A writer friend wrote an article and used the phrase “Daniel-Up” in regards to mixing religion with politics and it really stuck with me. Next to Esther, Daniel is one of my favorite characters in the Bible. Finding himself in a foreign land after Judah was captured, Daniel manages to hold leadership positions with in the Babylonian government. I think the best word to describe Daniel would have to be courageous. Among a land of people who rejected his faith, Daniel manages to hold steady and honor God. He was in a political position but never once did he falter in honoring God despite the political ramifications.
Sometimes I feel like Daniel. In a country that increasingly rejects my faith and pushes God out of the public square, I feel like I am a foreigner in my own land. Our government was built on a Constitution based upon Judeo-Christian principles and yet I am constantly amazed at the growing hostility towards our Founding Father’s documents. I have to admit it makes me a bit fearful at times. Then I remember Daniel and his courage and his example of how to live a life of faith in a Godless society.
What makes Daniel so unique to me is that he was in a political position in his life but managed to be Godly in every decision he made. There have been times we have seen religious people stand up in the political world but show a lack of Godliness. They have used their faith and the name of God to further a political agenda. However, Daniel never used God to change laws he simply honored God. Daniel would not back down on his principles. He didn’t impose his faith on others but when asked to compromise his faith- He refused! He took a stand (despite the consequences) and in turn God intervened and changed the minds and rulings of great Kings. This is how we are to mix religion and politics and this is why we need to “Daniel-Up”.
I truly believe we are living in a time that all Christians need to pay attention to the political world. Our faith is being threatened. The church needs to speak up but we need to do it the correct way. We need to be like Daniel. Now I think we are all called in different ways to take a stand. However, we all need to acknowledge that politics are attacking our religious foundations. As Christians, if we don’t speak up then our ambivalence will destroy our freedom to openly serve God.
So pray about where you can take a stand in faith in changing political decisions that threaten our religious freedoms. Above all simply honor God in everything despite the circumstances. Be courageous and “Daniel-Up!”