Christians and Politics – The General Idea
As the old joke goes - poli is a prefix meaning ‘many’ and ticks are bloodsucking insects’. The joke is funny because of the truth inherent in any given political system. When a class of citizens can make decisions to which they themselves are immune, you have a political class who drain the lifeblood from people who work. The famous philosopher once said “All the really smart criminals are in Congress.” So what should a Christian do in regard to politics? Vote for Liberals? Vote for Conservatives? Don’t vote at all? Is there even supposed to be a connection between the government and the Bible? These are important questions and the answers make all the difference to the direction and spiritual status of the country.
Yes, God most certainly cares about the government. The original form of human government was a system of judges, who were called by the Lord to serve the Hebrew nation. These judges made decisions based on what they knew to be true. The religious aspect of God’s people was handled by the descendants of Levi. God called the Levites to be the priests. The other tribes gave offerings to support the priests. The Levites did not govern over the people, they were the spiritual guides to help people understand and connect with the Lord God.
Human beings were very unhappy with God’s system so they demanded human kings. God gave them what they demanded, with the warning that this was a bad system which would have horrible results for the people. From that day until now, no human system of government has been as good for people as God’s original system of judges.
The Lord says that He establishes the governments and the rulers, and that He sets their times and places. We know from many examples in the Bible that whether the people of Israel were ruled by a good king or a bad king was directly related to whether or not they were following God. The Lord sometimes brought in foreign kings to rule over Israel, during times when Israel needed extra correction. All this was designed to help the Hebrews return to the Lord their God. The Bible says the goal was always reconciliation and restoration. Bad rulers were used in much the same way that a surgeon uses a knife – to remove the cancer (evildoers) and save the patient (Israel).
The Bible does not specifically mention the names of modern nations such as the USA or Russia. When we talk about the place of politics in the life of Christians, we can only apply biblical principles to make sure that we are not repeating the mistakes made by ancient Israel.
The core principle is given in Psalm 33:12 Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord. Christians should never support politicians who throw God out of public life. Public officials who say that Christian students should not be allowed to pray together or that the Ten Commandments must not be displayed on public buildings are in fact rejecting God. These officials should not receive votes from Christians.
What about ‘tolerance’? Some Christians have been led to believe that being a Christian means going along with every evil that comes down the road. We are told to accept and bless same-sex marriages for example. The Bible specifically says that men having sex with men, and women having sex with women is ‘an abomination to the Lord’. The behavior is sinful. No Christian bless this behavior. It is one thing to say that people have a legal right to their sins. It is another thing to say that Christians must bless the sin. This is where we are as a nation. If you do not openly bless the sin, you are condemned as ‘intolerant’. Sadly some very famous pastors have bought into the lie. They say we must go along with the ‘new Christianity’. They are rushing their congregations headlong into error.
The key to not being fooled is to study the Bible for yourself and discuss it with other people. Do not make the mistake of relying on any one preacher or teacher to tell you what the Bible says. Learn it for yourself, and then the preaching bolsters and encourages the growth of your faith. When it comes to the media (TV, websites, social media, movies), you will very rarely hear the whole truth about any given topic. Most media in the USA and Europe are owned and run by people with non-godly political agendas. There are of course some exceptions. The key to knowing the difference is to study the Bible so that you can tell when the media is lying to you.
A sad example of Christians believing the media are those who say they love God, who say they follow Jesus, and yet they are huge fans of anti-God policies. Why do some self-proclaimed Christians think they can support anti-God politicians and obey Jesus at the same time? You simply cannot follow two masters. You either follow the God of the Bible or you follow something else. It is the same with politicians. If a person follows Jesus, and they try to implement laws which conform to biblical principles, then we should support them. We need to be realistic about this also, no human being except for Jesus is perfect. No politician is going to get it right on every issue. Our vote should go to the best choice available at the time of the election.