.

The divine Truth on our heart provides moral standards like honesty and integrity. Guiding us down the narrow road on the path of righteousness, they are parts of a person’s personal and professional character. What does this mean for the way we engage the culture? 

Jesus instructed,

“In everything, do to others what you would have them do to you…” 

Are we walking the talk?  Do others see the heart of Jesus in our lives and in our citizen statesmanship? Do they know we are Christian people by our love? Do we show our “love with just words” — or  with “actions and in truth.” 

We should find it interesting that politicians never seek to excuse their conduct when that conduct is consistent with the naturally existing moral standard that God places on the heart.  When citizens bemoan a decline in civility or complain about a politician’s conduct, they are measuring against something. That something is God’s naturally existing higher moral standard on each of our hearts.

Chipping Away at God’s Moral Foundations

Chipping away at our nation’s unalienable moral foundations, authorities increasingly  censure ideas with which they disagree. Unelected federal judges and administrative bureaucrats, likewise forbid morality from informing the policy-making process or even being part of the constitutional marketplace of ideas. Ironically, as government prohibits moral truth from informing its governance, the desperate needs of the hungry, homeless, widows, orphans, and others exponentially expand. To address these growing needs and to change the current character of constitutional institutions, we must awaken the hearts of faithful.

Blessings come with Responsibility

The blessings of liberty and prosperity come with responsibility. To whom much is given, much is required. Each generation inherits a special trust and calling to ensure the preservation of liberty and the moral administration of justice. Jesus calls Christian people to shine the light of Truth into the darkness and to resist conforming to the world. As government increasingly acts without constitutional authority and infringes upon God-given unalienable liberty,  an unafraid, educated, equipped, and engaged citizenry must defend Truth.

Christians can Change the Character of the Culture

Christian citizens can change the character of the culture. To do so, however, we must let others see Jesus in our hearts.  If we do, other citizens might begin to see something different about the integrity of a political calling, and be inspired to act likewise.  If politicians begin to acknowledge the higher standards written on their hearts, they will more likely look to those standards to determine what they ought to do. Imagine if every Christian citizen, beginning tomorrow, committed to tell the truth in all our personal and professional affairs. From such Christ-like examples, who knows how many will walk back to the right road, returning politics to what was once a noble calling. 


About the Author

Prof. William Wagner
WFFC Distinguished Chair for Faith & Freedom at SAU
Professor Wagner holds the WFFC Distinguished Chair for Faith & Freedom at Spring Arbor University. He has a special interest in building and preserving environments where Christians may share the Good News of Jesus, free from persecution and oppression.

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