Should Christians Be Involved in Politics?

Sometimes Christians are their own worst enemy. There is an ideological battle going on among Christians. Should Christians involve themselves in the world by participating in politics, pursue advanced degrees in education, medicine, science and law, produce films, seek careers in journalism, and develop non-governmental programs for long-term social reform based on a well thought out biblical worldview? Or should Christians spend their life in so-called full-time Christian service and reject the world?

If Christians abandon politics and the courts, to name just two “secular” realms that impact us on a daily basis, it’s quite possible that the freedoms that we have to preach the gospel might someday be taken away.

What would happen in today’s world if what’s left of the salt and light of Christianity were withdrawn? Not only can’t a biblical case be made for a narrow shaping of the Christian worldview, it would be impossible, impractical, and frightening to attempt to defend and implement such a position.

A well-known pastor argues for a narrowly focused gospel agenda: “We are interested in people becoming saved. That is our only agenda. . . . It is the only thing that we are in the world to do.” The only thing?

Right after writing that preaching the gospel “is our only agenda,” he adds this caveat: “If we are going to see our nation transformed, it has to be done from the inside out, that’s our agenda.” But how? Can we do it from afar, cloistered behind the walls of the sanctuary? Could the Samaritan who helped the man who “fell among robbers” (Luke 10:30–37) have demonstrated compassion by only preaching the gospel. At the conclusion of the story, Jesus told His audience to “go and do likewise” (10:37). Where was the gospel in that story? Why can’t we preach the gospel and apply our faith? There is no neutrality. I can assure Christians everywhere that if we are not applying our faith, those opposed to our faith will be applying theirs.

While some argue that personal acts of mercy are warranted and encouraged by Scripture, being involved in politics is a waste of time, money, and energy when lost souls are at stake. If governmental policies are hurting the poor by making them dependent on the State, how can Christians ignore the political process that reinforces multi-generational poverty in the name of “social justice”?

The Bible has a great deal to say about the oppression of the poor by individuals and governments (1 Kings 21:1–16; Eccl. 5:8; Isa. 3:14; 10:2; Ezek. 22:29; Amos 4:1; Zech. 7:10). Saying “it’s the government’s job” to deal with poverty, jobs, and housing is akin to saying “go in peace, be warmed and be filled” (James 2:16). The poor today are oppressed more by governments than by individuals. A Good-Samaritan Faith requires Christians to get involved in politics in order to halt the oppression of the poor by policies that make people dependent upon the State.

No one I know is claiming that government can save anyone or that politics is a substitute for the cross of Christ except people who oppose a faith-based worldview. The Chick-fil-A controversy is a perfect example of how non-Christians want religion out of everything. If this every happened, it would be like Bane turning Gotham over to the revolutionaries.

As a nation, we are like Peter of Haarlem, the lockkeeper’s son who stuck his finger in a dike when he saw that his town was threatened by flood waters. Peter could have gone about preaching the gospel, but at the moment, the town needed to be saved from an impending disaster. We are about to be overwhelmed by a flood of governmental oppression.

This doesn’t mean that we should stop preaching Gospel, but it does mean that there are other duties for Christians to perform. The Christian faith and Christians are under attack. The day may come, because of our self-imposed silence, that we will be forced into silence as a matter of law. Then what will we do? I guess at that people Christians will look for a “rapture” to save them from the coming tribulation. Tell that to the millions of Christians who died at the hands of bloody 20th-century dictators. We need to grow up and take responsibility for this world.