3 reasons Christians shouldn’t avoid getting involved in politics
As the 2022 midterm elections approached, I heard many Christians say, “I try to stay out of politics” or “Politics can be so dirty, so I avoid it.” These remarks are often rooted in the misconception that political engagement is an improper calling for any genuinely Christian person because politics is inherently corrupt.
For those of us discouraged by the generally negative tone and atmosphere of the political arena, avoiding it might be a tempting choice. However, this is not a perspective that Christians with a biblical worldview should adopt.
America continues to decline in Christian values and moral integrity. The religious community can no longer afford to sit idly by and abdicate its role in government and politics. Here are 3 biblical reasons why Christians should reassess their aversion to politics:
It’s a matter of obedience
What if we face so many problems in our society because believers who have been called to serve in government have disobeyed? What if they ignored the call on their life due to fear or other reasons, and what we see around us is the result of that decision?
In John 8:31, Jesus made it clear that those who obey are his disciples. If you are truly a Christian, you strive to be obedient and to know and follow the teachings and example of Jesus Christ. What if obedience to God was used in politics?
With recent world events, it has been said that we live in a time of “existential fear”. But fear is the absence of faith. Many Christians are afraid to enter politics because they fear becoming corrupt. While this is a healthy fear, we as Christians are not encouraged to avoid other professions that hold the potential for corruption or danger. So why avoid the political arena? And, as in everything we do, aren’t we called to walk by faith?
Psalm 91 is a treasured biblical passage for many. But let’s look at something you might not have noticed in verses 1-3: “Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord: ‘He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.’ He will surely save you from the trap of the fowler and the deadly plague.
If you’re like me, you’ve probably read this passage a hundred times and never paid much attention to this word, but do you know that the word plague has a broader definition than just the meaning of plague or of illness? According to Oxford English Dictionary, one definition is, “that which is morally pestilential or pernicious; pestilence or moral wrongdoing, misconduct, malice; which is harmful to the peace or public welfare.
If we trust Him, God is able to save us not only from deadly diseases, but also from those things that corrupt morally.
If our nation prospers, we prosper too
In Mark 12:31, Jesus says, “Love your neighbor as yourself. Philippians 2:3-4 tells us, “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vanity. On the contrary, in humility, place others above yourselves, do not care about your own interests, but each of you about the interests of others. It is in Jeremiah 29:7 that Jeremiah says to the exiles of Babylon: “Seek also the peace and prosperity of the city where I have brought you into exile. Pray to the Lord for this, for if he prospers, you will prosper too.
If we disobey this order, the city suffers. We know we must pray, but we must also seek the welfare of the city. It is the call to cultural engagement. Whether we are trying to feed the poor or serve in government, we are commanded to love our neighbor and seek the welfare of the city. How can we seek its well-being if we are not involved in the governmental processes that determine that well-being? If we are called to serve in this way and ignore that call, could the fruit of that disobedience be what we see spreading through our world?
We are uniquely equipped
Christians are desperately needed in politics because if they are real genuine Christians, they are people of integrity. They are called to a higher level than non-believers, and they answer to someone other than mere voters.
Matthew 5:13-16 reveals that true Christians are salt and light. The light shines best when it’s dark! We’re not perfect, but we know who we are and who we belong to, and that’s what makes us different. A true Christian is a follower of Christ. We obey the Word of God and are sensitive to the Holy Spirit. We are led by the Spirit of God. If someone is truly following God and walking in obedience, that person will naturally have a higher level of integrity. If there is one area where we need more people of integrity to serve, it is politics.
We all know that politics can be dangerous to the soul. The temptations, pressures and scrutiny can be enormous. But if you are called into this arena, God will equip you to withstand all these things. So maybe our nation, our states, our cities, our counties and our school boards seem to be because we have allowed others to play the role that we are supposed to have – a role for which God has specially equipped us than anyone else. By abdicating this role, we may have allowed someone else, who is not equipped, to take it in its place.
In Exodus 3:11, Moses questions God’s call on his life: “Who am I to go to Pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of Egypt? But God gives him what he needs to do the job he asked him to do. Otherwise, how could we get godly officials and leaders unless godly people run for office? Are we so lacking in faith that we believe that God cannot handle the things that happen in politics?
If Daniel can be protected in the lion’s den, David can defeat Goliath and God can split the Red Sea for the same Moses who doubted himself, what can he do for you if you just walk out in faith and to trust him?
There is no better time than the present for Christians to engage in the political process. With God on our side, we can use our gifts and talents to make a difference in our government and create a better place for the next generation.
Terri Hasdorff is a former congressional candidate and executive-level leader with over 20 years of experience in fundraising, government and politics. Hasdorff is the author of “Running Into the Fire: Why More Christians Need to Be Involved in Politics,” published September 2022. Packed with perspective, the book discusses how believers can effectively influence government and push back against the liberal socialist agenda. .
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