Headlines often include so much about moral issues that are increasingly becoming political in nature (i.e., the Supreme Court possibly making a decision regarding the constitutionality of gay marriage). How can we correlate our Christianity with ethics in the volatile subject of politics?
We must consider the outcome of our conclusion. If Christians are to have no participation whatsoever in politics with complete silence, then the outcome of our conclusion is the loss of godly wisdom and influence. However, if Christians can have a positive impact by carefully participating in the realm of politics by speaking out, then the outcome of our conclusion includes the product of hearing godly wisdom and influence.
Nevertheless, we should realize the danger of getting distracted with a “secondary” work. As Christians, our primary work is to teach sinners the gospel of Christ (Matt. 28:19-20; Mark 16:15-16). Anything else must be secondary, and we need to keep our priorities properly arranged (cf. Matt. 6:33). In addition, we should never place party politics over Christianity. I know what the tendency often is on media outlets such as Facebook, but it becomes dangerous if we align ourselves with political parties, insomuch that it interferes in our relationship with our Christian brethren. Rather, we should be interested in moral issues, not political parties.
By way of example, consider the example of Jesus in the realm of politics. First, we see Jesus was silent at times, such as the powerful display of silence while on trial before the Roman governor Pilate: “And when he was accused of the chief priests and elders, he answered nothing. Then said Pilate unto him, Hearest thou not how many things they witness against thee? And he answered him to never a word; insomuch that the governor marveled greatly” (Matt. 27:12-14). Why did He not speak out? Having already understood clearly the will of the Father in heaven from His prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane, He did not want to avoid the will of God. Nevertheless, we also see what prompted Him to speak out in the very same trial: “And Jesus stood before the governor: and the governor asked him, saying, Art thou the King of the Jews? And Jesus said unto him, Thou sayest” (Matt. 27:11). Thus, He spoke whenever He had the opportunity to reveal the truth of God. Jesus stayed focused on His mission—He was devoted to reaching people, not changing governments. This ought to mold our thinking in the involvement that we have in the realm of politics. We should not be concerned with the removal of one party over another or the question of which party has control over the House of Representatives and such like. Rather, we should be involved in the moral issues inasmuch as we are reaching people.
In conclusion, I understand that we need to deal with each situation differently. Governments differ, so our involvement should differ also. We need to consider carefully the purpose in our involvement. We should never compromise the clear teaching from the word of God in an effort to be involved in government activities. Above all, we need to realize that the beginning of Christian ethics in politics is a Christ-centered heart: Now I Paul myself beseech you by the meekness and gentleness of Christ, who in presence am base among you, but being absent am bold toward you: But I beseech you, that I may not be bold when I am present with that confidence, wherewith I think to be bold against some, which think of us as if we walked according to the flesh. For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds); Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ. [2 Cor. 10:1-5]