Should believers be involved in politics?
Some Christians believe we should never get involved in politics. And some hold this view so closely that they refuse to stand for any political office and others to vote and looked down on others who do. They claim that they are following the example of the Lord Jesus Christ and that of the apostle Paul who allegedly, claimed that a child of God should never be involved in worldly affairs. In this post, were going to briefly look at this issue.
In the last 6 months over 2021 & into January of this year 2021, on the world stage political issues have been in the fore. Much of it has been very disconcerting and we wonder where on earth is this all going? As we concern ourselves with such matters we pray, but little changes – or so it seems.
Firstly, let’s briefly have a look at Jesus and politics. Some scholars use a famous quote of Jesus “Give Caesar what is Caesar’s” in the Gospel of as a directive to withdraw from all matters of politics. These scholars say that Jesus separated the political and religious worlds indefinitely, the two ought not meet. They argue that there is a realm where Caesar rules and another where God rules. Clearly, Jesus was not referring to politics, but to worship. In those days, the Caesars were regarded as living Gods. As a citizen of Israel and governed by Rome, they must give what is due to the government like paying taxes, but that is all, no Caesar worship is required for the child of God. Crucially, as a citizen of heaven, our worship belongs only to the One True God. He was instructing them to be observant of the governments laws and be faithful in worship.
Matthew 22:15-22, we read:
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 you are a good man and that you teach the way of God in accordance with the truth. You aren’t swayed by men because you pay no attention to who they are. Tell us then, what is your opinion? Is it right to pay taxes 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 portrait is this? And whose inscription?”
“Caesar’s,” they replied.
Then he said to them, “Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God what is God’s.”
When they heard this, they were amazed.
Let’s face it, Jesus was political, His preaching was tinged with political statements. His healings carried massive political implications for the ways we structure our world and understand our neighbour. He pointed out time and again the many injustices in the political and religious system of his day which serves as a lesson to us today. His execution was of the kind reserved for acts of political treason. That is, he was executed on a cross because the political authorities saw him as a threat to the political structures and order of his day. Also, the religious authorities saw him as a threat to their polity, sacred structures and practices – so he had to go. There is no denying it, Jesus was political. His preaching was political. His ministry was political. He mixed both politics with religion and changed them both.
Secondly, let’s look at the Apostle Paul and what he taught on the subject.
2 Timothy 2:4 we read…New King James Version
No one engaged in warfare entangles himself with the affairs of this life, that he may please him who enlisted him as a soldier.
In essence Paul was pointing out the issue of priority in Timothy’s life. The instruction to only to Tim and not one else. Certainly, we can generalise it it our particle call upon our life, but I really don’t think this applied to every Child of God.
The point that Paul was making to Tim is that he only has 8hours to work in a day so must use that time wisely to get the Gospel out. The first century, was a very dangerous point in time for all Christians. Persecution was the norm and preaching the Gospel was illegal in many areas. Therefore, there was an urgency to get the Good news out while they still could. People must have the opportunity to hear of the love of God that came down from heaven in the form of Jesus Christ before the freedom to preach was completely withdrawn. So, Paul was talking about priorities, not politics.
The first truth is that the will of God permeates and supersedes every aspect of life. It is God’s will that takes precedence over everything and everyone. The will of Gods is to preach the Gospel to every creature. However, it may be Gods will for you to enter politics.
As I have laid out in my book, Psalm 23 Unwrapped; Hope in difficult times, we need to seriously consider the context when interrupting our scared text. Jesus disciples and Pauls followers were called to share Gods love, not be involved in the political system of their day, but it may be different for you!
Travelling and spreading the gospel was their 24/7 job. Paul did not make the instruction to avoid worldly matters a matter of law for time and memorable like some Christians teach. Rather, Paul was pointing out the important matter of priority to Timothy who was just starting out in ministry. But still, some believers, preach that it is a sin for a Christian to be involved in politics, which is not what the Apostle Paul was saying at all.
We need to remember that our Western political, system is underpinned with democratic constitutions because Godly men and women have involved themselves in political issues making society a better place to live. Still some in parts of the world political leaders offer prayers in Jesus name at the start of their meeting. Sadly however, as society is becoming more humanistic, prayer is taken away. But there is still god news, I know that in the office area in the Houses of the British parliament are prayer rooms. I have meet one of the Christian Chaplains who prayer walks the Halls each day lifting the workers and politicians to God in Jesus name. It is Gods will that the Gospel of Jesus Christ be shared in every sections of society to influence people, who influence community, that influences society, and changes history.
On every level of society there are believers in the Lord Jesus Christ. And those believers share the love of God where they have the opportunity, so fulfilling the great commission of going into all the world preaching the gospel to every creature. Think about it, if all believers left the political arena how would that benefit humankind? No, there are believers who love the Lord Jesus Christ with all their heart who are entrenched in politics sharing the love of God by advocating and developing good and just policies.
We need Christians in politics! We need to pray them in, so godly laws can be made. We need Christians in politics, so the gospel can still be freely preached, and society will benefit.
Are you called to the political arena? If so, let me know and we will uphold you in prayer.
Until next time- Live Life on Purpose in Hope. Faith. Love,
Rev Paula 💕
My Blog posts are part of Paula Rose Parish Ministries for your encouragement.
📸 Instagram: paularoseparish2020
🌐 Website: www.paularoseparishministries.org.