On the Church and politics


politics 2I am not a political junkie, nor is this a political blog. I have tried to avoid any hint of partisan politics in my posts. It is my intent to continue on this path. While keeping this intent, I want to make a few observations about the recent election for the benefit of my brothers and sisters in the Church.

The Church is not a political institution

History shows that every time the church has gotten political power, it has turned out badly for the church and the culture at large. While the statistics may show that people who identify themselves as Bible believing Christians tended to prefer one candidate, they also show that this preference was not universal within the Church. Therefore we must be careful to not alienate our brothers and sisters whose political preference does not agree with our own.

God has neither a D nor an R behind his name. You may feel that you can make a case that the policies of your preferred party are more closely aligned with your understanding of Scripture. But I would remind you that the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the truth of Scripture transcend party platforms and political strategy.

Government is not the answer

No matter whether you are depressed, elated or ambivalent about the election result, I want to remind you that the government cannot fix the problems that we face. The fiscal and social problems are not the disease, they are merely the symptoms of a larger moral and spiritual problem. The root cause goes much deeper.

The trajectory of our government is determined by the moral and spiritual climate of the country. In short, we get the government that we deserve because we (collectively) select our leaders. The leaders therefore are reflective of the desires of the people they lead.

For example, we continue to spend more than we have. We do not have the moral discipline to tackle the difficult fiscal problems that face us. We reject the Judeo-Christian ethic of self control and responsibility and have nothing with which to replace it. Consequently, our government does not have the mandate to make the hard decisions which will cause discomfort in the short run but will provide stability moving forward. We are living off of next year’s seed and will have nothing to plant in the spring.

Government cannot hinder God’s plan

Galatians 4:4 tells us that Jesus came “in the fullness of time” which happened to be during the reign of Caesar Augustus. Augustus was followed by a string of emperors that were at best neutral to the propagation of the Gospel. Many of them were hostile to it and persecuted the Church. They had nearly absolute political power but were unable to thwart God’s plan for His Church.

Conclusion

If you are elated about the election results, I would caution you to temper that elation with the understanding that Government, big or small, cannot cure what ails the world. The only cure for the moral and spiritual problems of America is a Holy Spirit led revival and return to a commitment to the moral code that God revealed to us in Scripture.

If you are depressed about the election results, I would offer you the hope that government cannot thwart God’s plan for you or His Church.

For all of us in the Church, I would offer Paul’s words of encouragement found in Romans 8:38-39:

“For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (NASB)