Christianity & Politics: Not Mutually Exclusive


 Part of my business as a Christian is to be a good steward of the authority given me in Genesis 1:28.  “And God blessed them and said unto them, be fruitful and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing which moveth upon the earth.”  God did not exclude this authority from any activity on earth, including politics!

Our sovereign God, whose authority is sovereign, created us in his image (Gen 1:27).  We, then, are sovereign creatures.  Though our God given individual sovereignty is limited to earthly expression, it is nonetheless our responsibility to discern rightly the expression of our authority.   This concept is known as free will (choice).   The ultimate expression of this authority is our acceptance or rejection of God’s  perfect expression of love, salvation via Christ the Son of God.

As a Christian, as an American citizen, our lives are a stage, a meandering of choices, that serve either the purposes of God or that of Satan.  Just as we cannot escape the progression of time, we cannot escape our place in this progression.  We must choose a path, be it good or otherwise.  We cannot extricate ourselves from the journey, even as death moves us forward towards heaven or hell.  Whether through our founding documents, historical precedent, or contemporary rule of law, our individual and collective Christian journeys are inextricably intertwined with our national political process. We ignore this relationship at our own peril. 

Nowhere in the Bible does God absolve us from free will “choice” nor does He negate our responsibility for said expression.  God clearly states what he expects from His children.  Whether it be marriage defined, stewardship, organization of the church, or sexual behavior, the Scripture leaves no stone unturned, including politics.  In Deuteronomy, God gives political instruction.  He qualifies the attributes of a proper earthly king, and He commands the Israelites to choose one.  

In Hosea, God holds them responsible for their choice.

From the Facebook Page of Dr. Michael Farris, Chancellor, Patrick Henry College comes a most succinct explanation concerning God’s expectation of His children.  One of his students sent him the following note:

Dr. Farris, I have some Christian friends who do not participate in any political action (not even voting). They base this on the fact that God is in control of everything. “Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God.”(Rom. 13:1, NIV, emphasis added). It is difficult to converse with them on the subject because they automatically accuse me of questioning the sovereignty of God. How would you respond to this? Thank you for the help.

Dr. Farris responded:

They remind me of the person who insisted that John 16:3 was his favorite Bible verse. That verse says, For they have done this because they know neither the Father nor Me. I think they meant John 3:16 but were only barely familiar with the Bible.

Your friends need both Scriptural teaching and knowledge of American history and law.

On the Scriptural side. Have them read two passages from the Old Testament. Deut. 17:14 through the end of the chapter. And Hosea 8:1-4. The first passage teaches the children of Israel how to choose a king. Why would the people need to know how to choose a king if God just makes it happen by fatalism? The Hosea passage indicates that Israel was being punished for choosing the wrong leaders. How can God punish people for choosing wrongly if His choice always prevails?

On the law/history side, here is what they don’t know. This passage doesn’t say RULERS. It says “authority”–which is the right translation from the Greek. Who is the governing authority in the United States? There are two answers–the People and the Constitution. Elected officials are not the authorities in the ultimate sense.

Your friends have been placed by God in the role of a sovereign voter. If they fail to vote they are failing to carry out the role in which God has placed them. They are in sin. It is the same as a King of Israel saying…”I don’t feel like carrying out my duty as king. I want to be a peasant.” God placed the King in place, his duty is to rule. God placed your friends in place as sovereign voters.

Tell them you are saving them from serious sin by encouraging them to vote. Otherwise they will have to answer to God for their neglect of their spiritual offices.

God instructs His children to exercise their God given authority within the realm of politics.  To avoid participation in the process is the path of least resistance.  Though we are not called to be of the world, we are expected to emulate Christ’s example in the world.  Christ did not remove himself from the politics of his time.  Neither should we.

  Copyright ©Sandra Robles  


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