Christians and Politics
It seems as though every single November the question comes up about Christians and politics. While there weren’t very many major elections this year, there were still a number of votes taking place from coast to coast and issues like Obamacare have kept politics heavily at the forefront of the news. As has been the case increasingly over the last few years, though, a number of Christians (and preachers in particular) have continued to embrace the idea that we need not be involved in politics. They say we need to simply stay out of that side of the culture and instead focus fully on pushing faith rather than political ideals.
I can understand and agree when they mean that we shouldn’t place our allegiance to country over our allegiance to Christ and His church. I agree that we should be respectful of all people and continue to view them as souls rather than classifying them by party or political ideology. Sharing pictures on Facebook that emphasize how dumb candidate _______ is or how stupid people who belong to the ________ party are doesn’t get us anywhere, I agree. It’s also true that evangelism is the greatest change we can bring about in someone’s life, and we should strive toward that goal first and foremost.
However, it’s the implication that Christians can’t be involved both politically and spiritually that is wrong and that needs to be discussed. Yes, our priorities need to be kept straight but that does not mean that we are ignoring God or our duty to His church when we become involved politically. I agree that evangelism is the greatest tool to change the world that we have, but that doesn’t mean we need to neglect the opportunity we’ve been blessed with in this country to represent our Lord in government by casting a vote for His principles. Just because we have the single greatest method of change available to us doesn’t mean we need to ignore other effective methods to change society. That’s illogical.
You can often hear folks with an anti-political ideology say “Well, I think we should just be evangelizing so I don’t vote.” First, again, they’re implying that both cannot be done. Politics affect evangelism! Second, they’re saying they don’t have time to vote or follow politics because they would rather focus on evangelism, but I would venture to guess they have time to fit in a football game or go out for dinner with friends somewhere in that time, too. If you’re telling me you don’t have the time to cast a vote against abortion or for some other biblical principle because you’re too busy evangelizing but have time for your own leisure activities, whose priorities are out of order?
Others can be heard talking about how persecution is good for the church and the church will grow if the government turns anti-Christian. While that may be true and it may be good for us to be pushed out of our comfort zones, remind me again how many missionaries North Korea and Saudi Arabia are sending into the world. To simply assume that our ability to spread the Gospel will remain constant or that we’ll even have the ability to gather in secrecy like the early church did is taking a lot for granted in an age where your every move can be detected by the government.
At the end of our lives will we feel like we have some moral high ground for staying “above the fray,” or will we be accountable for not speaking up for the tens of millions aborted? “Open your mouth for the speechless, In the cause of all who are appointed to die” (Prov. 31:8). If it is an abomination to God it must be an abomination to the Christian, and we shouldn’t quietly cower in a corner and say nothing about it. As we sit by and watch as pro-homosexual, pro-abortion, anti-God men and women are put into power while we refuse to use the opportunities we’ve been afforded to stop them, can we really say we’ve done our best to bring God’s love and truth into the world? “Like a roaring lion and a charging bear is a wicked ruler over poor people. A ruler who lacks understanding is a great oppressor” (Prov. 28:15-16a).
Bottom line, Christians have an ability to affect government in this country in a way that no other nation in world history before us was afforded. It’s a privilege that isn’t going to last forever, and we need to take advantage of it while we can. While the homosexual agenda is being pushed further throughout the country, the pro-life lobby is making gains in a number of states. Through our votes and activism, we can both serve our Lord and help make the world a better place, and no matter what anybody tells you, that’s a good thing.