July 2, 2014.
There are two things that people say you shouldn’t discuss at the dinner table, religion and politics. But what about another question: do religion and politics mix? Obviously this is a rather general question that has many different situations in which the answer might be different, but this question came up in a discussion group I am in quite some time ago, and I believe I have changed my mind on where to stand on this issue. The specific question is should Christians be actively involved in politics? As a disclaimer here, I am not specifically referencing Christians who choose to be in politics as a profession, but more so those of us who would be involved in public discussion and debate.
“Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly. Never be wise in your own sight. Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.”
“Now concerning brotherly love you have no need for anyone to write to you, for you yourselves have been taught by God to love one another, for that indeed is what you are doing to all the brothers throughout Macedonia. But we urge you, brothers, to do this more and more, and to aspire to live quietly, and to mind your own affairs, and to work with your hands, as we instructed you, so that you may walk properly before outsiders and be dependent on no one.”
(1 Thessalonians 4:9-12)
These were the two passages that kept coming up from the side that was of the persuasion that Christians shouldn’t be involved in politics. I must say, I got somewhat angry at this position at the time because it made sense to me that we should be involved in politics. After all, if someone doesn’t stand up for whats right, then evil will take over, right?
That seems logical. The problem is, there is no way to stand up for what is right. Again, I’m not saying that you can’t be a politician if you are a Christian; on the contrary, I am glad to have Christian values amongst politicians. But what I am saying is that the rest of us really don’t have much of a say in what goes on, and when we do (such as the right to vote) we can’t vote on specific issues, but rather we vote for the person we think is most right. Unfortunately, we often have to vote for the lesser of two evils, so to speak. We have to vote for a party rather than truth (and yes, no party has everything right, not by a long shot).
So what should we do? I believe being an informed voter is a civil duty and a help to our country. But beyond that, I don’t know if there is any good that we can do. I used to be involved in group discussions abut politics. They would get heated, even when everyone agreed with each other, and we would go on and on about what this country is coming to and how wrong the government was and blah blah blah. You know what changed when we got done? Nothing. No matter how upset we got at the government, we had no power to change the situation.
After thinking about this later, I realized the futility in discussing politics and eventually I stopped really keeping up with it. I realized that there is one thing that we as Christians can do to influence politics, and it’s something we should have been doing all along. Spread the gospel. That’s it. That’s how we change the world. I am not saying this facetiously. This is a battle cry. We really do have the power to change the world. Well, not us really, but the Spirit who dwells within us.
Isn’t that amazing though? We can have an influence on politics. Not by directly inserting ourselves into the situation, but by doing our jobs as Christians. That is how we are going to save the world. That is how we make this world a better place. That is how we give joy back to the human race. Spread the good news. Show the love of Christ. Bring salvation to the lost. Amen!
So, should we know what’s going on in the world of politics? Sure. Should we spend much time in it? I don’t think so. We have a higher mission, a mission with an eternal destiny. Are you ready? Will you be ready when He comes back?
Suggested Daily Reading: Romans 12-14, I Thessalonians 4.
Peace be unto you.