Should Christians be Involved in Politics?

There is a multiplicity of responses to the question of Christian involvement in politics. For the most part, the majority of evangelical believers for the last 100 plus years have answered no and abandoned almost every arena outside the church. Just as nature abhors a vacuum, likewise does institutions and all other fields in society. This abandonment has allowed Marxists/socialist to follow the counsel of the most influential of the neo-Marxists, Antonio Gramsci. After being cast into prison by his socialist’s comrade, Benito Mussolini,  he wrote from  his jail cell Prison Notebooks, which laid out the blueprint for a successful Marxists “quiet” revolution in the West. Rather than mounting an armed revolt to seize control of government, Gramsci argued that Marxists must undertake a “long march through the institutions  of Western culture” – the visual arts, cinema, theater, schools, colleges, seminaries, newspapers, magazines, and the new electronic media of his day – radio.

During this long march, Gramsci asserted that Marxists must establish alliances with left-wing groups, including radical feminists organizations, civil rights movements, and liberal Christian denominations. By working together, such an alliance could erode Christian values and, thereby, cause the collapse of capitalism. And, thanks to wholesale evacuation of these arenas by evangelical Christians, Gramsci plan has worked incredibly well.

The following, by Gary DeMar at American Vision, are some of the theological reasons many Christians do not get involved politically. They believe there are sound biblical reasons why they should avoid the endeavor altogether:

  1. We should just preach the gospel: Paul told the Ephesian elders that he did not shrink from declaring to them the “whole purpose of God” (Acts 20:27). Being a new creature in Christ is the first step in a whole new life. Being born again does not stop at infancy. We are to grow up in the faith so every area of life is impacted by God’s Word ( 5:11-14).
  2. Politics is dirty:What isn’t dirty? Our job is to clean up the things that are dirty. Diapers are dirty, and we change them. If a politician is dirty, then change him or her.
  3. Jesus didn’t get mixed up in politics, so why should we?:There are many things Jesus didn’t do. He didn’t get married, have children, or own a home. Should we follow His example in these areas? The civil magistrate is said to be a “minister of God” ( 13:1-4). It’s the same Greek word ( διάκονός) used to describe a deacon in an ecclesiastical setting (1 Tim. 3:8-13). In neither of these governmental offices are these ministers to “lord it over those allotted to [their] charge” (1 Peter. 5:3; see Matt. 20:25-28).
  4. Our citizenship is in heaven:We have multiple citizenships (commonwealths), with our heavenly citizenship being a priority ( 3:20; see Acts 5:29). The fact that Paul was a citizen of heaven did not stop him from claiming his Roman citizenship (Acts 22:25-29) and appealing to Caesar (25:9-12).
  5. There’s a separation between church and state:The Bible teaches that there is a jurisdictional separation between church and state, but there is no separation between God and government, and that includes civil government.
  6. Jesus’ kingdom is not of this world:God’s kingdom does not derive its power and authority from this world, but His kingdom is in and over this world whether people acknowledge it or not. We are to pray, “Your kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven” ( 7:10). Doing God’s will is the manifestation of kingdom living.
  7. Politics is not spiritual:If civil government has been ordained by God, then it is spiritual as is every area of life when governed by the Word of God.
  8. Satan is the god of this world:Satan is no more a god than a person’s stomach is a god ( 3:19). Paul is describing what some people choose to be their god, a limited creature who has been defeated.
  9. We’re not supposed to judge:We are admonished by Jesus to be consistent in judgment ( 7:1-2) and to “judge with righteous judgment” (John 7:24).
  10. We must render to Caesar what’s Caesar’s:We don’t live under Caesar. We live under a Constitution, and we can remove and replace people in office and “petition the government for a redress of grievances.” The people in Jesus’ day could not. We do not have to settle for the political status quo.
  11. Christians should remain neutral:Neutrality is impossible. Jesus said, “He who is not with Me is against Me; and he who does not gather with Me scatters” ( 12:30; also see Rev. 3:16).
  12. We can’t impose our morality on other people:All law is the imposition of someone’s view of morality. The question is, What areas of life is the civil magistrate given the authority to do?
  13. We’re living in the last days and Jesus is coming soon to rapture His church so why polish brass on a sinking ship? - How many times have we heard this claim? Even today Christians are pushing the canard that the “rapture” is near, that the antichrist is on the brink of revealing himself, and there is no reason to rearrange the deck chairs on the Titanic. Those in the world are wiser. Ship building did not stop with the sinking of an unsinkable ship. Sometimes “the sons of this age are more shrewd in relation to their own kind than the sons of light” (Luke 16:8).

A hundred years or more of this type of teaching created a vacuum into which secularism has rushed in to occupy the void. Millions of Christians sat back and watched the world disintegrate around them as they waited for an escape that was always said to be near but never came. We are now paying the price for our neglect.

We Christians must understand that the solutions for our problems will not be resolved by big government, a big man, and a top down approach, but by a Big God, whose gospel is more powerful than the Lie. Beginning at the grassroots level with gospel renewal in individual hearts, to one home at a time, to one community, one state, one country, and to the five continents, until the end of the ages, we can expect radical reformation and renewal to take place. But not if we settle for continuing in our eating, meeting, and retreating mindset instead of moving out with whole gospel expectations that will not only save souls but transform societies. Rise up O men/women of God! It’s time to reverse our course and begin the long, slow victorious march from victory unto victory, until every foe is vanquished, and Christ is Lord indeed!