Thursday, January 12, 2012

Christians and Politics

1 Timothy 2:1-2 "First of all, then, I urge that entreaties and prayers, petitions and thanksgivings, be made on behalf of all men, for kings and all who are in authority, so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity."

Today I ask the question, should Christians get involved in politics?

Pastor John MacArthur recently said in a sermon:

There was also a time (not so long ago) when Americans universally disapproved of homosexuality, adultery, and divorce; they believed sexual promiscuity is absolutely wrong; they regarded obscene language as inappropriate; they saw abortion as unthinkable; and they held public officials to high moral and ethical standards. Nowadays, most of the behavior society once deemed immoral is defended as an inalienable civil right.

He went on to say that many Christians believe the there is a political solution to the problem in politics today. Is this true?

We saw the overwhelming response by citizens to irresponsible politics at the beginning of the TEA Party movement in 2010. This group is largely made up of Christian Conservatives. There is no doubt about the affect this movement has had on the political spectrum. Many Congressmen and women were voted out of office or just plain retired as a direct result of their performances recorded at Town Hall meetings by TEA Party members.


The TEA Party has successfully brought to the forefront the power of influence a Grassroots movement can have as evidenced by the media's obviously biased portrayal of TEA Partiers or by their lack of media coverage of certain TEA Party events.

But should Christians form a Grassroots movement to influence or change the political spectrum? Many Christians would have to answer no when asked if they pray daily for those in authority over us. I confess I hardly ever pray for the President, Congress, or the Governor even though I know their decisions have a direct impact on my life.

Paul urged believers to pray for those in authority over us...not for the authority figure's sake, but that we all may live peaceable and tranquil lives in all godliness and dignity. Who doesn't want that?


At the time Paul wrote those words to Timothy (62-64 AD), many Christians lived under the rule of Emperor Nero. In 64 AD, Nero started the great fires of Rome and blamed the Christians. The horrific persecution of the Christians began.

Yet Paul begged believers to pray for the rulers over them.

Whether or not Christians should get involved in the political world, one thing remains true. We are begged by our brother Paul to PRAY for those in authority over us because they were placed there by God Himself for a specific purpose.

That we may lead peaceable and tranquil lives in all godliness and dignity.




  1. As a pastor, my answer to Christians who ask this question is an emphatic "yes!" There is no area of existence that should not be transformed by the Gospel that transforms us. The answer to the problems which plague our country will not be found in the political arena, but we need to be in the fight. I think of it this way: we need Christians fighting for good public policy, while churches work within their local cultures and the Holy Spirit changes hearts, transforming the citizenry. God has called men to lead us well; we need Godly men to answer the call.

    We also need to keep in mind that the majority of those who voted for our current President, and many of those who avidly support his policies which run counter to Scripture, identify themselves as Christians. And so before we Christians can change a country, we need to work within the church to ensure than those who would identify as Christians are actually disciples of Jesus Christ, teaching and (more importantly) doing the things he taught us and modeled for us to do.

  2. Intersting point about supporters of the President, Charles. I received an email from the Christian Research Institute today about this very subject. How funny is that. In it, Hank Hanegraaff gives pointers for Christian wanting to get involved in the political arena. He also includes this quote:

    I am aware that the outcome of the upcoming presidential election could have significant, and even negative, consequences for people’s lives, but we don’t need to worry. In the larger scheme of history, no matter who becomes our next president, God is still King, and He is still in control!
    — Andrew Jackson

    Thanks for your comment!

  3. The so-called "Christian Right" (referring to political persuasion) impresses me as no better for the "peaceable and tranquil lives in all godliness and dignity" than the fundamentalist faction of the Muslim religion.

    Here's an undeniable, objective fact: The advocates of every religion genuinely believe theirs is the "True" religion.

    The more religion there is in the world's political arena the greater the potential for global conflicts. It's that way now, it's always been that way and there's no reason to believe it will be any different in the future.

    In my opinion, John Lennon had it right: IMAGINE

  4. Thanks for visiting, Gary. In the New Testament, nowhere did Jesus command His followers to become involved in the governments of their time. Jesus could have been involved, but He wasn't. He said, "Render unto Caesar what is Caesar's..." but He never commanded His disciples to protest Caesar.

    The Apostle Paul commands us to pray for those in authority over us and pay our taxes...but nowhere does he command us to get involved in the governments of our time.

    Interesting, isn't it? When you look back at the history of the Catholic church and how the Popes had so much power that they could dethrone Kings and how they abused that power, it shows us how difficult it could be for Christians to be in politics or government, you know??

    1. I think you're right, Ruth. And speaking of the apostle Paul, I'm not even sure he existed, at least not in the manner in which he is traditionally portrayed by the Church. Kenneth Humphreys provides a remarkably well researched paper on this matter:

      I'm not really anti-religion, per sé. It seems to be a necessary psychological need, in one form or another, intrinsic to human nature. Even "Satanism" is a "religion". One could even make the argument that "science" (as "scientism") becomes a form of "religion" for some people. I just think it would be best to keep it in its place and I don't think secular politics is one of those places.