Nine years ago, I received a message which profoundly changed my life-perspective. My Facebook inbox harbored a new message from someone I hadn't even realized I was "friends" with. I quickly opened it and began to read the following:
"I've been reading your posts, and I like your views. I think your vision would fit right into Statesmen Global Initiatives. Would you consider writing for my website? Jeff Ziegler."
Upon research, I discovered that Mr. Ziegler had created a series still available on Youtube entitled "The Second American Revolution." Within, he debunked the myth that Christians should avoid the political realm and boldly asserted that the ACLU-brand of separation of church and state was a branch of Gnostic thinking, in which the "spiritual" was separated from the "material." The world is not a dichotomous realm between the spiritual and non-spiritual, but a unified world of order in which Christian influence is all-relevant.
He was brilliant, a kind of contemporary Francis Schaeffer. And he embodied the words spoken in the privacy of my stormy heart.
Until then, I had been rebuked in the past for being "too involved" in politics. Even my simple request to teach the value of unborn life to younger girls was denied by my present church. I was admonished for being "too faithless" in my thoughts; my anguish over the unborn revealed a "lack of faith" in the God I professed to serve.
For these reasons and many more, Jeff's outlook was refreshing and inspiring. To passively accept any political decisions made by godless and antimonian men without an attempt at representation was in Jeff's eyes, in contrast, a concession to "wickedness":
"Separatists and Legalists reject the lessons of civil responsibility and instead withdraw from politics in that it is characterized as “dirty and sinful.” There is little confidence in the power of God to restrain the wicked, and thus, they strive to sequester themselves, and retire. In the course of their disengagement, they cede the ground to the very thing they feared, chiefly wickedness!"
While I didn't always agree with every point of Jeff's theonomy. I always admired his "dominion attitude"---his sincere concern for those around him, and his sense of stewardship to his Master.
At nights, I was invited into the SGI conference calls; I was the only girl between the many board members, and I'm sure my ultra-feminine feedback was probably simplistic and even silly, at points. But he was patient, and made me feel that I had a place, a purpose, a voice.
I was twenty-two and passionate. God had turned my eyes and ears to a sudden interest in the political realm; specifically, the area of family life: abortion and parental rights. Despite my inexperience and overall insignificance, however, God was suddenly providing various, random platforms from which I could speak: local and national radio shows, local Tea Parties. Yet, my exuberance needed tempering, an outlet, an appropriate channel for expression. Jeff Ziegler's political activity struck me as no political opinion ever had---and that is, simply, because what he said wasn't really his opinion at all. All of his endeavors put Scripture to the forefront---but not in a hollow, preachy kind of way. His passion managed to underline every word.
A pivotal point in the film "Amazing Grace" expressed the conviction that I was beginning to adopt more firmly. As William Wilberforce struggled between serving in a political position or serving God, the wisdom of friends assured him:
"We humbly suggest...that you can do both."
Just when I was feeling the strongest, however, I received the message that Jeff's life had been taken by an aneurysm at a relatively young age. We had only known each other for a few years, but I had been taught so much; I felt I had truly lost a friend and the sense of aimlessness I felt shortly following---"God, where do you want me now?"---obscured my direction for some time.
Jeff sharpened me in a way that I will be forever grateful. I will not be the same since his friendship. Today, his widow and I continue to keep in touch. It wasn't until after his death that I learned that he had loved me "like a daughter." Such knowledge is an honor to this day.
I learned a lesson that will remain with me forever; Christians have a duty and they are responsible. Yes, we can make this world a better place---not by putting our trust in political action, but by acting politically from our trust in our God.