Is there a correct political persuasion for Christians?
By S. Michael Houdmann, Got Questions Ministries
Christians and politics. It's a strange combination. Christians are people who are "not of this world" but politics is all about what happens in this world. Many people associate Christians with right-wing politics as a matter of course, but is that really true? First, let it be said, no matter who is in office, whether or not we voted for them, the Bible commands us to give them respect and honor (Romans 13:1-7; 1 Peter 2:13-17). We should also be praying for those placed in authority over us (Colossians 4:2; 1 Thessalonians 5:17). The utter hatred expressed towards President Obama by many conservatives, and towards President Bush by many liberals, is ungodly and unbiblical. We can vehemently disagree with our political leaders, and we can strongly oppose their policies, but that does not negate the biblical commands to submit and respect.
Politics is always going to be a difficult issue for Christians. We are in this world but are not to be of this world (1 John 2:15). We can be involved in politics, but we should not be obsessed with politics. Ultimately, we are to be heavenly-minded, more concerned with the things of God than the things of this world (Colossians 3:1-2). As believers in Jesus Christ, we are all members of the same political party — monarchists who are waiting for their King to return (Revelation 19:11-16). That is the most important thing to remember. Politics is not the solution. Jesus is the solution. No politician, no government is ever going to solve all of the problems in this world. Only Jesus Christ can accomplish that, and one day, He will (Revelation 21-22).
Aside from abortion and gay marriage, I see a great deal of freedom in regards to a Christian's political views. Abortion is the murder of a human being created in the image of God (Genesis 1:26-27; 9:6; Exodus 21:22-25; Psalm 139:13-16; Jeremiah 1:5). Homosexuality is an immoral and unnatural sin, and should never be condoned or considered normal (Leviticus 18:22; Romans 1:26-27; 1 Corinthians 6:9). That a Christian should be pro-life and against gay marriage would seem, to me, to be abundantly biblically clear. With most other political issues, however, there is not an explicit biblical command or principle.
Take universal healthcare for example. Should a government force everyone to pay into a system so that healthcare is available for everyone? This sounds like a noble idea. Surely everyone having access to healthcare is a good thing. But, is a government forcing everyone to pay the right method? Take social programs for example (social security, welfare). Yes, we are to care for the poor, orphans, and the elderly (James 1:27). But, biblically speaking, is this the responsibility of the government, or of the body of Christ? Should the government, through taxation, coerce people into helping the poor? Or, should people have the freedom to help the poor, or not help the poor, based on their own convictions and abilities?
Conservatives prefer smaller government, less taxation, less regulation, and more freedom. Liberals/progressives are willing to sacrifice some freedom in order to accomplish what they believe to be the greater good. Conservatives are wary of government, recognizing that as governments grow they begin to oppress people. Liberals/progressives believe government coercion is the only way to get people to help the less fortunate. Conservatives believe a limited government is the key to a free and prosperous society. Liberals/progressives believe that some freedom and prosperity should be sacrificed in favor of providing a safety net for the poor.
Let me make this abundantly clear. I am politically conservative. I have a severe distrust of government. I believe I could do a far better job of helping the poor if the government would stop taking so much of my money through taxation and then wasting it on inefficient and ineffective programs. While I strongly disagree with liberals/progressives on virtually all political issues, and while I believe liberals/progressives are terribly misguided and na´ve about what big government will eventually result in, I strive to not question their motives or judge their character.
I would ask for the same in return. If you disagree with me, fine. But, stop accusing me of being a racist, homophobic, misogynist, cold-hearted, and greedy shill for the Republican party simply because I do not believe the government is the solution for everything.
Image credit: Angela Orlando; "Judge Roy Moore's Ten Commandments Monument"; Creative Commons
Tags: Christian-Life | Political-Issues
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