What Does the Bible Say about Christians and Politics (part 3)
When God said to me, “I am going to teach you about government, because I AM government,” it was quite a shock. Like many people, I had a great distaste for politics and government. He then quoted Isaiah 33:22 to me, “For the Lord is our judge, the Lord is our lawgiver, the Lord is our king; He will save us.”
Notice, the verse Holy Spirit quoted to me - Isaiah 33:22 - does not say God “endorses” laws, judges, and kings (i.e. government); it says He IS these things. Since God is our Lawgiver, Judge and King, these things, in and of themselves, cannot be bad. And most people are surprised to find out America’s three branches of government are based on this verse in Isaiah: The Legislative Branch (Congress), the Judicial Branch (Supreme Court), and the Executive Branch (Presidency). Our government is patterned after heaven’s!
When truly thought through, it isn’t the concept of government that many of us dislike. We have government in our homes, businesses, churches - almost everywhere. The noun, “government” is defined as, “direction; control; management; rule.” The verb form, “govern,” means “to rule over by right of authority; to exercise a directing or restraining influence over; to guide; to have predominating influence.” As can be easily seen by these definitions, the concept of government is essential and created by God. To be without it is to have anarchy and, ultimately, untethered rebellion.
What most of us dislike about government is actually the defilement and perversion of the function released through people and systems. This dislike is understandable. Although God is governmental; He is NOT, however, political. And He disdains a political spirit, the spirit that crucified Jesus! A political spirit seeks to gain control of people and promote its own agenda through fear, manipulation, deception, corruption, craftiness, and unscrupulous activities. God hates these things and so should we.
If we could get all Christians to differentiate between government (the function), politics (the process of attaining government), and a political spirit (the perversion of the process for gain and control) it would change America. The church would have no qualms about becoming involved in government, and no hesitation in talking about it in our gatherings and circles. We would understand that we can promote righteous government without promoting political parties or being political in our services.
God certainly is not a Republican or Democrat, and we should never blindly support a candidate or cause just because of party affiliation. He does, however, care who rules. “When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice: but when the wicked beareth rule, the people mourn,” (Proverbs 29:2; KJV). The Passion Translation of this verse says, “Everyone rejoices when the lovers of God flourish, but the people groan when the wicked rise to power.” To stay out of government simply because some of it is bad, is as foolish as not governing our homes simply because some parents abuse and control their children.
Since God does care who rules as His Word clearly states, how can it possibly be wrong for the church to influence the process? How can it possibly be inappropriate for the body of Christ to try and promote righteous individuals for positions of authority? How could it possibly be wrong to encourage church members to support righteous leaders and causes? How can we truly be salt and light without doing this? And how could it possibly be inappropriate to pray about these things when we gather as the church? To neglect these things is to fall prey to one of the greatest deceptions satan has ever visited on the church.
Kermit Bridges of Southwestern A.G. University says:
“In commanding us to be “salt” and “light” in the world, Jesus is encouraging us to influence our culture rather than isolate ourselves from our culture. Some well-intentioned believers feel any efforts to exert pressure on the behavior of non-Christians is wrong.
“Anything beyond evangelism is off-limits. As a result, Christians should definitely not engage in politics. This thinking is characterized by the false assumption: ‘I personally believe in such and such, but I can’t impose my morality on others.’
“Every time a legislature enacts legislation, it is always an imposition of morality.
“Laws against thievery impose the morality of the honest over the dishonest. Laws against prostitution impose a sexual morality. Declaring anything legal or illegal is a statement of morality. Legislation is built upon morality, and morality is built upon religion.
“Founding Father, John Adams, our second president, declared:
“‘[Our government is not] ‘capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion…Our constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.’
“Even our most irreligious Founding Fathers, Franklin and Jefferson, championed the need for a virtuous and moral people influenced by faith.” (1)
“Listen to the counsel of the late Chuck Colson:
“‘The popular notion that “you can’t legislate morality” is a myth. Morality is legislated every day from the vantage point of one value system being chosen over another. The question is not whether we will legislate morality, but whose morality gets legislated..”(2)
David Clossom of the Family Research Council explains that believers must involve themselves in the process of government as a matter of responsibility and stewardship:
“Because power resides with the people in our republic, when Christians vote, they are delegating their ruling authority to others. In other words, by voting, Christians are entrusting their ‘sword-bearing’ responsibility to officials who will govern on their behalf. Seen from this perspective, voting is a matter of stewardship; failure to vote is a failure to exercise God-given authority.”(3)
Closson goes on to say we demonstrate our Christian love for others by doing so:
“Further, given the United States’ far-reaching influence in the world, how can American Christians love the people of the nations well without having a vested interest in how our government approaches the issue of religious liberty and human rights worldwide? Will America’s ambassadors be stalwart defenders of religious freedom overseas? Christians who support missionaries should care about the state of international religious freedom, an area of advocacy in which the U.S. exerts significant influence. Will abortion, under the euphemism of ‘family planning,’ be funded overseas by American taxpayers, or will U.S. foreign policy value the life of the unborn? Again, American believers, by exercising their right to vote, have a direct say in these matters.
“In light of these considerations, pastors should exhort their members to be involved in the political process and to vote. But voting is not enough. Pastors should also help educate and equip their members to think Biblically about moral issues, candidates, and party platforms.”(4)
If we the church, are to become the voice God intends us to be, we need to shift our paradigms regarding government. We must see it as a God-created function, and accept our God-given calling to extend His influence through it.
Pray with me:
Father, Your Word tells us that when we are ignorant of the way satan thinks and operates, it enables him to take advantage of us (2 Corinthians 2:11). He is a master deceiver. But Your Word also tells us we have the mind of Christ. We ask for this to manifest in us through the spirit of revelation. We desperately need it in this season. Show us Your ways regarding transforming nations. Awaken us to our responsibilities and privileges as citizens of a free nation. Break off of the church the hesitancy to involve herself in government activities and influence.
We ask You to remove ungodly and anti-Christian leaders from positions of government in our nation. Give us a president who is honest and will honor You and Your Word. Give us legislators who will do the same. And give us judges who respect our Constitution, and who fear and honor You more than anything else. We ask You to continue to shake things in our nation until the strongholds of humanism, secularism, and socialism are broken off of us.
We ask You for the awakening to increase and multiply. We ask for revival in our schools, millions of young people coming to You. We ask for those who allow the evils of human trafficking and drugs being brought into our nation at the border to be removed. This is evil - we ask You to stop it. We ask You to break the back of Roe versus Wade. We need an overhaul, please give us this transformative revival, and please do so quickly. We ask You for all of these things in the mighty name of Jesus, our great and merciful Savior. Amen.
We decree that the church will no longer be paralyzed by a fear of operating in a political spirit. The Ekklesia will arise and become the salt and light we are called to be.
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