I recently listened to the CrossExamined podacst for January 16th, titled, “Politicizing Religion?” I have always enjoyed Frank Turek’s work and this podcast was no exception. I do wish, however, that more emphasis would have been placed on why Christians should be involved in politics. The show instead focused more on the idea that some people leave Christianity because of the perceived politicization of the faith.
While I agree that pastors and ministry leaders need to be wise in speaking about politics, I do not think that we should avoid being engaged in the political process. So, a pastor, for instance, should do not stand in the pulpit and denigrate a political party. This can turn off the ears of many in the audience and cost the pastor the opportunity to impart truths from the Scriptures to people in need of hearing what God has to say. Now, I do not object to pastors speaking out on social issues from the pulpit. After all, we have a duty to apply God’s Word to the world we live in. The difficulty for many people, however, is learning to speak about a social issue without ostracizing an entire political party.
With that out of the way, I think it is time to focus on why Christians should be involved in politics. At first glance, it would be easy to simply say that it is our civic duty. While this is true, I think there is an even greater reason for us to be involved politically. In the Old Testament we see repeatedly what happens when a government tunes out the prophetic voice coming from the faith community. We also can see how a nation is blessed when its leadership heeds the words of God. Fortunately, we do not live in a monarchy. In the Old Testament, the prophets could speak the words of God to their leaders, but the direction of the country was determined by the king.
In contrast to this, we have the opportunity to directly influence our government. If our political leaders refuse to hear what the faith community says, then we can vote them out of office. Concern for the good of our nation and the Biblical examples of what happens when the Word of God is ignored should be reason enough to motivate Christians to get politically involved at all levels of government.
So, should Christians be involved politically? Absolutely.