11Mar

Should Christians Be Political?

Some people ask me: “Why are you so political?” or “Why are you so religious?” And I retort back with this: Because I’m made for truth, so I love truth. It’s only the truth that sets people free and that truth is Jesus Christ. I’ll speak the truth even if my voice goes unheeded. The prophets of old spoke even when they knew it wouldn’t change the Israelites’ hearts. Naturally then, knowing and speaking the truth is valuable in God’s eyes regardless of whether it changes anyone. In fact, I leave the changing of hearts completely up to God.

Sometimes I’ll get political because as a Christian, I believe only the gospel saves and the government can only conserve. I hear people say, “Stop being political. Stick to Jesus.” But it’s precisely because I am a Christian that I am a conservative. People are enslaved or deceived by the idea that the government can fix our problems. I am being political only in the negative sense, which is to point out what the government can not do. A conservative wants limited government because it’ll let politics stay in the background of our lives as much as possible so that we can focus on obeying Jesus’ commands. 

What Conservatism Looks Like

Instead, I have seen a rise of Christians supporting policies that are the opposite of this. This puts the church in bondage to a lie, so I cannot help but be negatively political in a world that pushes for more politics because as conservatives we want less politics. The more conservative the government is, the less political the church and the world will have to be because we’ll see Jesus healing our problems instead. If there’s a spiritual battle for the individual mind, how much more so for the collective minds in politics where power is prominent?

I’m political because I need to be, not because I want to be. By being negatively political I am putting the focus back on Jesus. That’s what conservatism does. The poor are suffering? Obey Jesus’ command and help them yourself. The rich are greedy? Pray for them and give them the gospel. Let the government use the sword to protect the innocent, but don’t go on about how the government can save us all if only we gave them more power to do things (e.g., like redistributing wealth). This belief in the government is necessarily a positive view of politics, but Christians should differ.  Do not put your trust in rulers because they cannot save (Psalms 146:3).

So what should the Christian do then? I don’t think we should make debating politics our life mission. That’s just being positively political because you’ll inevitably think that changing or debating government policies will change people’s hearts. No, it will not. Instead we should focus on presenting the gospel to both the unsaved and the saved in such a way that we take focus away from the government and put focus back onto the church because that’s the root problem. This doesn’t mean we should not talk about politics at all. The gospel makes Christians conservative, but if we live in a society (or worse, a church) that makes the government the gospel then we’ll need to demolish that belief as biblically conservative principles do.

 

 

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