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  • Adam Butler

Christians and Politics

“Christians shouldn’t get involved in politics! We should just focus on the Gospel.” This common objection is often used by both Christians and non-Christians. But, is it true? Should Christians avoid the political arena? If not, how involved should we be?

Before we can answer this question, we must correctly understand what is meant by “politics” to begin with. Too often, that word carries with it negative connotations. Politics is just for the people in Washington, DC. Let them handle the laws, and let us focus on the Gospel.

The problem with this assertion is that it incorrectly understands the ramifications of politics. Politics is not just what happens on Capitol Hill; rather, politics affects virtually every aspect of your life.

Jobs, schools, marriage, children, the unborn, freedom, property, security, the poor, and the church are affected by politics. Politics has bearance on everything we do in our everyday lives. In other words, like it or not, you are going to be involved in politics in some manner eventually.

Politics is not just what happens on Capitol Hill; rather, politics affects virtually every aspect of your life.

So, for Christians who claim that we ought to only be concerned about the Gospel, we must understand that politics affects our ability to proclaim the Gospel. We take for granted the freedoms we enjoy in the United States of America, because religious freedom is all we have ever known. While this should never become an idol, and while we most likely will not enjoy said freedoms forever, we should take advantage of them while we have the chance, utilizing our abilities to proclaim Jesus freely.

Jesus Got Involved in Politics

In the New Testament, Jesus frequently engaged with the Pharisees, who were the religious and political leaders of Israel. Jesus was the one who went after them (see Matthew 23). Jesus stood for truth, preached hard truth, and did not compromise based on the tides of the culture. The modern, feminized, politically correct Jesus which many people have in their minds is not coherent with the Biblical Jesus.

What About Separation of Church and State?

To answer this objection briefly, the Separation of Church and State is a completely different issue, which has nothing to do with Christians’ involvement in politics. The phrase “separation of church and state” is nowhere to be found in the United States Constitution. Rather, it refers to a letter which Thomas Jefferson wrote to a group of concerned Chrsitians, who were worried about the government overstepping into their religious liberties. Simply put, the separation of church and state means that the church is protected from the government, not vice versa.

In summation, there is no legislation which bars Christians from the political arena. Christians who live in the United States are citizens just like everyone who is non-religious, and have been given a political voice as well. We are expected to vote, speak out against injustice, and get involved in political discussion.

Politics Affects Biblical Issues

Some of the most debated issues within the political arena, such as abortion, marriage, gender, etc. are all addressed succinctly in God’s Word. Too many Christians are afraid to speak out concerning these issues, whereas the Bible is abundantly clear that there are only two genders (Genesis 1:27, Mark 10:6), marriage is between one man and one woman (Genesis 2:24, Matthew 19:4-6), and the life of the unborn is human and sacred (Psalm 139:13-16, Luke 1:41).

But You Can’t Legislate Morality! All laws legislate morality; the only question is whose morality will be legislated? For example: all of the aforementioned issues are moral issues, not religious issues. The recognition of a man-woman marriage structure happens to be consistent with the Christian worldview, but is not religiously motivated. It simply adheres to the fact the marriage between one man and one woman perpetuates and stabilizes society, and creates the best and most secure structure for children. As for gender, recognizing that there are only two genders is simply an observation of reality. Lastly, the idea that abortion takes the life of an innocent human being also happens to be consistent with the Christian worldview, but is not a religious claim in and of itself.

In conclusion, if we care about the Gospel, we ought to care about politics as well. Politics should never become an idol, but should also never be considered a hindrance or off-limits in the life of the Christian.

For a more in-depth answer to this question, check out “State of the Church: In the World, Of the Kingdom.” This is a full-length documentary produced by Remnant Resources, which delves into the questions of Christians within culture and politics, as well as answering the questions “what is the church?” and “what is her role?” Check it out here.

For additional reading on the topic, see Legislating Morality by Norman Geisler and Frank Turek.

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