As we move into this presidential election season, prepare yourself. The political posturing and party rhetoric with which we are certain to be inundated will be a virtual tsunami of name-calling and mudslinging, and it is poised to flood every form of media known to man. Amidst this cacophonic wave of negativity, there will also be abundant promises from both sides of the political fence that “our goal is to get America back on track”! Evidently, both Democrats and Republicans believe their “plan” for government is necessary to rescue us from the current economic crisis, and for that matter all the other maladies which plague our society. But the big question confronting us as citizens is not which candidate/party to believe or support, but this: exactly what is the role and purpose of our government, and at what point do we become concerned that it is becoming too “big”?
History has shown repeatedly that “big” government is often the enemy of free enterprise, and freedom in general. So while we are to be thankful for government protection, we must guard against government’s intrusion into our personal lives. There is a necessary balance which must be achieved in order for government to perform its primary function without overstepping its bounds and infringing upon its citizens freedoms. This is one reason the founding fathers labored so diligently to develop the concept of the three distinct branches of our government; a built-in system of checks and balances, as it were.
Over the past several years we have seen our national debt sky rocket, in large part due to what have become known as “entitlement programs” funded by various government entities. We essentially are gambling on our children’s future if we continue down this path (see Proverbs 22:7 if you want to see what the Bible has to say about this!). Perhaps even more concerning for Christians is the recent trend of government restrictions on our constitutionally guaranteed rights of freedom of speech and freedom of religion.
Although no one would argue government is not necessary for the ordering of society, it is incumbent upon the citizenry to hold the government, and politicians in particular, accountable. As Christians, we need to be keenly aware of the issues which challenge this country, and we should strive to educate ourselves on the proper biblical approach to respond to these challenges. We should make it a priority to be actively involved in the democratic process and cast our votes accordingly, and to make certain our voices are heard in the public square. It is not only a God given right; it is our obligation to our children to ensure that America remains, as Abraham Lincoln phrased it in The Gettysburg Address, a “government of the people, by the people, for the people,”
See ya Sunday!