The natives are restless
The events of this past week in the North Carolina General Assembly have further reinforced what a great need there is for ministry to those who serve in government.
If you’ve been reading or watching the news lately, you’ll know that the Governor and the Legislature have been at an impasse regarding the passage of the state budget. Democratic Governor Roy Cooper has vetoed the budget proposals arising from the Republican controlled Legislature. But last week, with only nine Democrats present, the Republicans in the House voted to override Gov. Cooper’s veto.
The process in which this played out has become a national news story. Some Democrats are calling the Republicans “connivers” and their tactics a “shameless theft of democracy” while Republicans are accusing Democrats of “spreading lies” and news outlets of publishing “false reports.”
All of this has occurred in parallel with a ruling just two weeks ago in which a three-judge panel declared North Carolina’s legislative maps to be an unconstitutional partisan gerrymander and ordered lawmakers to draw up new districts to be voted upon this week.
It’s no secret that politics can be a dirty business, but the events of just the past couple of weeks have perpetuated mistrust and antagonism between our elected officials in Raleigh. The temperature is high. The hostility can be felt in the air.
There are some who will suggest that the problems in the capital are political and that many of these issues would be mitigated if we could just elect the right people. And no doubt, it is an important matter as to who fill these elected offices and which policies they support or oppose!
But as a follower of Christ, I am convinced that the far greater issue is a spiritual one. Leaders on either side of the aisle who spread false information, engage in dishonest, backhanded, “dirty” politics, or otherwise sew the seeds of injustice either do not know God as they ought or do not know him at all. For sure, there are believers in the General Assembly and in other areas of state government who are diligently seeking to honor Christ and love their neighbor. But there are also professing believers whose words and actions are, “not in step with the truth of the gospel” (Galatians 2:14). And of course, there are more than enough people in Raleigh who do not know or believe in Jesus at all.
This is why Ministry to State exists; to penetrate the darkness with the “Light of the world,” to be an agent of the Holy Spirit in bringing the grace and truth of the Scriptures to bear upon people in order that they might repent and believe in the gospel. It is no small feat to bring serve as a minister and missionary to the halls of power in our state. But just as Moses spoke to the truth to Pharaoh, Daniel to Nebuchadnezzar, and Paul to King Agrippa, God has raised up his people over the years to bring Good News to those in positions of governing authority. There is a great need for this ministry. The events of the last week prove it.