Land: As salt, Christians are ‘moral disinfectant’
SBC ethics leader focuses on
Christian citizenship during address
By Cory Miller
Communications Director, MBTS
August 31, 2004
KANSAS CITY – Calling the fact that more than half of Americans don’t vote a “disgrace,” Richard Land, president of the Southern Baptist Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission (ERLC), addressed a full chapel at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary’s (MBTS) fall convocation Aug. 17.
“We are honored to have Dr. Land speak to us about the biblical mandate of Christ to be a moral preservative in a decaying and lost world,” said MBTS President Dr. R. Philip Roberts.
Land kicked off Midwestern’s Christian Citizenship Week, which was designed to emphasize the Christian’s responsibility to participate in and support the nation’s government and political process.
“Every American who is eligible to vote should be registered to vote. And every American who is registered to vote should be informed about the issues,” said Land. “And then every American who is registered and informed about the issues should then cast their ballot based on their values, their beliefs, and their convictions.”
According to Land, voter registration and education is the purpose of the ERLC’s “iVoteValues.com” initiative, which kicked off this spring with a national mobile voter registration truck tour.
In referencing his parents who voted strictly according to different political parties and thus cancelled out each other’s vote for years, Land said voting should not be based on family or geographic tradition, but values and beliefs.
“They were both wrong, because they didn’t disagree on their core values,” said Land. “They were voting their region of the country and their family tradition.”
Land said his parent’s strict loyalty to political parties was misdirected.
“Our loyalty does not belong to any party. Our loyalty does not belong to our family tradition. Our loyalty does not belong to any region of the country,” said Land. “Our loyalty belongs to the Lord Jesus Christ.”
According to Land, Christians should not endorse political candidates, but rather they should see which candidates endorse their beliefs.
“God is not a Democrat. God is not a Republican,” said Land, emphasizing the need for issue-related, convictions-based voting.
“But He is pro-life.”
Quoting from Matthew 5, Land explained what it means to be salt and light in America.
“Salt does not bring light. All salt does is stop the rot and stop the decay. And Jesus has commanded us to go out into society and stop decay,” Land said. “We are to be moral disinfectant in society.”
“Light brings life. Light is life giving. Without light, there is no life. And we’re not to hide our light under a bushel,” said Land.
According to Land, in order to impact the culture, “We’ve got to get close enough to the world that they can see the light and feel the heat.”
Past Midwestern chapel services, including Land’s speech, can be heard online at: http://www.mbts.edu/s7_chapel_resources.asp.