Time magazine reported this week that evangelicals were due a little political payback for getting President Bush elected. Many Christians agree, but Chuck Colson isn’t one of them. In this commentary, he notes that political power tends to corrupt the church:
… beware: Almost every time the Church has
achieved earthly power, it has managed to shoot itself in the
So before we plunge into power politics, the first
question we should ask ourselves is, can we handle success and increased
influence with grace and prudence?
We haven’t always done so. Take the pro-life
movement, for instance, in the early days. Some of its leaders favored
an “all-or-nothing” approach, while others—more
far-sighted, in my opinion—fought for incremental gains. But the
result was a movement that was paralyzed by political infighting; in
effect, we were taking part in a circular firing squad.
And remember, Christians are just as susceptible
to the seduction of worldly power as anyone else. The editors of
Time may think religious voters ought to be lining up for our
share of the spoils, but Christians know we should instead be falling on
our knees, asking God to keep us humble. We ought to remember that the
job of the Church is to bring biblical truth to bear in society, to win
people to Christ, and to promote righteousness and justice. We should
remember, as well, that throughout history, Christians have made the
greatest inroads in society when we traveled, not among the politically
powerful, but among the poor and the powerless. Think of the Wesleyan
revivals or of Wilberforce and his reformation of morals in
Good stuff from a guy who knows a little about corrupt politics.