In a time of ethical relativism, when social and moral problems beset us on every hand, evangelicals need to give careful thought to their position respecting public affairs. Committed to the Word of God and to a Lord who is the greatest of ethical teachers as well as the only Saviour from sin, they are spiritually among those to whom much has been given. Yet they have no occasion for pride, because humility is at the heart of the Gospel. If evangelicals rejoice in personal knowledge of Jesus Christ, their rejoicing must ever be mingled with honest realization that apart from any merit of theirs, the divine Son of God who came to seek and to save the lost has sought and found them. Motivated not by fear of rejection by God but rather by love for him who has given them life everlasting—and love is always a stronger motive than fear—they are obligated to serve their Lord through serving their fellow men. Christ’s saying, “Every one to whom much is given, of him will much be required …” (Luke 12:48b, RSV), applies with irresistible logic to them because of the riches of their spiritual heritage.
This being the case, there rests upon evangelical Christians a mandatory responsibility for unflagging interest in public affairs and for informed participation in them. That this is not nowadays a responsibility consistently discharged is a reproach to the evangelical cause and a denial of an important part of its heritage.
History bears voluminous witness to evangelical participation in public affairs. Reformation leaders, such as Luther, Calvin, and Knox, were concerned for the material as well as spiritual welfare of their fellow citizens and also for just government. In fact, Calvinism must be ...1
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