By Evelyn Racette
Faculty, College of Humanities and Social Sciences
“And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” (Micah 6:8)
My heart is heavy with the tragedy that occurred in Charlottesville, VA. It saddens me that we have such great tensions present among residents in this country – and the response of our leadership is lacking. That leaves us to ask the question, as Christian citizens, how should we react? Should we stay silent, do we speak out or do we say just enough, but then forget about it next week?
To answer that question, it is important to have a little context about God’s intent for the government. God made government and God has given us the task of caring for His creation. Government is God’s creation. It’s a little crazy to think about, right? Government can seem so broken, so full of stress, so imperfect – but that’s because we live in a fallen world. There are three institutions that are biblically based: the church, marriage (family) and government. For further reading on government in the Bible, check out: Judges, 1 Samuel, Romans 13 and 1 Peter 2:13–14.
The government’s function is to promote justice and harmony, even if it fails at that principle. As Christians, we need to be on guard against the perversion of government because sin is real. It’s in this world, it’s in the political world and it is surrounding us in our current events. A war is waging between good and evil.
As Christian citizens, it’s essential that we care about current events and public policies. We must work to influence the direction they take. So, how do we do that?
We pray that our leaders will have wisdom and guidance, even if we don’t like the leaders that have been elected. We pray that citizens will be engaged at every level of government: local, state and federal. And, we must be ready to be used by God, even when it’s uncomfortable.
God is on the move in our world. Sometimes it is easy to think He’s far away, but He’s not. Be willing to be used by him now in politics. He might put it on your heart to call your elected officials. He might tell you to run for office or He might tell you to advocate for a certain policy. He might ask you to act as His instrument to heal the hurting in a broken world. But if you aren’t “political,” you can’t do that.
God is bigger than all of this stuff. He will triumph. What a great and wonderful hope that is for Christians; however, we must be vigilant because we have been given the task to be caretakers of all God created — and that includes government. That means we must speak out against injustice. We must love our neighbor. We must not be discouraged or paralyzed by fear. We know what we must do.
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More About Evelyn:
Evelyn Racette is a South Dakota native who studied music performance at the University of South Dakota. She quickly realized that the job prospects were slim and pursued a Master of Public Administration. She fell in love with the field of local government administration after riding a garbage truck, filling potholes and watching the treatment of water and wastewater during an internship for the City of Vermillion, SD. She continued in local government administration in Prairie City, IA, Fort Atkinson, WI and, most recently, Pinetop-Lakeside, AZ. She is passionate about relationships and loves to engage people in local government.