These are a few thoughts from a Christ-follower about the responsibility of people like me, and the churches we are members of, becoming actively and positively involved in life outside the church – including politics in particular.

Involved means much more than simply earning a living, or volunteering for worthy causes.  It must quite naturally include sharing and standing up for our values (views of right and wrong) and helping those expressing an interest in our faith structure, to find Christ by sharing the Gospel.  We are to be salt and light (Matthew 5:13-16) to all around us as we sojourn through this short life together on earth.

Before going on, let’s examine the origin and meaning of the word Politics to ensure we have the proper and complete understanding of it.  Our English word politics derives from a Greek word POLITIKOS.  Its short meaning is: “of or for the citizens”.  It’s full meaning encompasses the influencing of people, relations between communities, distribution of power, and the allocation and use of resources.  It is much more than the governance of a state or country, which is the all-too-common, too-limited view of what Politics really means.  And it is most likely that limited definition some churches use to explain their decision to “not be involved in Politics”.

But when we view the full meaning of Politics, scripture is clear God intends His children, His followers (especially church leaders), to spread the light of His standards of right and wrong – and to be the salt, the preservative, for a right-thinking, right-acting culture.  Of necessity, that will require calling those in public service (government) to account for and to correct wrong-thinking, wrong-doing as needed.  The Bible from beginning to end is replete with examples of God-following people calling governments (kings, mostly) to address and right their wrongs.

Let’s look at some examples. Saul began his rule of the Northern Kingdom (Israel) in 1050BC. David ruled over a united Kingdom of Israel in 1003 after ruling only Judah from 1010BC.  In 930BC Israel again divided into the Northern Kingdom (10 tribes) named Israel, and the Southern Kingdom (2 tribes) named Judah.  There were five prophets of God who counselled some 20 kings of Israel after 930BC until God ended that kingdom in 722BC (taken captive by Assyria).   Some 20 kings of Judah were counselled by seven prophets until God ended that kingdom in 586BC (taken captive by Babylon).  A reasonable take-away from this is that even though these prophets tried mightily to influence a king’s political behavior for good as God told them to do, many of the kings would not listen and correct theirs and the people’s  wrongs.  So God had to discipline the entire nation.  Is that in store for America?

Then, in the early New Testament era the Jewish faith and people were “governed” or led by the Sanhedrin, a council composed of roughly half Sadducees (aristocrats) and half Pharisees (legalistic religionists), which in turn were watched over by the occupying forces of the Roman Empire.  Jesus confronted the Pharisees often about their mistaken or exaggerated  beliefs in ruling the Jewish people.  He was even violent on two occasions when, incensed about the crooked money changers allowed to operate inside the Temple walls by the Pharisees, overturned their tables and threw them out of the Temple.  After Jesus’ death, the apostles and other Christ-followers held firm in their faith in support of the Gospel and their insistence of right over wrong by the Jewish rulers.  It cost all but one of the Apostles their lives.

There is also the extraordinary example of the Apostle Paul who travelled throughout the majority of the known world spreading the gospel message of Christ and standing up for righteousness and the Kingdom of God before many kings and rulers in the Gentile world.  Ananias, at Damascus, was told that Paul was God’s chosen instrument to take His message to kings, gentiles and jews (Acts 9:15).

What’s the point?  The point of this brief paper is that there is sufficient evidence throughout the Bible that God expects His church and all followers to impact the world’s system (under Satan’s control) with righteousness.  That cannot be done by those who say they won’t “get involved” in Politics.  Limiting our impact on the culture around us to only sharing the Gospel is not enough, mandatory though it is.

The obvious counter to those who espouse this view is that by our very existence in this world, we all are automatically involved in politics in its fullest sense. Politics is, after all, about people. So, for believers to say they won’t get involved in politics is to deny not only reality, but also to deny our call from God to be that much-needed “salt and light” to a lost and dying world.  So, again, it is time for all Christ-followers (especially pastors) who think wrongly about this vital topic, to seek forgiveness for their incorrect and damaging thinking.  Pastors must get serious about “Thundering From Their Pulpits”, again, to seek correction of wrongs in our culture and governments.  Others of us must prayerfully stand against any and all wrongdoing in our governments by writing, calling and/or attending their meetings to demand righteous change.  Our public “servants” must be held accountable to the good people of America and our God.

There has been a giant battle on this earth and in the heavenlies since man’s disobedience in Eden between two forces – wickedness and righteousness.  As in any war, when one side quits, the other side wins.  So, the “good guys” must get back in the fight!  If the truly wicked elements of our society get the all-out upper hand – and they’re close – America as we know her, will end.

Those who are truly serious about this and God’s call on their lives as His under-shepherds, leaders, or followers, should read Dr. Wayne Grudem’s exhaustive 601-page study entitled, “Politics According to the Bible” (Zondervan, 2010).  Its subtitle is “A Comprehensive Resource for Understanding Modern Political Issues in Light of Scripture.”  To do nothing is to accept defeat.

“The wicked will go down to the grave.   This is the fate of all the nations who ignore God.”  Ps 9:17

Tom McDonald – Author, Writer, Bible Student & Teacher, Retired Businessman, Retired Army Colonel 


14 June 2023

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