Follower of The Way


The Christian and Politics

Posted in Christ and Culture,Christian Theology,Government & Politics by sosipater on May 1, 2007

Greg Koukl of STR (Stand to Reason) has a great article over at Townhall.com on the above mentioned topic: Political Passivity—Vice or Christian Virtue?
 As I was reading up on this issue some time back, Greg caught my eye as a thoughtful and balanced observer of the (especially American) Christian’s responsibilities when it comes to political involvement.

He helped me see why the “laws don’t change people’s hearts” mantra is foolish and also why the “Jesus and the Apostle’s never politiked” is also foolish.  They also didn’t have a web site:  Is that wrong too?

This is a thought provoking article and I hope to hear your thoughts on it.

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4 Responses to 'The Christian and Politics'

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  1. daxw said,

    Do people in the church really believe that Christians should not hold public office? I guess if someone thought that is ONLY way to change the course of a nation then their approach would be flawed. Some people do think that way. Others say we only need to preach the gospel. Why can’t we do both? That would be like having your cake and eating it too. Imagine living in a country that had Christians faithfully preaching the gospel to all they came across and many Christian men holding positions in leadership reflecting on the law of God in all of their decisions. It doesn’t seem far fetched to me. It wasn’t too long ago when our country did operate that way.
    I’m optimistic about the future. I guess because I assume that God’s remnant is being faithful to the sharing of the gospel and that eventually some of these individuals may hold public office. Of course, my citizenship is in heaven, but does that mean that I can’t desire to live in a nation that seeks to honor God while I wait for the glorious return of Christ?

  2. kennicon said,

    Dax:

    I think you’re right to a certain extent, but I’m not as optimistic as you. I have had a front row seat to local and national politics for most of my life and I’ve seen what it does to a person… if ever there was a case for the depravity of man.

    I absolutely think that Christians ought to vote, be vocal, and that a few should even hold public office. But I also think that a brother in office needs to understand the importance of God-centered accountability because the temptations are constant and the ethical/moral issues are thrown in a politicians face regularly. I tend to be very skeptical whenever a politician claims to be a Christian — unfortunately, the two “titles” don’t seem to go hand in hand anymore, but it doesn’t have to be that way. If we are looking forward to a new heaven and new earth (which I am!), I think we should do what we can to make this place as great as we can so that it might, in some way, reflect the beauty of what’s ahead in even a tiny way. I’ve gotten so burned on sell-out, wanna get re-elected, don’t care about anything else politicians that my vote has come down to only a handful of issues, abortion being the number one. Same-sex marriage is up there, education stuff, and foreign policy as it relates to war and philanthropy.

    I think it is also possible for Christians to get too involved in the political scene. I look at guys like Dobson (although I hate to group him with the next two…) and (ahem…cough…cough) Falwell, and Robertson and just cringe at the depths in which they dive into political issues, even going as far as making the bold assumption that Christians are Republicans. I’m conservative, but not a Republican — they’re usually just Democrats who are more fiscally responsible (although, I don’t think that could even be argued with the current administration). Christian’s are not called to be Republicans. I think it’s a shame that we’ve reduced our nation’s governmental system to two parties. Constitutionalists? Libertarians? I dunno… something else, please!

    Ultimately, I need to continually be reminded of the providence and supremacy of God. If He so chooses to turn this country to Himself, it will happen. I can only hope to be seen as faithful to Christ while He tarries and we bask in our sins as a country.

    Hope that all made sense — I’m tired and it’s late!

    Nick

  3. sosipater said,

    Dax/Nick,

    Great comments.

    Dax, you bring up most of the ideas I have been thinking for quite a while. I don’t consider myself either optimistic or pessimistic. Does it really matter? Shouldn’t we just devote ourselves to Gospel living, in all areas of life, and trust in the Sovereign providence of God. If things get better culturally, great! If they don’t, I won’t worry about it but keep trying to influence the world with the Gospel (which includes voting, political activity, because my understanding of how to participate in these areas should be informed and shaped by my understanding of God and the Gospel…remember the both/and?). I’m not endorsing a deterministic or slack attitude, just to do what we can and let God worry about the results. Doesn’t Jesus tell us that to be anxious about tomorrow is a sin?

    And your point about both/and as opposed to the either/or mindset is exactly what I think.

    Nick,

    Thanks for the comments man. I share most of your sentiments about the current state of politics, but lets be careful not to let that abdicate our biblical responsibilities. I know you wouldn’t do that, but we can’t just give up either. How this will work out practically is a complicated matter, i.e. third parties and all that. I agree Christians are not called to be one political party (a la Derek Webb) and (try to) refer to myself politically as a constituitional conservative.

    Ultimately, I need to continually be reminded of the providence and supremacy of God.

    Amen!

  4. daxw said,

    Nick,
    I share your skepticism(did I spell that right?) on politicians who claim to be Christian. My comment on being optimistic was a kind of tongue and cheek statement in regards to my post mil leaning. I thought Russ would have picked up on that and called me out on it. Many people in the church today equate their political party affiliation with whether or not you are a Christian. What a shame.

    Russ,
    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Ron Paul….


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