The Church, Christians and Politics

What are those two topics you’re not supposed to talk about? Religion and politics, right? What is your view of the church and politics? How involved should we be in government?

LET’S TALK…

Here’s my opinion about church and politics: The church should never be involved in politics, but the Christian must be. Maybe you think I’m talking out of both sides of my mouth, but let me explain…

  1. The Church should never be involved in politics.

The mission of the church is Christ and the gospel. Its message and focus transcends any government or culture. We don’t believe that laws change a heart, only God can do that. Our hope is in Christ, not in government. Jesus never called us to be committed to an earthly kingdom, but to his heavenly kingdom. Jesus said, “My kingdom is not of this world…” John 18:36 (NIV). The United States has never been God’s kingdom and never will be.

It seems that when the church has focused on the gospel, it has impacted culture. Whenever it sought power by political or military means, it has lost its ability to be salt and light to the world. Ironically, the church has thrived the best during times of persecution, not in times of religious freedom.

Author John Seel gave us this warning:  “A politicized faith not only blurs our priorities, but weakens our loyalties. Our primary citizenship is not on earth but in heaven. …Unless we reject the false reliance on the illusion of Christian America, evangelicalism will continue to distort the gospel and thwart a genuine biblical identity.”

  1. The Christian should always be involved in politics.

The Bible calls every believer to respond in two ways toward its government. First, we are to pray for those in authority (1 Timothy 2:1-2). Just a reminder that Paul wrote this when Rome was in charge. Not agreeing with our government never exempts us from praying for it.

Second, we are to submit to the government. Romans 13:1 reads “Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God.“ To be subject to a government means to be dutiful to it. That looks different in differing forms of government.

Our particular government in America is a representative system, a democracy. So for us, as Christians, it means we need to vote. We also should encourage Christians to run for political offices. It would be completely different if we lived under a dictatorship.

This coming month we have an opportunity to pray for our country in a public forum. Franklin Graham is doing a national call to prayer at our State Capitals. These are the websites to find out more information.

Oregon:  https://decisionamericatour.com/tour/oregon/
June 28, 2016 at 12 noon in Salem at the Capital Building.

Washington:  https://decisionamericatour.com/tour/washington/
June 29, 2016 at 12 noon in Olympia at the Capital Building.

This is a gathering to do what Scriptures calls us to do: to pray and call out to God for His grace and forgiveness.

Pray and call out to God for His grace and forgiveness.

BEFORE YOU GO…

Someone said that America is headed in one of three directions:  Revolution, Revolt or Revival.  We see signs of all three.  Some are rallying around the hope of a revolution, whether you follow Berne or Trump!  Others are revolting, like the Bundy family in Oregon and those  rioting on city streets. Thankfully, we are also seeing seeds of revival. The other day I read of hundreds of young people coming to Christ in the High Schools of West Virginia (http://tinyurl.com/j7tn5uz).  Let’s be praying for revival, starting with us!

So what do you think of church, Christians and politics? I would love to hear your perspective!

10 Comments Add yours

  1. Kevin Downey says:

    Great article. Thanks Randy!

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  2. ocecpastors says:

    Hey Randy, in general I agree with you but feel differently regarding some moral issues. I remember reading that the church in Germany remained pretty much silent during the Nazi reign of power and the horror of the Holocaust. So, I think there is times God would want His Church to stand up against an evil that is coming from the government. That would be viewed as being politically involved. Certainly the Gospel comes first but our moral stance has to figure in someplace. Tom

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    1. suptrandy says:

      That’s a good point. Was this a church problem or Christian problem? How effective was the church in Germany at that time? I don’t know. Were they on mission with sharing the gospel or were they more of a nominal “state” church? What impact would it have made if more Christians, like Dietrich Bonhoeffer, took a stand and became politically involved?

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  3. Daniel Russell says:

    Very powerful distinction – church vs. christians in politics. Good word.

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  4. Jim says:

    Well said…now let’s go to work. I’m working to involved as many as possible to pray and act towards revival. Let’s bring a spirit of revival to our city/State.

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  5. Bill Vermillion says:

    Agreement and well differentiated Randy between the function of the church and the Christian. Living, preaching, witnessing and praying for revival.

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  6. Chris Smith says:

    So good to hear from you Randy!
    I believe Revival is coming and I believe we are already starting to see the seeds all across the country. I also think it’s time we plant our own seeds here. Let’s not wait for it to happen, let’s make it happen! As the persecution increases here in this country, Christianity will do what it has always done throughout history- it will wake up and stand up! But wait, persecution you say? What do you mean by wake up?
    You mentioned the quote that America will either experience Revolution, Revolt or Revival. I believe we are about to experience all three very soon and the church must be prepared to stand in the face of that Revolution and Revolt and effect that Revival.
    But in order to do so the people of the church have to understand where things are today and we have to be willing to shake off the complacency that binds us and stand up and link arms in the face of what is coming. The Church in this country has largely been asleep amidst the growing persecution of Christians and Jews not just here, but throughout the world, where the persecution has grown to levels never before seen. As apostasy, complacency and acceptance of secularism continue to overtake The Church, and our God given right to practice and believe in our religion is becoming increasingly persecuted, our ability to tiptoe around the issues has been taken away from us. The line has been drawn in the sand against Believers by both secular society and a governmental Administration that has gone off the rails to affect its own socialistic agenda and in doing so has become unprecedented in its abuse of its power. Almost daily now our rights are being stripped from us and the conditions throughout this country have reached a point where you better know what you believe and why you believe it because you will be forced to decide which side of that line you are going to stand on. Churches and church-based or faith-based organizations are already feeling the sting, financially and in other ways as legislation, lawsuits and threat of imprisonment try to force us to compromise our beliefs-or else. The gray areas are all but gone now. The persecution will become harder and faster as various yet radical political and social movements sweep the nation. We, as a church and as individuals must make a decision on how we are going to stand against that persecution. Will we fall in line as good little sheeple or stand for Christ? Understand that this choice has eternal ramifications, and it will begin to come with increasing sacrifice and difficulty now. United we stand, divided we fall. If we don’t begin to unite now as a Church, and I mean collectively, in order to support each other as our ability to think, speak and worship freely begin to rapidly disappear, how will we be able be the hands and feet of Christ to those around us who don’t know Christ and minister effectively in their time of need? That time is coming.
    While I agree that the church itself should be separated from politics, while the church-goer should be, the fact is our daily lives are directly affected by those politics, and what many pastors don’t seem to understand is that the people sitting in their congregations are looking to those pastors for guidance on these issues. The problem is and has been for a very long time, the church has been asleep at the wheel and to some extent, allowed things to get to the point they are today by not providing that leadership on the biblical principles that this country was founded on. Even today in the face of growing persecution the pastor’s of the churches throughout America remain silent on the issues and situations now taking place daily. Don’t get me wrong – I’m not saying the church should start telling you which candidate to vote for. But how many pastors are giving guidance from the pulpit on how we as Believers should respond to the issues taking place today that directly affect our daily lives? There are some, and some of them are very prominent. But overall I think the results of our society today speak for themselves.
    My faith is not in this country, nor in the people or the government or the political leaders of this country. My faith is in God and in God alone. I know that what is taking place now and what is about to take place is fully in God’s control, and I not only accept it but I welcome it excitedly with open arms as the coming of the Lord draws nearer each day. However until He does, we have a right and a responsibility as Christians to stand up and defend our faith in the face of the coming persecution while also showing the love of Christ to those around us that they may know Christ as well. But we can only do this effectively if we first take our head out of the sand and stand and unite as one in the Name of Christ. So let’s pray, but let us also act!
    Chris Smith

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    1. suptrandy says:

      Thanks for your reply! I do believe that the church needs to take a stand on moral issues. The church, as part of the gospel, must speak God’s truth to the world, clearly and always. However, we cross a line when the church thinks the political process will bring anything redemptive to our culture.

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    2. suptrandy says:

      Thanks for your reply! I do believe that the church needs to take a stand on moral issues. The church, as part of the gospel, must speak God’s truth to the world, clearly and always. However, we cross a line when the church thinks the political process will bring anything redemptive to our culture.

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  7. Chris Smith says:

    I agree with that completely. If we put our faith in a political system that is instituted by man we are destined to fail, no matter what political system it is. The very nature of man guarantees that, not to mention the nature of politics itself, which lends itself to the perpetuation of corruption. That is why we must put our faith in Christ instead. That being said people need to understand that the days of “easy faith” are quickly coming to an end in this country and people need to be prepared spiritually for that. That’s why I believe the pastors’ need to be talking about what is going on in this world today. Our faith is about to be tested in this country in ways it never before has and we better know what we believe and why we believe it! It’s go time and we need to come together as a body and unite for the cause of Christ!

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