To Be A Politically Active Christian, Or Not To Be

Recently I responded to a Facebook status that said,

 

“I am really getting tired of people who believe our salvation is somehow tied to our government.”

On the surface it could have been a fairly benign comment based on the reality that government should not be seen as the great savior of all Americans, and to put one’s hope in a government or man is foolish. The following is the conversation that ensued and I would like to invite you to join the conversation. What are your thoughts on the the above statement?

I responded to the above mentioned status, “I agree….if my people, who are called by my name shall humble themselves…..It starts on our knees in humility….”

She responded, “We aren’t going to get saved through politics. Jesus didn’t come to save us politically.”

Again, I responded, “No, you are right, if politics is seen as salvation, it is our damnation. But I do think we must, as Christians make noise that will affect change in the powers that be, whether that is politically, pop culture, or the kid next door. I think that we have to go into all our world and preach the Gospel, which means telling those in office and all we come in contact with, that they are sinners, going to hell, in need of a Savior (who loves them and desires to offer them forgiveness and eternal life). It won’t change the direction of the country politically, but perhaps it will change the hearts of the direction makers in the country.”

Another gal popped into the thread stating, “Are you saying that telling people in public office that they are sinners and are going to hell will change their hearts? I do think we should vote our morals, but all Jesus said about government is to respect it and pay our taxes, and during His time they had one of the most ungodly and blasphemous leaders possible. Their mission was not to Christianize the government. Jesus’ strategy was never to condemn, it was to love, and to shine a light that draws people toward you instead of wanting to get away from you. I agree with (the original author’s name), as Christians our focus should be showing God’s love and light to people we meet.”

My friend responded, “If it means sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ with elected officials, yes, just as we would with anyone else. And if they accept the grace of Christ, that is great. But we have to realize that this kingdom really doesn’t matter in the long run. I realize that this world is temporal. We are strangers and aliens on this earth. So yes, I vote my conscience, but political change is not our job, spiritual change is. Actually spiritual change isn’t even our job, it’s God’s work. We are to go to the ends of the earth and share the Gospel; but it is God who reaches down into the market place of sin and pulls us out of the mire. We cannot even lift our finger out of it. God has to come and find us. (Romans 9:16). It does not, therefore, depend on man’s desire but on God’s mercy. When we receive that mercy that He gives to us, then our lives are changed. We have confidence in the finished work of Christ that our salvation is a sure thing. We do not need to keep striving to earn that salvation. This leads to us wanting to Please God and, hence, obeying His commands. I John 3:23 says, “And this is His command; to believe in the name of His son, Jesus Christ, and to love one another as he commanded us” and that love requires us to tell others the Gospel. Why would we want to keep this Good News to ourselves. So yes, we should tell anyone, even an individual elected official. But government as a concept is not redeemable. It is a worldly institution and will perish.

At this point, my mind was wrestling with all these truths that I too agreed with, yet I couldn’t agree completely with the final conclusion. I responded, “I was thinking very much about this conversation. If we are to be salt and light in every area that God leads us; work, mothering, shopping, etc., then by virtue of the fact that He in His Providence has placed us in a nation that is run by “We the People”, we should in fact, as Christians, be salt and light in the democratic system in which we have been blessed to live. I know that we are to be living in the Kingdom of God, but I think that we as a church have been apathetic to our responsibility to keep the stewardship of this great Nation in line with Biblical Principles. I agree that God is the Lord of the Harvest. The Holy Spirit is the power of ultimate salvation, redemption, and eternal change in the hearts of man, to believe otherwise puts one on the level of Savior, and that is insanity; however, going into all the world means taking the Light that indwells us and going into the circumstances in which God has placed us to share this light. To ignore the God given government He has blessed us to live under and not be a “light sharer” within, would be missing part of the world He has sent us into. Salt hurts those who are wounded by sin and death and light blinds, so I submit that our government and the people who are currently running it are in dire need of these two elements.”

My reason for chronicling this dialogue is for the purpose of brain picking and hearing from you the reader. I am curious to see if we should be dis-engaged because government is not redeemable and therefore our focus is misplaced. Is voting one’s conscience all that we as believers should be doing? What do you believe the role of the Christian is in regard to government and politics.

Would there be any reason to think that America would exist as a Nation if the Founders felt that the institution of government was not redeemable and that their struggle for independence from Britain was not a Biblical perspective and therefore the job for a Christian?

Please feel free to speak your mind. Iron sharpens iron and I believe we all need to be sharp in every area of our lives.

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