Christians and Politics

In the UK, a general election is in the offing and Christian organizations have actually started a campaign, called "Christians In Politics" to encourage individual Christians to get involved and "make a difference". They say there is a biblical precedent for this, citing Esther, Daniel and Joseph as examples. There are a few major flaws with the reasoning. The first is that none of those three examples were Christians, they were Jews. Secondly, they were each used by God in a direct and specific way to bring about His will and purpose. They did not decide to "get involved"; that decision was taken for them. If we turn to the New Testament, can we find other examples the organizers of this campaign could have used to illustrate the point? Significantly, there is no example of a Christian supporting a political leader or standing for office themselves. Why is this?

A Christian's Purpose and Priorities

The simple answer is that Christians have other things to occupy them; living their lives to Christ, loving the Lord, preaching and helping one another. All these will help prepare them for the life to come which is much more important than this present, fleeting one. As the Scriptures say: "you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away." (James 4:4 NKJV). Given that we have a limited time in this life to make our "election and calling sure" - and share the Good News with others, should we be spending it getting involved in politics? What is important; a human election or Divine election? Let's consider some of the other points we can find in God's Word.

Human Rulers

The Bible says: [Psalms 118:9 NKJV] 9 [It is] better to trust in the LORD Than to put confidence in princes. [Psalms 146:3 NKJV] 3 Do not put your trust in princes, [Nor] in a son of man, in whom [there is] no help. We can take "princes" as representing all human rulers, so clearly it is unwise to rely on them to change things. When you think about it, Mankind has had thousands of years to solve life's problems and yet, things are, if anything getting worse. It was quoted on the radio today that the wealthiest 1% of the world's population have more than the remaining 99% put together. In other words, at least half of the world's wealth is owned by only 1% of the population. There are doubtless many well-intentioned and principled people in politics, but they do not win out against vested interests and corruption.

Separation from the World

Christians must remember that they are to separate themselves from the affairs of this world, not get ensnared in them (2 Corinthians 6:14). James 4:4 says ".....do you not know that friendship with the world is hostility toward God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God." Jesus said: "My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, My servants would fight, so that I should not be delivered to the Jews; but now My kingdom is not from here." [John 18:36 NKJV] Further - "when Jesus perceived that they were about to come and take Him by force to make Him king, He departed again to the mountain by Himself alone." [Jhn 6:15 NKJV]. What the people in the time of Jesus failed to understand was that the Kingdom of God would not be brought about by gradual change through the efforts of Man. Building Jerusalem in England's green and pleasant land as the Womens Institute's favorite hymn puts it, is not what Scripture tells us to do. Rather, we should be preparing for the return of Christ to establish his Kingdom On earth, with its capital in the real Jerusalem. That is the message of the Bible - the Good News of the Kingdom. God will set up His Kingdom on Earth, NOT Humans

Since God is in control and is working out His plan and purpose, it would not be wise to involve ourselves, as we could easily end up in opposition to God. We do not know which party or faction God wishes to win the election, therefore how can we vote and ensure that we are on God's side? We should be respectful of the authorities, because God has put them there: "Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God." [Rom 13:1 NKJV] "Remind them to be subject to rulers and authorities, to obey, to be ready for every good work," [Tit 3:1 NKJV] But this does not mean we have to be involved. History shows us that when the Church started to get involved in the State - and vice versa, the Church moved away from its reliance on the Scriptures for direction and became influenced by human ideas. By the time the Emperor Constantine was "converted" and Christianity later became the official religion of the Roman Empire (accomplished by Emperor Theodosius in 380), the rot had already set in and many unscriptural teachings concerning the Nature of God, the Kingdom of God, the nature of the Soul etc etc had already been made official Church doctrine.

Summary

Some might say that if you don't vote, you get the government you deserve. In the UK, less than half the voters get the government they want. In the last election, no-one voted for a coalition, but that's what they got. If there is no authority except from God (Rom 13:1) then we must accept that God has permitted that government to be put in place and there must be a reason. 1John 2:15 Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 1John 2:17 And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever. We believe Prophecy and "Signs of the Times" indicate that Christ's return may be imminent, at which time all governments will be dissolved: Daniel 2:44 And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever. Therefore, we need to concentrate on being ready when Jesus returns, not getting involved in a political system that will oppose him when he appears. To share your views and feedback or ask questions, please email us at "info at delphradio dot net"

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