Ever since I can remember, I have heard that no one should be involved in politics—especially Christians. I have heard it from well-meaning pastors that I have loved and respected over the years, proclaim this from pulpits—
perhaps not realizing that of all they preached that service, this one statement would be etched in the minds of their listeners for years to come. No scriptural principle or message outline will ever resurface, but the fact that the preacher said we are not to be involved in the political process—that will forever be mentioned at Sunday dinners across that land! And I will go a step farther, Satan has used this mishap of a principle to his advantage and to our Nation’s demise.
Just where this thought originated is puzzling to me, as the Bible is filled with examples of individuals that God used in the role of government. Samuel comes to mind. He was used to fulfill both political and priestly duties for Israel, but he ushers in Israel's monarchy mainly as a prophet—one who pronounces God's words and decisions.
Then, there is David. He was a strong but unassuming shepherd boy who was God’s choice to replace Saul as King of Israel. He was humble, yet confident in His God—always ready to dismiss opinions of others. As a youth, he portrayed great strength in the God of Israel. Further, he displayed humility when he refused the opportunity to use the king’s armor. When the shepherd finally became king, his foremost desire was to be obedient to God. I’m reminded that when David seemed to have embarrassed his wife because of his dancing as he marched into Jerusalem, he rebuked her saying he was completely fine with embarrassing himself…if it pleased God.
I also think of Joseph and how God orchestrated all the misgivings of his life to bring him to power in Egypt. Being one of the twelve sons of Jacob, it was because of his relationship with God that he was able to interpret Pharoah’s dreams and literally save Egypt from famine. Rewarding him, Pharaoh named him second in command of Egypt—which prospered during the drought under his leadership.
Additionally, Daniel must be included when we consider leaders of national and political significance. Though he was actually a prisoner of war, being taken from Jerusalem to Babylon, he would become the favored adviser of King Nebuchadnezzar. It was his faithfulness to God that would elevate him to an influential position in the kingdom. Even when the Persians overran Babylon, Daniel continued in his faithfulness to God; thus, he prospered under their rule.
We could literally go through the Scriptures and point out that the people of God have not only been involved in the political process of the nations, but that God raises up these people to lead. There is an old adage that I have used from time to time in speaking, “You can’t be so heavenly minded, that you are no ‘earthly’ good”—that very well could be flipped to say that someone is not of much heavenly value when they are consumed with the material things of earth.
The people I have met that believe we should never be involved in the political direction of the Nation or State, seem to wrongly believe that a believer most pleases God when they attend church services every time the doors are unlocked, and keeps their nose clean at home—by that I mean “not making much noise,” or “not living in open sin.” While confessing our sins to God daily and living uprightly is exactly what our Lord desires of His people, when exactly are we supposed to be salt and light to the world around us? Is not this a command from our Lord?
Let’s assume that your church meets three times weekly—twice on Sunday, and Wednesday evening for Bible study. Whether we like it or not, each of us live 165 additional hours a week IN THE WORLD. While the church-house should never be forsaken, being salt and light in this world SHOULD NEVER BE AVOIDED—rather it should be PRACTICED! For so long we have lived under the stigma that God doesn’t want us to be “involved” in this world. He only wants us to build churches, Christian schools, and build budgets. As a pastor, I can testify that church work permeates our home life—our lives revolve around church activities. However, the average person is not in local church ministry around the clock—they are in the secular world making a living for their families. To tell them not to live out their faith in the workplace would be totally against the teachings of the Word, yet many good men over the years have instilled into a generation that they should not live out their faith in the public square! As a result, we are now governed by a godless realm that tease and test God daily, as if they are challenging Him to a dual! They vehemently crucify the commandments of God on a daily basis—never considering or caring about consequences of any nature.
The pitiful statement, “Christians should never be involved in politics,” has cost us greatly as a Nation, as well as the Church. Only eternity could reveal how many babies we could have saved from the murderous knife of an abortionist, or how many minds of our young people have been contaminated to the point of no return—causing them to forever reject Christ ’s gospel, thus, damning their souls to hell, just so we can gloat to everyone that we served the Lord and stayed out of the political arena.
Can we say we have really “served the Lord in this matter?”
I am not a fan of anyone who will take the easy road of “not getting involved.” Our national sin is abortion where as of this writing, some 64 million babies have been murdered for the sake of convenience—the shirking of responsibility. Sexual intercourse creates new life. If a person isn’t married and ready to have children, then they need to learn self-control—stop murdering children because they are exercising their own lust and the next day they look at this step as a medical procedure to remove “a tumor” as it were! No! That child is a baby, a human being, that was created by two people that allowed their sexual lusts to do their thinking for them. Let’s call it what it is—it’s murder. It’s sin, and it is our national blight—proponents of abortion have simply used it as a “get out of jail free” card, to shirk the responsibility of their actions. The political system has only enabled this, many politicians taking their stand for the issue to gain votes at the ballot box to remain in power—specifically in liberal areas. I cannot help but think that if believers had been salt and light to this Country as we were commanded in the Word of God, this number could have been less—perhaps this number could have been zero!
Jesus said in Matthew 5:13, “Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.”
Salt is not antiseptic, but aseptic. It doesn’t cure corruption; at best it only prevents the spread of it. Had we been salt in this Nation in a stronger sense, perhaps we could have changed the result. At once, you may shout to me, “But we had Billy Graham in the past and he was doing crusades all over this Nation and the world! He was getting people saved all over!” Billy Graham was doing what God called him to do, but were you?
Only heaven can reveal the true impact that Graham made on our world, but the impact that was equally needed was believers following the scriptural mandate of being salt—preventing corruption. Yes, it was wonderful seeing the hundreds of people coming down the aisles to be saved at his meetings, BUT if we think this is what was going to keep America a nation that honored Christ, obviously we were wrong. Dead wrong. Evangelism was only part of it—this is a mandate from our Savior that we have viewed given primarily to the corporate body of the Church, not necessarily to the individual believer. Our erroneous behavior has more than caught up with us. The mandate for each individual believer is to live our lives for Christ, honoring Him in every decision we make, and doing it all for His glory! In doing so, we become that proverbial salt to society, that prevents corrupt manners and motives. This is what our Lord desired for us to do, not just every four years at the ballot box, but EVERY DAY! Salt prevents corruption—we must be that preventative agent in a godless world.
Then, there is light. The role of light is quite different from that of salt, which prevents corruption. Light dispels darkness, it vanishes! It may well be too late in this Country to be salt, as we are well aware of the corruption in our Land as a result of our sins, but it is not too late to be Light. Light doesn’t discriminate, it shines everywhere. Our light must shine so the darkness flees everywhere—in our churches, our communities, and our Country! We should have our high-beams on every day!
Matthew 5:14-15 says, “Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house.”
Darkness and light cannot co-exist. If you do not believe that statement, simply go in your home tonight and flip the light switch off. You will quickly get my point…your room will be filled with darkness. Flip it back on, the darkness flees—no matter how many times your perform that experiment, the result will always be the same. Which invites the conclusion that light causes darkness to flee; this is exactly what our Lord was speaking about when He continued “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven,”—light dispels darkness and I might add, that by contrast it is the light’s job to invade darkness! There is no other purpose for light—it was created by God to invade the darkness with such force that darkness immediately vacates the premises.
Now if we “stay out of politics,” how can we be what God wants us to be in this ministry of SALT and LIGHT? I would argue it is impossible. Each day that is given to us by God, we influence people around us. Do we influence them for God’s glory? Do we influence them at all? Do they look at us? Does our Christ-saturated life cause them to speak differently and perhaps act more wholesome? Do they know that if they come to you with an off-color or vulgar joke, you will not find this funny in the least? If this is you, you are exercising your ministry of being salt and light to your neighbors. Being a follower of Jesus Christ, they should know how you view things in the world. Should they only know that you attend church, which has little to no effect on them? The crux of the matter…how deep your relationship is with Jesus Christ determines how bright your light shines. This is what our Lord said to do.
So, how does Christ fit into your way of life? How does He fit into your narrative? The question for us should not be, “Should Christians be involved in politics,” rather it should be “How does Christ fit into your politics?”
Recently, more pastors have risen up and announced that they intend to seek public office. While many have garnered much support, some people are reluctant to consider a pastor due to their higher calling. The calling of God to preach the Gospel is irrevocable, yet it isn’t always exclusive. For a number of years I was bi-vocational in ministry as was the apostle, Paul—yet even then, there were “full-time” pastors that saw me as unsuccessful and not on the same level as they were—sad, but this is true. They saw me as not “fully committed, I was obviously not “walking by faith,” and some thought because I did not have a large enough ministry to support our family, I must lack the educational training, or perhaps I wasn't even called by God at all! However, scripture plainly teaches that all the apostles and every leader in the early church were bi-vocational—they had other means of supporting themselves and their families. The Lord did not have an issue with this, as He is the One that provided their work.
What’s the difference in running for office, exercising your influence for Christ in a public setting, and working this as a “second job?” Just what is the difference?
Sure, anyone can come up with an argument! No doubt, this kind of “second job” could become the “tail that wags the dog” so-to-speak. Thus it could very well take away from the ministry, doing it harm.
However, that could be said of any type of work the minister had also given commitment.
Now, please understand that my intention is not to incite an argument or “stir the pot”—my purpose is to provoke thought as to why some see it out of character for a believer to stand for Christ and His principles in the public square. Are their reasons based on biblical convictions?
Or, is it preference—based on fear of what people will think, attacks on their character, integrity, and Christian faith that comes when a believer draws that line in the sand for Jesus Christ? If I am being forthwith in the matter, it primarily appears that no one wants to get out of their comfort zone. This is most regrettable. Paul told the Romans “be not conformed to this world…” Some may seek to use this to stay out of decision-making roles that are political in nature—but this verse is not teaching that all.
The word “conformed” means “to be pressed into a mold by force.” Paul is very strongly saying “do not be pressed into the mold of the world…” The implication is clear. The apostle is teaching us to resist being pressed into a mold of the world’s making.
We do not seek to make our government a theocracy as the Left claims, we seek to stop in its tracks, the tyrannical rule that threatens our Land, our children, and their future. We will not be pressed into a mold for their use and abuse. We will stand. We will not back down. We will fight for the unborn, the children, and the elderly. We will stand.
Resist. Swim upstream. Go against the flow. Stand—like a rock undaunted.
Stand for truth----with all your might.
Will it be popular? No.
Will it be uncomfortable? Probably.
Will you receive criticism? You bet!