The New American Dream

We have an opportunity to advance the Lord's agenda to create a godlier America.
The last national election seems to have been a watershed moment for the church. For too many years the majority of churchgoers seemed to think that politics were simply a necessary evil. But in 2004, born-again people showed up at the polls and made their voices heard.

This unprecedented turnout was largely due to the grass-roots efforts of many Christian organizations that correctly urged believers to stand against same-sex marriage and the rising tide of abortion on demand in America.

The energy that motivated many of us in 2004 was righteous indignation or even fear. But in 2005 we need to rise to an even higher level, one of vision and faith.

Instead of moving defensively to protect America, we have an opportunity to advance the Lord's agenda to create a godlier America. In order to do this we must hold our recently elected officials accountable to a godly political agenda.

What would a Christian America look like? Or perhaps more important, What would Jesus advocate if He were leading both the House and the Senate?

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I believe if Jesus were grading the church on its representation of His glory, He may well say we earned an A in the first-semester course on righteousness, but our second-semester score will depend on how we deal with justice.

As I have tried to articulate God's heart for justice to believers, I have been drawn repeatedly to Proverbs 29. If we think about the words of wisdom offered to a king as God's recommendations for a presidential administration, we can hear a clear mandate. Proverbs 29:4 says, "By justice a king gives a country stability, but one who is greedy for bribes tears it down" (NIV). Verse 14 says, "If a king judges the poor with fairness, his throne will always be secure."

In these verses of Scripture, I hear the Lord promising that He will protect our country more effectively than the Department of Homeland Security does. As we meet the requirements of the Scriptures, God will place a shield of protection around our nation, and He will supernaturally empower our administration to thwart the plans of terrorist and enemy regimes. If we'll give God justice, He'll give us security. So, what is justice again?

Justice isn't what you believe; it's what you do for others. Justice is an atmosphere that we create in the earth to make it more reflective of God's character. The Bible teaches that both righteousness and justice are the foundation of the throne of God. The book of Isaiah alone pairs righteousness and justice 44 times as twin sisters that produce God's greater glory in the earth.

What would God's justice look like in legislative form? Though we could work on justice issues for an eternity, there are six areas upon which the church needs to focus:

  • Protection of marriage. There must be a strategic policy direction for a constitutional amendment to fully protect marriage as the union of one man and one woman.

  • Wealth creation. We must offer small-business support that helps create more minority businesses.

  • Education reform. We need school choice that doesn't destabilize existing public schools, a plan for reducing urban drop-out rates and the creation of a stronger infrastructure for the No Child Left Behind Act.

  • African relief. Our efforts in Sudan are critical. Our churches should help raise money from the private sector in order to stop the massive genocide occurring in this region. And the government should create and enforce economic sanctions against companies that fund the Khartoum government.

  • Prison reform. We must improve racial inequities in the "three strikes you are out" system and provide prison aftercare that partners with churches to help former inmates re-enter society.

  • Health care. There needs to be affordable health care for the poor that acknowledges the higher disease and mortality statistics in poor communities.

    The American church has a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to infuse our nation with a booster shot of righteousness and justice. Let's seize the moment.

    Harry R. Jackson Jr. pastors 3,000-member Hope Christian Church in the nation's capital with his wife, Michele. Jackson, who earned an MBA from Harvard, is a popular speaker and the best-selling author of such books as High Impact African-American Churches and The Warrior's Heart.

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