SHOULD CHRISTIANS PARTICIPATE IN POLITICS?

There are Christians who want nothing to do with politics. They consider it a worldly matter and much too underhanded. So they avoid having anything to do with politics. When there is nothing in the Bible to justify such an attitude that’s a shame.

Consider The Parable of the Good Samaritan. Jesus told the parable to illustrate what it means to love our neighbors. He told of a Jew who had been beaten, robbed, and left to die. He told of the Samaritan who rescued that Jew.

What if Jesus had told a different tale? What if the Samaritan had arrived just as the robbery was taking place? What if that Samaritan had drawn his sword and helped the Jew fight off the robbers? Would that have made his concern for his neighbor too worldly — too political? Is the soldier or the policeman who defends his fellow citizens from wrongdoers too worldly — too political? If we act to prevent a robbery are we being unChristian? If we are Christians, can we only help our neighbors after thieves have beaten and robbed them? Did Jesus actually suggest any such thing? Then where do we get such nonsense?

Does the confusion come from Matthew 10:16?

Matthew 10:16 Today’s New International Version (TNIV)

“I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves.

To be as innocent as doves, do we have to refrain from politics? Did Jesus’ disciples refrain from all political acts? Didn’t the Jews of that day live under a theocracy? When Jesus established a new covenant, were the Jewish leaders wrong to regard that as a political act? Perhaps. Yet they did, and Jesus knew they would.

Does the confusion come from John 13:34-35?

John 13:34-35 Today’s New International Version (TNIV)

“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

Is it an act of hatred to take part in politics? What if the Golden Rule dictates your political beliefs?

Matthew 7:12 Today’s New International Version (TNIV)

So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.

Does the confusion come from John 15:19?

John 15:19 Today’s New International Version (TNIV)

If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you.

Yet Jesus told us what to do in Matthew 22:15-22.

Matthew 22:15-22 Today’s New International Version (TNIV)

Paying the Imperial Tax to Caesar

Then the Pharisees went out and laid plans to trap him in his words. They sent their disciples to him along with the Herodians. “Teacher,” they said, “we know that you are a man of integrity and that you teach the way of God in accordance with the truth. You aren’t swayed by others, because you pay no attention to who they are. Tell us then, what is your opinion? Is it right to pay the imperial tax to Caesar or not?”

But Jesus, knowing their evil intent, said, “You hypocrites, why are you trying to trap me? Show me the coin used for paying the tax.” They brought him a denarius, and he asked them, “Whose image is this? And whose inscription?”

“Caesar’s,” they replied.

Then he said to them, “Give back to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God what is God’s.”

When they heard this, they were amazed. So they left him and went away.

We cannot rightfully make Caesar our god. If our political beliefs cause us to render unto Caesar what rightfully belongs to God, then we have sinned. We have idolized Caesar. And if we take for our God what rightfully is Caesar’s, then we sin. We steal from our neighbor his right to seek and find God without our interference.

88 thoughts on “SHOULD CHRISTIANS PARTICIPATE IN POLITICS?

  1. Mo Johnson – Sorry, but I am mystified. What exactly do you think we are debating? I believe the Bible, but I don’t agree with your interpretation. I don’t see where the Bible commands us to hands over our individual responsibility to be charitable over to the government.

    Here are two questions for you. How do you give over your personal responsibility to love your neighbor to government? How can you use government to force your neighbor to love his neighbors?

    Like

    1. Tom, through out all of this I kept my mouth shot. for you and tony held a great debate going; I even took some notes from both! As i read the big ole response from Moe earlier, I was tempted to pull out my Bible with no yellow markers out and respond, But my better half told me to be quiet, and I m so pleased i listened to her advise, for you got the Icing of the cake ‘)
      God bless you an all your readers
      A’

      Like

      1. wdednh – Have you ever read “The Screwtape Letters” by C. S. Lewis? It is a frightful little tale. In this tale Lewis tells the story of a nasty little demon. Each of us has one that chases us, trying to drag us down. How do we win against our personal devil? We strive to hear God’s voice. We heed His call to love Him and our neighbors.

        How do we love each other? I think that begins by seeing a bit myself in other people having pity for what I find there.

        Like

    2. Hi all, this is where conservatives tend to drift away from reality. The thing is that “government” is us. You, me, Tom — we ARE the government (along with many others). The government is not some entity unrelated to us.

      Now, a non-christian conservative has no conflict with supporting greed and selfishness and individualsm — over love, community, justice and righteousness.

      But, a christian does not have that option. Christians must work to build God’s kingdom on earth. We do that through individual charity — but more importantly we are commanded to do it by promoting systemic justice. That can only be done through changing the system, the community, the government, our government.

      Of course we may not succeed, but we must try. Peace, love, justice, mercy, sharing, lifting up the poor, the immigrant, God’s creation — those are the things that define a christian. It does not matter if you call yourself a christian if you do not live like one.

      God bless.

      Like

    1. Actually you didn’t respond to anything I said. You were completely non-responsive creating a non-existent tar baby (socialism) and then ripping it apart. First, my comment above is about what it means to be a christian. Your response does not address that or anything else I said.

      YOu go off on a tangent railing against socialism. I guess maybe you are saying that you think Jesus calls for socialism (since I certainly didn’t; I merely quoted Jesus).

      What I say is we should work together to make the world a better place; more righteous; more Godly; we should join in and promote God’s kingdom on earth and in heaven. If we don’t, we’re simply not christians.

      We can use the term “christian” but unless we “do” and “be” as Jesus — then we are not christ followers; we are not christians.

      The primary way we can make our society more just and righteous; more Godly — and please God is by working for justice. That means not wasting our resources on a few selfish, rich people — but rather using them to make the world a better place for all of us.

      i know you will not publicly agree with me — yet. but think on these things a bit. I think you will come around one day. I did.

      mo

      Like

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