religion-politics

Being a responsible citizen can be an overwhelming task

Propositions. Measures. Referendums. Candidates. The daunting task of being a responsible participant in the democratic process can be overwhelming.

 

But should the church be a place where people find help in being good citizens? Is it appropriate for churches to endorse specific candidates? Where does political involvement fit in the mission of Christ’s Church?  

Do politics have a place in the mission of the church?

However a church decides to address politically related issues, it must not lose sight of its mission to display the glory of God through the gospel of his Son, Jesus. When people come to the meeting place of a local church, the preeminence of God must be evident. When God’s people gather, they gather to exalt, extol, and exult in the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Nothing should obstruct this supreme focus nor distract from its pursuit.

As it pertains to people, the church is called to make disciples of Jesus Christ who, in turn, can disciple others. Christ’s Church is not called to be a political agency. Making disciples of the nations is the necessary obligation of the church which must not be derailed by obsession with political issues.

How should the church equip God’s people?

So what is the church to do to help its people in the challenging task of being responsible citizens? Simply put, the church is to give people a controlling and compelling center for all decisions, including political ones. That center is God Himself.

Should the church ever address legislation?

Because we honor God by caring about the moral atmosphere of our community, we should appropriately use our legal options in a democratic society to support those laws that facilitate the blessing of future generations and oppose those laws that will harm them. To this end, the church should indeed help people understand the moral issues involved in any legislation.

Should the church ever endorse candidates?

However, not all aspects of politics are clearly black and white. Therefore, the church is unwise to endorse specific candidates. The views and future choices of any candidate can never be perfectly known and in every case will always be an admixture of perspectives and opinions some which we will agree with and others of which we will not. As well, a politician’s true impact can never be reduced to their view on any single issue.

So while the church must avoid specific endorsements, it must continue to educate and encourage people in their knowledge of, love for, and obedience to God so they can make wise, personal decisions regarding political candidates.

Should Christians get involved in politics?

As Americans, we not only have the high privilege of expressing our will in the political process, we have a responsibility to do so. As agents of salt and light, we should faithfully exercise our rights for the glory of God and for the good of our community, state, and nation.