Christians and Politics


Gods-Politics-0921

The question naturally arises whether Christians, who are driven by Jesus’ love to love others, should be involved in politics?  If “Politics” is defined as the process of effecting civic and social policy, then by all means “YES!” Christians should be out there in the political arena helping to drive the bus!

The resultant question from that is whether Jesus himself was in politics?  Was Jesus political?  The answer there is absolutely “YES!” as well.  While Jesus correctly kept himself out of the issue of whether he was attempting to be an earthly ruler (“Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God what is God’s.” (Matthew 22:21), he clearly told Pilate that He was a King, and that His Kingdom was not of this world (John 18:36).  So then, again, should citizens of the “Kingdom of Heaven” be involved in earthly politics?

The answer there derives again from the earlier statement that we should “Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s.”  The double meaning in that statement implies that we should not just pay taxes but be involved in the running of the Government for the good of all people.  We cannot just sit in a Christian ghetto someplace and hide our heads in the sand and pretend that it will all be OK.  On the contrary, Christians should be and often have been involved in politics and the political process.  Many outspoken Christians were involved not only in the creation of the United States, but in the shaping of its policies for the good of our own people and the nations where we have interests.

One of our most cherished, admired and loved presidents, Abraham Lincoln, was a deeply reverent man who was devoted to Jesus and His teachings.  His knowledge of the Bible is evidenced in many of his writings and speeches.  Many Christians have also been involved in military roles through history including one of my personal favorites – General George S. Patton.  Patton was a driven man, but one who had extreme reverence for Jesus and the teachings of Christianity.

Another great example of a Christian man who was devoted to Christ, but who found himself in an untenable position was Dietrich Bonhoeffer.  What Bonhoeffer witnessed is beyond the capacity for most of us, but his response is one of the most amazing things I have ever heard of:  Bonhoeffer was a Christian ordained minister in Germany prior to World War II, who taught The Bible.  And yet, what he witnessed in the NAZI atrocities was so horrible that he was driven to become a spy inside the NAZI intelligence operations!  Bonhoeffer found that in spite of the teachings of Christ that we must sometimes kill in order to rid society of a great evil!

Of course that is the basic answer to World War II which I have studied for most of my life.  The evil in society sometimes makes it necessary for Christians to kill, or take part in killing.  Please note that this does not condone murder, nor should this be used as an argument to kill doctors who perform abortion or something like that.  That’s not what I’m talking about at all.  My point is simply to argue that sometimes Christians must be involved in life or death decisions during times of war, and sometimes they must even take life in order to preserve the goodness of society as a whole.

But Christians must be involved in politics, the running of Government in order, if for no other reason, than to prevent an extremist regime such as the NAZI’s from coming to power again and doing much harm to society as a whole.  Success of society is not measured in productivity or GDP, rather it is a measure of how many young people are getting married and having families.  How many young people are committing suicide and are on drugs?  How many young people have “checked out?”  This is our true measure of “success.”  The idea behind this is that we must pass the baton of leadership from our generation to the next and see that they hold similar sorts of values to what we have cherished.  As I have said in the past as well as here, those values are not based on some silly notions of financial or productive successes, but are rather gauged by how much we love and care for our children.

Jesus commanded us to love one another.  That’s our bottom line.  Being involved in society, in the running of Government is a good way to love one another.

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One thought on “Christians and Politics

  1. I’ve thought about this quite a lot in the past few years. It was in Dec., 2010, that we moved to Los Angeles, to move in with my then 83 year old mother, to help take care of her in her “Sunset” years. A month or two after we got here, we met a lady from mom’s church (American Martyrs, Manhattan Beach) who got us to come and check out the local California Republican Assembly chapter. A couple months after that, we joined and became very active in local politics. A couple months later, there was a speaker from our local Pregnancy Help Center in Torrance (where they help moms who are seeking “Solutions” for their crisis pregnancy to find an alternative other than abortion. Cheryl started volunteering at the Torrance Pregnancy Help Center, and about a year later I was teaching an abortion class at Hope Chapel Hermosa Beach called “Abortion is About God”.

    What else do we do you ask?

    Well, we are involved with the Evangelism team at Hope Chapel Hermosa Beach, and we go out sharing the “Good news” of Jesus Christ in our local community. We are still involved in politics, but mostly these days, that is confined to voting, debating in the public square so to speak on discussion forums, comments on online articles, on FaceBook and so forth. Our “Political presence” has moved online, where our primary focus with our time is to share the gospel. We also share the pro-life message when we go out, mainly by giving folks the “180 Quiz” that goes along with the 180 Movie by Ray Comfort at Living Waters Ministries.

    http://www.180movie.com/

    We are still actively involved in politics in other words, and the process of what Chuck Colson used to call “Culture creation”. We believe Christ was a radical person who flipped Jewish culture upside down. He’s still doing that today with the world’s culture, and His chosen vehicle to do that is the church, through us. At the end of the day, if your faith does not matter for your community and your culture, then what is it good for? Some in Congress have gone so far as to say lately that our beliefs should be confined inside the walls of the church, that they have no place outside. All I can say to them is they should ask themselves whether they’re letting their “Beliefs” make that decision for us about whether or not we have the freedom to engage in a discussion with folks about something that may save their eternal souls?

    After we got involved in politics we learned a great deal about the inner workings of “the System” and how voters are persuaded to vote. We used to believe that people voted their conscience, and that they would actually think through issues before casting a vote. This is, sadly, not the case at all, and perhaps we were naive to think that it ever was like that. But, we still believe that we can effect positive change in the system by persuading enough of the so called “Influence peddlers” who spend their time convincing people who to vote for and how to vote their beliefs.

    The saddest fact of all we learned is that most Christians, those who call themselves “Evangelical” Christians in fact, do not vote. This should be, in fact, considered a sin in light of what I said when I wrote this article back in 2010. None of us are perfect, but we must believe we have the power to make change in our culture. If we fall for the lie that we have no power anymore, then the enemy has already won, and we have fallen into the trap of becoming “Powerless Christians”.

    In light of all that, I urge you to vote, to participate, to argue, to debate, with a smile on your face, and as much fortitude as you can muster. It doesn’t take skill, just passion. You don’t have to win every argument and in fact, you won’t. But, you should realize that you are sharpening your position as you learn to defend you faith and your beliefs.

    God bless you!

    -Scotty

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