We just voted on Tuesday and everyone is still talking about the results over the water cooler at work and in the marketplace. Most are exceedingly glad that all of the political ads are finally over with.
I read one article this morning that claimed Evangelical Christians participated in greater numbers on Tuesday that ever before and the vast majority voted Republican across the board.
While it is still fresh in our minds and experience here’s a question- should faithful Biblical Christians be so involved in politics?
Here are two articles that go about answering this question very differently
First: “The Church as a Prophetic Voice”
by Harry R. Jackson Jr., (senior pastor of Hope Christian Church near Washington, D.C.)
Here is the conclusion of his article:
“The ultimate authority in the U.S. is not a king or monarchy. The collective will of the people is supposed to be the final bastion of power. Therefore, Christians will have to answer to God for the decisions made by our secular society because self-identified believers are still the numeric majority of the U.S. In this democratic context our right to vote is a sacred trust.
If we all voted with focused, strategic unity we could turn America around in just a few years. Are you ready to make history?”
Second: “The Church as an Alternative Society”
by Brian Zahnd (pastor of Word of Life Church in St. Joseph, Mo.)
In the article he quotes Theologian Stanley Hauerwas:
“The church doesn’t have a social strategy, the church is a social strategy.” Instead of trying to force change on the wider society through legislation, we are to exemplify the alternative—the kingdom of God—by actually living it!”
Response: I have always been interested in politics and especially this year. However I have come to appreciate the need for those in the ministry not to mix the two together. If God has called you to be a politician then so be it. There is a real need for Christians of integrity to be involved in the political process.
However, I no longer believe that it is good for the church to be involved in partisan politics and for evangelical Christians to be so identified with one particular political party.
In the process we send indirect mixed messages to people that if they want to join with Christ than they will have to sign up as Republicans and become conservative in their politics. It can actually become a stumbling block for some- a wall that can actually keep some ‘liberal’ folks from pursuing Christ.
Even though I have definite conservative political opinions I have made a real effort to make room for and have grace towards those of different political persuasions than I. Guess what, Christ died for them also and they are my brothers and sisters also.
I am particularly concerned with the obvious differences politically between substantially white and black churches and then throw in Latino Pentecostals into the mix and it is easy to see that faithful Biblical Christians can have very divergent political views after all.
There are issues that most Biblical Christians can agree on including abortion, marriage, and integrity. However, I happen to believe that the best way to change America is to bring Christ into the marketplace, and to the neighborhoods, homes and families.
Come Lord Jesus and bring full-on revival to our land and to our churches. Amen.