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Should Christians be Involved in Politics?

Should Christians be Involved in Politics?
Nov 07 Tags: politics | 3 Responses Print Save as PDF

It’s the morning after Election Day here in the United States. Likely, by the time you read this your election results will have been known for several hours. 

As believers, we have a blessed promise from the Son of the Living God: we are citizens of heaven.

Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also. (John 14:1-3)

We also must, “be subject to the governing authorities.” (Romans 13:1)

So, is there a balance to be struck?

We could completely dismiss political activity and allow the whims and passions of a decaying society direct itself into oblivion. We could also be active politically, engaged in the goings on of the same decaying society acting as light, as salt, and as a moral voice in an immoral culture.

The debate on the debate

There has been much debate on political activity. Societally, we seem to waffle between never discussing politics and arguing politics on social media with great zeal. On the one hand, we seem to have lost the art of dialoging with those of differing views. It is an art, and if we can’t engage folks on such things how can we politely engage them on the serious matter of eternity?

Some very prominent religious leaders in the U.S. have also taken very vocal stances one way or the other. You might think of Billy Graham and his son promoting political activity to maintain morality in the society. If you follow the U.S. vice-president, he also has promoted evangelical christians’ involvement in the mid-term elections. 

Conversely, a leader from one of the mainline denominations wrote, “Nowhere did Jesus say, ‘Go you into all the world and strive to make it a better place.’” Spurgeon is often misquoted, “of two evils, choose neither.” 

If one does some searching on the internet, you’ll find no shortage of christians who do in fact promote political activity to one degree or another. But should we be politically active?

I don’t just mean a consistent voter. I mean, should we be waiving the banner of a major party? Should we be attending political rallies or engaging in political debates? 

Politically active

In the beatitudes, the Lord Jesus declares His followers are both salt and light. Salt seasons, preserves and delays corruption. Believers, as salt in this world, can challenge the murder of the unborn. Believers can vote to restrict the use of narcotics or promote other political ideologies under the auspices of moral, holy living. 

Light reveals what was once concealed. R.C. Sproul wrote,

God also instituted government for the safety and well being of the people who live in its midst. And the government has been assigned by God the responsibility of preserving, protecting and maintaining the sanctity of human life. … But in our time the separation of church and state has come to mean the separation of the state from God.

It is one thing to say the state is not accountable to the church, it’s another thing to say the state is not accountable to God. And when the state assumes its autonomy and declares its independence from Almighty God it is not just the right but the duty of the church to call the state to task: Not to ask the state to be the church, but to tell the state to be the state under God. 

Politically apathetic

For a moment compare the difference between democracy and theocracy. Democracy has for its roots, the Greek words, demos (the people), and krato (rule). Theocracy has for its roots, the Greek words, theos (God), and krato (rule).

To quote Abraham Lincoln’s famous phrase, “Government of the people, by the people, for the people.” Democracy then, posits that people are to be governed by a majority of the people, since we can’t seem to ever agree unanimously. The minority must give way so that majority can rule by its identified representatives for the good of all the people and not for the majority’s interests only.

Theocracy conversely is government by the immediate direction of God. 

A Christian views the events and turmoil in the world with interest in the light of Scripture, but if he is wise and instructed, he stays focused on the service to which he is called and does not interfere with matters of the world. A Christian may or may not think that democracy degrades a man and that theocracy elevates him. So a Christian may cite, “honor the king.” and “let every soul be subject to the higher powers.”, thinking that he has quite fulfilled his political duties.

A third option

Daniel was a man in a high political office, yet he never once petitioned for a vote. In fact the opposite, he petitioned against human praise and authority. 

John Piper recently spoke that Christians are free not to vote. The implication then is that a Christian is also free to vote. 

Let me suggest that you can be politically active, or apathetic as a believer. We need to be reminded that our home is not here. That we pay taxes and reside in an earthly nation but our citizenship is in heaven, and we should act as ambassadors. We can vote with the moral authority of heaven.

Salt is a natural cleaner that works quietly. Salt creates thirst, ours should create thirst for the Lord, not a political agenda. Light makes no audible sound to the human ears. We let our light shine in our death such that the life of Christ can be seen in us. 

Andrew Brown

Drew Brown has been saved by God’s marvelous grace since about age 10 and strives to serve the Lord using his gifts for the building of the body of Christ. He has worked in IT for over 15 years and is currently the Information Security Officer for one of the four Commonwealths in the nation.

3 Responses to Should Christians be Involved in Politics?

  1. Sajan Cherian

    Wonderfully presented.. Thanks Br. Andrew Brown…

  2. William Knapp

    Oh that we may unto the Scriptures turn,
    And therein present truth for us discern
    Under the Spirit’s guidance we may see
    How we should act towards the powers that be.
    Responsible, are we, to take our place
    Of pleading for them at “the Throne of grace.”
    —————-

    Pray for the King, all who in high place stand,
    Who rule and make the laws of this great land.
    Ours NOT TO VOTE, but ours to INTERCEDE,
    That we in quietude our lives may lead.
    Let us to CHRIST our loyalty now shew,
    And seek to honor Him while here below.
    In His reproach then may we with Him share,
    As we from this world’s politics forebear.
    The outside place of suffering let us take:
    Those reign with Him, who suffer for His sake.
    In all around us may we plainly see
    The world disowning His authority
    Can we not then from its affairs abstain,
    And separation to our Lord maintain?
    So aiming that we may for Him now fill
    That place which He designed us in His will.
    ——————

    As strangers in this world no vote have we,
    As PILGRIMS through it, quite content to be,
    Rejected as our Lord was when He came,
    Rejoicing thus to suffer for His Name.
    Expecting Him ere long to come again.
    Even the one whose right it is to reign
    ————–

    In party politics we take no share.
    In Heaven our home is, and our hope is there.
    Not of the world—as Christ was—so are we,
    Now in the world—His witnesses to be.
    ————

    He that has known a new, a second birth,
    Has no part in government on earth.
    Except as parent in the home he be;
    Except within in God’s Church. he oversee
    As far as Scripture teaches, we OBEY,
    And PAY the tribute, and for rulers PRAY
    Votes count with men, PRAYER with God avails,
    Victory is certain, God’s way never fails.
    Each Christian who thus VOTES NOT, testifies
    Exactly where his place of power lies.
    Now show the world that Christ as LORD you own,
    Nailed on the CROSS, no seated on the THRONE
    ——————————————————————————
    1Ti 2:1 ¶ I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men;

    Author Unknown to me

    William Knapp
    wmknapp55@gmail.com

  3. In countries where we have freedom to express our views without fear, it is a PRIVILEGE and a DUTY to express our views with RESPECT, and especially to stand for the moral standards that we feel to represent the “kingdom of God” and would allow the freedom of religious worship to all. We should stand for God’s values even if it is not popular, We may not change the moral decay that is around us but we may be a light in the darkness by doing so that some who need to be encouraged might also take a stand. …………… When Hitler was rounding up Jews and sending them to concentration camps, was it right for Christians to keep quiet out of fear for their own well being, and ignore the injustices in their country? When the smoke was rising from the crematoriums, was it right to keep quiet and be conscripted to fight for Hitler to extend his goal for a white race to rule the world? ………… In many countries believers are persecuted and even beheaded. But some still proclaim the gospel even when put in prison and suffer for their faith. It would be good for believers today to hear about martyrs in other countries, who suffer under corrupt regimes. ……………… Daniel served a corrupt ruthless ruler but he did not compromise his loyalty to the Lord in his private life and his personal enemies used it to put his life in danger and show his faith to be false. …………….Esther, in great fear, petitioned the King for the safety of the Jews in Persia. ……………..Nehemiah, with fear petitioned the King to return to Jerusalem to rebuild the city. ……………John the Baptist publicly denounced the immoral life of Herod, because as a leader he had a great influence over moral tone of the nation and that made his sin much greater………………….. Jesus publicly denounced the teaching and hypocrisy of the Pharisees, because their teaching had a great influence on the people and kept them from entering the kingdom of God. Their sin was greater. YES WE NEED TO SPEAK UP AS CHRISTIANS FOR THE GLORY OF GOD to declare the truth with humility, grace and respect, so that others will come to know Jesus through our testimony.

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