Christians in Politics (2 of 2)

religion politics 3

(Continued from yesterday)

Does that mean we do nothing? Not at all. As a minimum, the Bible teaches that we are subject to government:

Rom 13:1-2 Every person is to be in subjection to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those which exist are established by God. Therefore whoever resists authority has opposed the ordinance of God; and they who have opposed will receive condemnation upon themselves.
• 1 Pet 2:13-14 Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every human institution, whether to a king as the one in authority, or to governors as sent by him for the punishment of evildoers and the praise of those who do right.

We exercise our rights to vote, to elect good government, and we fulfill our responsibility to pay taxes and other civic duties:

Lk 20:22, 25 Is it lawful for us to pay taxes to Caesar, or not?” … And He said to them, “Then render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.”
• Rom 13:6-7 For because of this you also pay taxes, for rulers are servants of God, devoting themselves to this very thing. Render to all what is due them: tax to whom tax is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honor to whom honor.

What if the government is unjust and enact laws contrary to God’s Laws? Then we have the example of Peter and John:

Acts 4:18-20 And when they had summoned them, they commanded them not to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus. But Peter and John answered and said to them, “Whether it is right in the sight of God to give heed to you rather than to God, you be the judge; for we cannot stop speaking about what we have seen and heard.”
• Acts 5:28-29 saying, “We gave you strict orders not to continue teaching in this name, and yet, you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching and intend to bring this man’s blood upon us.” But Peter and the apostles answered, “We must obey God rather than men.

But for those whom God had called to the public arena to shine as lights in the midst of a perverse generation, then govern with integrity and wisdom like Joseph, or Daniel and his three friends:

Dan 3:17-18 If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the furnace of blazing fire; and He will deliver us out of your hand, O king. But even if He does not, let it be known to you, O king, that we are not going to serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up.”

Their faith is completely in God, trusting that He will see them through all difficulties, but willing to pay the price even if God does not deliver. Just as He called only certain servants to be His apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers (Eph 4:11), He called others to be politicians, businessmen, professionals etc. to be His representatives in the respective fields. In short, it is God’s choice, not ours. Politicians are under tremendous pressure from diverse parties to compromise; to sink to the lowest common denominator. Only those whom God had called and equipped to stand against the tide should run for public office. That’s my humble opinion on this matter.

Christians in Politics (1 of 2)

christians politics 1

Q. Should Christians be actively involved in politics?If the real and devoted Christians are in control of both the Government, the Legislature and the Court, then such absurd decisions as same-sex marriage wouldn’t and shouldn’t be made. One key doctrine of the Baptists is the Separation of Church and State, but I don’t know why this is so. Some said it’s to avoid repeating the corruption of the Catholics in power in the early centuries, others said it’s to avoid serving two Lords as political power will definitely involve financial benefits. I consulted my Sunday school teacher using Joseph and Daniel as counterexamples, but he said they were rulers for the Lord over gentile nations, not the elect. I’m quite confused and hope you can give me some clear guidance.

A. Like it or not, Christians are involved in politics, either being governed, or as part of the governing body. For the former, they can passively submit, or actively engage to resist or reform that which is unjust. That’s what Christians are doing, but should they? Based on your question I assume you are pro-involvement, while your Sunday school teacher feels Joseph and Daniel are special cases not applicable to the elect. While I believe only certain Christians are called to politics, I also feel your teacher’s reasoning is wrong as Moses (lawgiver and spiritual leader), Joshua (military leader), the judges (military and judicial leaders), Nehemiah (governor) etc. were not kings, but called to govern the elect in one form or another. So to rule out the possibility for God’s people is biblically not defensible.

Having said that, I also believe that God’s primary task for Christians is to evangelize the world and make disciples of all nations. Even though the 1st century world was just as sinful and corrupt as the 21st century world we live in, neither Jesus, nor the Twelve, nor Paul called Christians to change the world through politics. They could have, but they didn’t, consistently. Was it because there were too few Christians to do the job? Or was it because the early Christians were not bright enough to pull it off? Hardly, with only a few committed, all-out Christians they managed to “turn the world upside down” (Acts 17:6). That’s why I believe contrary to what some have proposed, changing the world through political means is not the way to go. That’s the way of the Antichrist, not Christ.

(To be continued)