Christian Involvement in Politics

Romans 13:4 tells us that government authority exists for our good. But good must be defined by Scripture; otherwise it becomes subjective and will be determined by the majority will. If no one explains what God expects in governing, then government officials will have an excuse to legislate their own morality. Christians as citizens in the state within which God placed them must therefore be actively involved in politics for its own good. 1 Peter 2:14 further explains that government is to punish those who do evil and praise those who do good. Again the question of the definition of good arises. Unless magistrates receive counsel from the religious community, mayors, senators, or presidents will not understand God’s view of good and evil or right and wrong.
Throughout history God has involved His people in advising or warning secular rulers. Daniel told King Nebuchadnezzar, the most powerful ruler on earth at the time: “Therefore, O king, let my counsel be acceptable to you: break off your sins by practicing righteousness, and your iniquities by showing mercy to the oppressed, that there may perhaps be a lengthening of your prosperity” (Daniel 4:27 ESV). Joseph, as Egypt’s second-in-command, often advised Pharaoh. Moses confronted the Pharaoh and demanded freedom for the Israelites. Queen Esther influenced King Ahasuerus and her guardian, Mordecai, became counselor to him.
In the New Testament, John the Baptist confronted officials about morals, even scolding Herod the tetrarch “for Herodias, his brother’s wife, and all the evil things that Herod had done” (Luke 3:19). In Acts 24, Paul addresses the Roman governor Felix “about righteousness, self-control, and the coming judgment.” Paul held Felix accountable for his conduct as a public officeholder and wife stealer. It is clear that Paul captured the governor’s attention, for in verse 25, Felix was disturbed and sent Paul away.
            The “God is dead” movement of the 1960’s attempted to make God irrelevant to the culture. Once God is removed from civic life, the remaining two characters - the individual and the state – will be free to determine their own morality. In other words, without Christian involvement in politics, there will be no counterbalance to the government’s declaration of what is best for the people. And what will and has occurred is the redefining of moral conduct. What was the old immorality is now the new politically correct morality. Isaiah 5:20 says, “Woe to those who call good evil and evil good.”

The Christian religion has always been the basis for judging this nation’s beliefs and values. The founding fathers understood a moral government is based in the Judeo-Christian ethic. When values are debated in government, religion is at the core - whether it be Judeo-Christian or Secular Humanism. When the Christian religion is banished from the public sector, then the vacuum created will be filled by paganism and religious secularism.

            Christians are citizens of two kingdoms – the kingdom of God and the kingdom of the state or nation that God has placed them. They have a duty to be involved for the betterment of man and the preaching of the gospel. Ephesians 5:11 exhorts us not to participate in evil, but to expose it. How can evil be exposed if Christians run from involvement in the society in which they live? We are called to be in the world, but not of it; and being in it is to influence it for Christ. In America one of the influences we are given is the vote; and therefore we are to exercise it for righteousness sake.