2/29/2016

Should Christians Be Involved in Politics?


Questioning whether or not Christians should be involved in politics is like asking whether or not should Christians be doctors, teachers, construction workers, retail clerks, farmers, bankers, or real estate agents.

Of course they should!

But many well meaning Christians believe the answer is no. 

They believe we should be engaged in more heavenly matters, and that political engagement of any sort is a distraction from God's calling and purpose for the church. 

After all, everything in this world is fading away, destined to be judged by fire, and the kingdom of God will one day bring about end to all the kingdoms of this world.  So why get involved in such temporary endeavors when eternity is at stake?  Does not such involvement show we've confused where our true citizenship is ultimately located? 

But if we use such an argument about politics, then we could easily apply such an argument to any profession. At the end of the day, all professions involve engaging in temporary matters.

And of course, politics has a way of getting out of hand, as it often attracts power hungry people that engage in corrupt behavior all in the name of making themselves into a messianic figure. But if you step back and look at the bigger picture, such can be found in every profession known to mankind... including ministry.

I think Christians should be involved in every level of politics, from voting, to sitting on a school board, to possibly becoming the Preaident of the United States.

After all, God has placed us in this world to be a source of blessing to this world, wherever we may find ourselves.  And that means doing more than just giving off a heavenly aurora and saving souls.  It means helping real people solve real problems in real ways. And being involved in the government is just one of the many ways we as Christians can help solve the challenges that face mankind in tangible ways. 

I would argue it would be entirely unspiritual if Christians were entirely divorced from being involved in any and all political matters and had nothing to do with civil government.

As Christians we are called to help others, and part of that includes possibly helping others in this world decide where roads get built, how neighborhoods get zoned, how children get educated, and what laws are just and helpful to the rest of our society.  So why some Chistians think we shouldn't be involved in such matters is beyond me.  If anything, Christians should have some of the greatest ideas to put forward in any nation they find themselves, because they are doing what they do unto the Lord, and should ultimately have Him and the greater good of all people in mind.

And in the process of helping the Caesar's of this world figure out how to govern the nation, we get to be witnesses for Christ, and bring His presence with us wherever we go and in whatever we do. And hopefully, we can make a practical difference in this world, just as we do in whatever other professions we we engaged in for a living. 

And we will do all these things while also sharing the Gospel that Jesus Christ is ultimately King of kings, and Lord of lords, to whom all must ultimately bow before.

Of course, in being Christians we might butt some heads along the way. Our message and some of our views will likely be controversial.  And our ethical positions might keep us from engaging in and supporting some political perspectives, or from participating in some political activities due to having made our loyalty to Jesus Christ first and foremost.  Or it means we may advocate for things that nobody else advocates for, simply because nobody else had the eyes or heart to see certain needs.  And because we might not be able to engage in certain activities without compromising our faith, such might limit the level of involvement we have in the political arena. 

But how is that different from any other occupation we might find ourselves in? 

It might be impossible to become the President of the United States without a lot of moral compromises (indeed, I personally question how one could become such today without cutting a lot of throats and engaging in shady dealings, but perhaps I'm just cynical like that).  But such difficulties are simply part of the sufferings of Christ we as Christians participate.  Such challenges, however, don't mean we entirely withdraw from openly participating in the society and culture we find ourselves placed in.  I believe Jesus Christ calls us to engage society on every level.  The Gospel message is the gospel message for the entire world.

As Christians, we are ultimately ambassadors for Jesus Christ, and He is not only our King, but the King of the entirely world, including those who currently sit over their respective nations as kings. 

Jesus and His ministry is ultimately political in nature:  HE IS A KING! 

And as King, I imagine He has some pretty amazing things to say the kings of this world. 

Of course, many if not most will reject what He has to say, and want nothing to do with the Lord's Anointed. And many will take a bold stand against Christ, and openly defy Him.  Indeed, the kings of this world once crucified the Lord, and have violently persecuted many of His followers since. 

But such only happened because the Gospel message ultimately has political ramifications.  Jesus, in part, was crucified because His message was revolutionary in its political scope.  They didn't crucify Jesus just because He was telling people that they could go to heaven when they died.  They crucified Him and ultimately persecuted His followers because announcing that "Jesus is Lord" is a threat to a world in which the Caesar's of this world see themselves as the only lord. 

But our involvement with government it isn't always going to be all doom and gloom.  History shows time and time again the church of Jesus Christ has been able to make some outstanding contributions to society and civil governments that proved to be a blessing to many within this world, and ultimately at the same time, the world that is yet to come. 

Yes, ultimately we keep our hopes fixated on the promise of a new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.  And we know this world will one day be subjected to a cosmic judgment. 

But such doesn't mean we go stand out on our roof tops and look up into space waiting on the return of Jesus in the interim.  Rather, such means we are to go out into all of the world, and engage people where they are at, in all levels of society, telling them that Jesus is Lord, and that we want to make a difference in this world that positively impacts them because of this fact. 

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