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Ten years ago John MacArthur wrote a book entitled Why Government Can't Save You. The subtitle to the book was "An Alternative to Political Activism." As important and timely as this book was when it was originally published, MacArthur has lamented that of all the books he has written, this one book has sold the least copies. Of course, he wasn't surprised at how unpopular the book was, since (as he expressed it), so many American Evangelicals have replaced the Great Commission with political crusades. But despite the lack of readership for the book, its biblical message rings just as loud and clear for the church today, as it did ten years ago. In fact, in the last chapter of the book, MacArthur sets forth a clarion call that we all need to take heed to, as we consider our own personal response to government and the American culture at large: "With society sliding headlong into greater and greater evil, debauchery, violence, and corruption, and seemingly populated outside the church by no one but "modern barbarians," the temptation is strong for believers to jump into the cultural fray as self-righteous social/political reformers and condescending moralizers. All the while those self-styled Christian activists forget or ignore their true mission in the world...As noble as the desire to reform society may be, and as stirring as the emotions sometimes are when we're involved in a political cause we really believe is right, those activities are not to be the Christian's chief priorities...God does not call the church to influence the culture by promoting legislation and court rulings that advance a scriptural point of view. Nor does He condone any type of radical activism that would avoid tax obligations, disobey or seek removal of government officials we don't agree with, or spend an inordinate amount of time campaigning for a so-called Christian slate of candidates. The church will really change society for the better only when individual believers make their chief concern their own spiritual maturity, which means living in a way that honors God's commands and glorifies His name. Such a concern inherently includes a firm grasp on Scripture and an understanding that its primary mandate to us is to know Christ and proclaim His gospel. A godly attitude coupled with godly living makes the saving message of the gospel credible to the unsaved. If we claim to be saved but still convey proud, unloving attitudes toward the lost, our preaching and teaching - no matter how doctrinally orthodox or politically savvy and persuasive - will be ignored or rejected." To sum up what MacArthur is basically pleading for here, is that we as the church of Jesus Christ must keep the main thing the main thing. Our "main thing" is "to know Christ and proclaim His gospel." This must always be what everyone in our communities and the nation as a whole recognize about us. We are CHRISTIANS before we're Americans! We are self-denying, cross-bearing followers of Jesus Christ before we're political conservative crusaders seeking to reclaim America as "our country." Thus, when it comes to how we perceive and respond to our government, we need to always be sure that our actions toward the government are in obedience to God's Word rather than merely pontificating our personal political agendas.