Read: Proverbs 29:2
When the godly are in authority, the people rejoice. But when the wicked are in power, they groan. (New Living Translation)
Oh great! Just when you thought the midterm election free-for-all was over, within weeks we’ll launch into a full out war for the White House that will dominate the airwaves, print media and water-cooler conversations for the next two years. Like Christmas, political seasons come earlier and earlier—and this one’s going to be a doosy.
So what’s a Christian to do? Whatever your political persuasion or your beliefs about the mixing of Christ and politics, the Scripture makes it clear: We have an obligation to engage our culture at every level—including the political level—as ambassadors of the kingdom of God. Christ desires his people to invade this world, in every country, in every city, at every level, as his ambassadors representing the interests of his kingdom! And we must never apologize or retreat from that—even in our politics!
Contrary to what we’re being told today, it was for this very purpose that our forebears fled England for the new world. The pilgrims’ stated mission was clearly articulated in the Mayflower Compact: “For the glory of God, and the Propagation of the Christian Faith.” Those are our roots—our nation’s true birth certificate! Since that time, Christians have played a central role in shaping American government—and must continue to do so, even in this risky political climate.
Why? Simply because, as Charles Finney said, “God will bless or curse the nation according to the [political] course Christians take.” So if Christians don’t speak into our political process, who else will be the moral compass of our nation? Jesus said in Matthew 5:13,
“You are the world’s seasoning, to make it tolerable. If you lose your flavor, what will happen to the world? And you yourselves will be trampled underfoot as worthless. You are the world’s light—a city on a hill, glowing all night for all to see. Don’t hide your light! Let it shine for all.” (Living Bible)
Now having said that, just remember this: The key moments of history are not winning elections but transforming lives. So the most important thing a Christian can do for the good of their country is to leverage all their efforts for the ultimate goal of spiritual awakening, not political ascendancy. When we offer our political opinions, we must do so in a way that creates interest in the Gospel! I Peter 2:13-17 says,
“Make the Master proud of you by being good citizens. Respect the authorities, whatever their level; they are God’s emissaries for keeping order. It is God’s will that by doing good, you might cure the ignorance of the fools who think you are a danger to society. Exercise your freedom by serving God, not by breaking the rules. Treat everyone you meet with dignity. Love your spiritual family. Revere God. Respect the government.” (The Message)
Unfortunately, some politically active believers are shrill and obnoxious, not a winsome witness to the Good News. That is why many think we are “a danger to society.” But if we can engage with “respect for the authorities, whatever their level…treat everyone with dignity…and respect the government”, then our ultimate objective of transforming lives will be advanced.
Likewise, as we enage, we need to value God’s agenda over our party’s platform. Jesus said, “Make the Kingdom of God your primary concern.” (Matthew 6:33) Whenever possible, our political energies should be leveraged to vigorously promote kingdom concerns, such as:
Speaking out for the innocent and vulnerable! Proverbs 31:8 says, “Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute.”
Defending the poor and oppressed! Proverbs 31:9 says, “Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy.”
Confronting sin and moral decay! Proverbs 14:34 says, “Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a disgrace to any people.”
Working toward the peace and prosperity of Israel! Psalm 122:6 tells us, “Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: May those who love you be secure.”
By engaging in our political world assertively, respectfully, and Christianly, you and I will “make the Master proud by being good citizens.” And giving Jesus reason to be proud is what is most important!
“Our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a savior
from there, the Lord Jesus Christ…”
Your Assignment, Should You Choose To Accept It:
Memorize Romans 13:1-6 from The Message, “Be a good citizen. All governments are under God. Insofar as there is peace and order, it is God’s order. So live responsibly as a citizen. If you’re irresponsible to the state, then you’re irresponsible to God, and God will hold you responsible…Fulfill your obligations as a citizen. Pay your taxes, pay your bills, respect your leaders.”