Let’s get a few preliminaries out of the way concerning Christians and politics. First, there is no doubt that there are few differences between the two major parties. With both Houses of Congress owned by the Republicans, one would think that the claimed differences would have come out and the GOP would have fought for the principles they claim separate them from the Democrats.
This leads to the second observation. Many Christians believe their voted doesn’t make much difference even when their guy wins because their votes are overwhelmed by the GOP establishment majority that dilutes the effectiveness of the constitutionalists.
Third, they are tired of sending people to Congress who promise one thing and then break that promise and offer political excuses for the votes they make. This happened in my district in Georgia. Rep. Barry Loudermilk voted for the 2000-page Omnibus Appropriations Bill even though it continued to fund Planned Parenthood to the tune of $500 million. There’s so much pork in the Omnibus Bill that a devout Muslim wouldn’t touch the paper it’s printed on.
Here’s how a letter-to-the-editor writer who praised Loudermilk’s vote:
“But you can’t beat something with nothing, so our delegation used the only currency they had [to get specific issues related to Georgia passed]: their votes for or against the Omnibus Appropriations Bill. Thankfully, Representative Loudermilk and the Georgia Delegation put their districts and state’s interests first, and harmful provisions were defeated as a direct result of their efforts.”1
This means that the 300+ million people in the other 49 states (along with Georgia) get saddled with the multi-billion-dollar Appropriations Bill because the Georgia Delegation wanted something specific to Georgia taken out that Alabama had put in. Instead of voting for specific issues in separate bills, they are put into an Omnibus Appropriations Bill.
Loudermilk voted for the bill because “the new House Speaker” had “pledged to bring up for votes the other issues that Loudermilk wanted to see addressed in the bill,” issues that everyone knew Obama would veto.
Fourth, millions of Christians are uninformed on issues like economics, education, and foreign policy. They’ve never been taught the foundational principles of the free enterprise system that’s based on the biblical law of “You shall not steal” (Ex. 20:15), even if a majority of people believe it’s OK.
Fifth, the following are some of the theological reasons they are not to get involved politically.
- 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.
- 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.
- Jesus didn’t get mixed up in politics, so why should we?: There 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” (Rom. 13:1-4).
- Our citizenship is in heaven: We have multiple citizenships (commonwealths), with our heavenly citizenship being a priority (Phil. 3:20). 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).
- 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.
- 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.
- Politics is not spiritual: If civil government has been ordained by God, then it is spiritual.
- Satan is the god of this world: Satan is no more a god than a person’s stomach is a god (Phil. 3:19). Paul is describing what some people choose to be their god. a limited creature who has been defeated.
- We’re not supposed to judge: We are admonished by Jesus to be consistent in judgment (Matt. 7:1-2) and to “judge with righteous judgment” (John 7:24).
- 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. The people in Jesus’ day could not.
- 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” (Matt. 12:30; also see Rev. 3:16).
- 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?
- 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?
There’s so much more that could be said on this topic. I’ve covered the above topics and more in my book Myths, Lies, and Half-Truths: How Misreading the Bible Neutralizes Christians and Empowers Liberals, Secularists, and Atheists.