Should Christians Get Involved in Politics?
Whether for the Christian to be involved in politics or not is an old question. The religious leaders of Jesus’ day wanted to trap Him with the question over whether He and the Jews should pay taxes or not. The story is recorded by the apostle Mark in his gospel chapter 12 and verses 13-17.
If Jesus refused to pay taxes, then the religious leaders could turn Him into the Roman authorities as a tax delinquent and law breaker. If He did pay taxes to Caesar, they could accuse Him of paying taxes to a heathen and foreign ruler over Israel. Jesus knew they were trying to trap Him and said, “Render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s and unto God what is God’s” (Mark 12:17). By this answer, Jesus was teaching that Christians should not keep out of politics by not doing their duties as good citizens.
Christians should get involved in politics as far as doing their civic duties: to serve on juries, to pay taxes, to vote, to support candidates they consider the best qualified. Christians are to bring God’s standards of righteousness and justice into public debate and into politics. They are supposed to express their views to government officials, all the way from school boards to the White House on moral and liberty issues.
The Christian’s Godly Example
The Bible teaches that Christians should endeavor to walk at “peace with all men” (Hebrews 12:14). Their loyalty to the established government and their exemplary citizenship will cause the onlooker to view their patriotism as above question. They are to reflect to the world the character of God in all of their actions that people may glorify God (Matthew 5:16). Therefore, our lights are to shine, not so that men may be attracted to us, but that they may be attracted to Christ, who is the light of life (Matthew 6:31–34; John 6:27).
Christians are also commanded to pray for and respect all governing authorities. Paul wrote, “Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior” (1 Timothy 2:1-3). Living a life that validates the Christian message, coupled with an earnest, tactful concern for the spiritual and material welfare of “all men,” fulfills God’s ideal for His children to the world.
God’s Kingdom Is Not of This World
Jesus often declared, “My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, My servants would fight, so that I should not be delivered to the Jews; but now My kingdom is not from here” (John 18:36). The goal of His incarnation was to set up the kingdom of grace and prepare the world for eternal life.
However, Christians have the assurance that even the most difficult issues in politics are in the hands of a sovereign God who is ultimately the Ruler of all (Daniel 2:21). Presidents and political leaders are under His direction and control (Daniel 4:17). He may allow evil to run its course for a season. But eventually, He intervenes and does not permit the powers of wickedness to triumph over His plans for the salvation of the world. Whether the Lord plans, allows, or intervenes, the unfolding of human circumstances are subject to His divine will and His overruling purposes have been carried out through the ages (Romans 13:1).
In His service,
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