Ep. 173 Why Christians Should Engage in Politics

Shows Main Idea – Someone asked me why I tweet political messages on my Twitter account. He then followed up by saying that politics stink. His question is worth exploring, and every Christian should evaluate their role in politics.

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Show Notes

The most obvious response to why I tweet political things is that the Bible does not forbid it. There are no Scriptures that prohibit a believer from engaging in politics, economics, and other disciplines and vocations that are part of how we live.

Each person has to determine at what level they want to engage politics. Engaging or non-engagement is not sinful necessarily. Each person has to purpose in his heart what is right for them to do.

Whether or not politics stink is an opinion, though it should be irrelevant in the sense that a lot of things “stink,” but potential messiness should not be prohibitive regarding a person’s engagement.

Some people say the church stinks, and they use that as an excuse not to be part of a local gathering. Others think similar things about the messiness of a person’s life. There are many “stinking things” in our fallen world. What would you expect (John 11:39; Job 19:17)?

Though the “stinkiness” of a situation should be part of your decision-making process, difficulty alone should not be the only data point when thinking about political engagement (Hebrews 12:1-2).

The best question for you to answer is how you’re going to be salt and light (Matthew 5:13-16) in our fallen world as you spread the fame of God near and far (1 Corinthians 10:31). We all have a sphere of influence, and there is no question that God calls us to share the message of Christ to everyone.

There are some Christians who believe their responsibility for sharing the message of Christ is for evangelistic purposes only. And a few of them have a tight definition of how to do that, which means sharing a Bible tract with a stranger exclusively.

Other Christians believe that religion and politics should never mix, which is improbable because you cannot segregate your ontology (state of being–who you are at your core) from what you do and where you do it. It would be like asking Christ to stop being Christ when it came to political endeavors.

Every Christian should strive to be Christlike no matter where they are or what they are doing. From a human responsibility perspective, part of the reason our country is the way it is today is that many Christians are passive when it comes to cultural engagement.

The reason it is impossible to separate yourself from politics is that it’s the air that we breathe. Economics is similar. I suppose a believer could say that we should separate religion from economics, but that attitude is just as improbable as separating from politics.

Politics is all around you. We submit to civil authorities. We hear political messages everywhere we go. We have opinions on political ideas. We’re pro-life when it comes to the personhood of a human at conception. We pay taxes for everything. We watch football players kneel during our national anthem.

It does not matter where you go; politics will be with you always. The decision you have to make is whether you’re going to insert your Christian worldview into the conversation according to the ability, time, calling, and influence that the Lord has given you. Or are you going to self-censor yourself?

  • How could you use your gifting to make life easier for others, from a political perspective? (Life in the womb, the elderly, freedom of religion?)
  • How much time do you want to allocate to political endeavors? (You can vote. What else? Teach your children a Christocentric political worldview?)
  • What is God calling you to do in the political space? (Some Christians choose to be electricians while others decide a political career. Neither are wrong.)
  • How much influence do you have regarding persuading others politically? (Your spouse, children, or friends?)

How to Engage Politically

  • You should be like Jesus. (Ironically, His execution was political.)
  • Follow the fruit of the Spirit template (Galatians 5:22-23).
  • Follow the “love chapter” template (1 Corinthians 13:4-7).
  • Keep in mind that God made your opponents in His image (Genesis 1:27).

The Upside

If you have an opportunity to make your world a better place to live out your Christlike life, wouldn’t it be wise to do what you can to accomplish this good outcome?

  • Would it be okay for you to sit passively on the sidelines while politicians create laws that keep you from sharing the gospel?
  • Is it right for you to keep silent when the government tells you that you cannot teach your children about Jesus?

Engagement Is Not an Option

You do engage in politics every day as politicians legislate for or against your Christian beliefs. You do have an opinion, and you should share your perspective on how our country should live morally. If God can use you to slow down the “cultural, political tsunami” that has been overrunning us for decades, wouldn’t it be wise to speak now?

Somewhere between building a theocracy–priests running the government–on earth and political passivity should be millions of Christians using the wisdom of God to create a better world as we exalt Christ without restriction so many will experience salvation.

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