A Christian perspective on politics

It’s election season again, so it’s a good time to ponder a Christian perspective on politics. I’ll be the first to admit that it’s not easy to consistently conduct oneself in a Christ-like manner while engaged in politics, but that’s true of all of life, isn’t it? Jesus never promised it would be easy!

Many Christians choose to avoid politics altogether. If that’s you, I’d encourage you to reconsider your position. God calls us to be good stewards of everything He gives us. He gave us a constitutional republic that gives us a voice in the governance of our nation, and we are obligated to steward that gift well.

If we participate, we can advocate for a God-honoring government. If not, others will fill the void with an “ungodly” government. Satan will oppose our righteous efforts and we will likely be ridiculed and mocked for our stances (see Jn 15:18), but that’s the nature of spiritual warfare (see Ephesians 6:12).

Our motives for engaging in politics matter too (see Proverbs 16:2)! We know this world is headed for destruction. Jesus calls Satan “the ruler of this world” (Jn 12:31) and says the present “Heaven and earth will pass away” (Mt 24:35), and that He will create a new Heaven and a new earth (2 Peter 3:13; Rev 21:1). So, our hope must never lie in “this” world!

Instead, our motive in everything (including politics) must be to love God, and love others, while we are “in” this world (Mt 22:37-39), even as we prepare ourselves and others for the “next” world! Jesus calls his followers the “salt of the earth” (Mt 5: 13) and the “light of the world” (Mt 5:14) for good reason.

As salt, we are to slow the decay in our spheres of influence, bringing blessings to all who live within that sphere. Less decay means more of God’s original design which brings blessings to everyone who experiences it! Laws that honor God stave off the decay that is harmful to “all” people, whether they believe that or not. We wouldn’t hesitate to protect a neighbor from harm. Elections give us the opportunity to protect millions of people from the harmful effects of an ungodly government.

As light, we are to point people to Jesus as the only source of “sure hope” in this life and the next. People need to hear “that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures” (1 Corinthians 15:3-4). Jesus warned that “the time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel” (Mark 1:15).

Satan seeks to eliminate Godly influence completely. Instead of Christians fleeing the political realm, we should be running headlong into the battle as missionaries bringing both God’s salt and God’s light into a dark and decaying world. Soli Deo Gloria!

The writer is the assistant to the pastor of First Baptist Church, Sidney.