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Legislating the Conscience


It’s a typical evening, and I flip through a few channels to find a news station. Another mass shooting in a public place. The moderators are dialoging over gun control and the need for legislation. My heart sinks.

Another channel plays audio recordings of aborted baby parts being sold. The panel is in a heated discussion over the rights of women versus the sanctity of life. My stomach is in knots.

On the local side the discussion over legalizing marijuana is heard each week. Weighing the health benefits and taxes that could be collected against the danger of increased use and drivers under the influence. I begin thinking of my teens.

With an average of twenty-eight people dying every day due to drunk driving¹, the number of organizations and the money being spent to lobby for tougher laws and stricter guidelines continues to grow. I kiss a teen goodbye as she goes out for the evening and say a prayer for her safety.

The phone rings and a dear friend, struggling through a high-conflict divorce, needs a listening ear. Her husband has been unfaithful, a closet alcoholic, and emotionally abusive for twenty years. He is able to hide this so well, he has mastered the art of manipulation and deceit. He has convinced the church to side with him against the wife. Her only option is the court system. I say a prayer with her and hang up frustrated.

The evening is still early, and I have time to stew. Where is justice? Where is our society going? Isn’t this a nation built on Christian principles? Shouldn’t our laws reflect that?

But then I’m reminded of Genesis 3. We live in a fallen world. We are a people depraved.

In this fallen world, it is a comfort when I see legislation that is God honoring. Laws that reflect the beauty and holiness of our Savior.

I’ve seen police aid women in abusive situations, arrest the drunk driver, and put their lives on the line when a mass shooting breaks out. I’ve seen judges in courtrooms convict the murderer, jail the perpetrator, and thwart the actions of dishonest people. We live in a great country.

But what about marriage being defined and abortion being stopped? As a Christian, I want to see change! But, do I have the right to posture for change? Do I have a history of taking action to justify my stewing sentiments?

In all honesty, I am guilty of wanting to take the easy road of signing a petition, calling a senator, or attending a rally in order to pass laws to produce a society I am comfortable with. Legislation has its place and its importance. It can dissuade the lawless on occasion and can prevent the number of crimes from skyrocketing, but the only change that prevents sin in society is the gospel of Jesus Christ.


The Great Commission is straightforward in our purpose as Christians. We, as disciples of Christ, spending time with Him and becoming more like Him, are to influence others for him. This influence should be seen in my children’s lives, my relationships, and in my community. The change I desire in society starts with me.

When news is breaking and I am sickened by the many stories, I would do well to remember that legislation is invaluable but cannot be a substitute for the gospel. Maintaining my civic duties and staying involved should be secondary to making disciples in my sphere of influence.

I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. Ephesians 4:1-3

1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “Impaired Driving: Get the Facts.”

With five kids in their teen and early adult years, Rebecca shares the many ups and downs of parenting, homeschooling, and keeping it all together. As the Well Planned Gal she mentors women towards the goal of discovering the uniqueness Christ has created in them and their family and how to best organize and plan for the journey they will travel.

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