Let me begin by stating that I do not believe that it is a sin to vote for people running for political office. Neither do I believe that it is a sin not to vote for people running for political office. However, I do believe that if you do not study to prepare yourself to vote for the most qualified person to hold political office, you miss an opportunity to resist evil. When I vote for a person, I am not endorsing everything the person believes. I am choosing a person whom I believe will do the greater good for our country.
I do not believe in the concept of the “separation of church and state.” I do not believe that you can take religion out of man or his activities. God created man a two-fold being, both spiritual and physical. The spiritual side of man is always religious. It is what he believes about his relationship with his Creator. Everything that a person does is influenced by what he believes about God. The atheist is religious. The humanist is religious. They will govern and influence others by what they believe. School teachers are religious, Mayors, Governors, Congressmen and Presidents are religious. Every politician is religious.
In the perfect will of God, the Israelites would never have had a King. They would have listened to the instructions of the man of God and kept the commandments of God and all their social needs would have been taken care of. In our day, the same plan of God would work, if everyone would listen to the instructions of the man of God and keep the commandments of God. But God allowed the Israelites to have a King and God has allowed the United States of America to have a Republic as the form of a democratic government by which we regulate our society.
Someone has made the following political observation. I believe it is a valid and wise statement. Some say this statement was made by Alexander Tyler a 19th century Scottish historian. Others say it was compiled from his teachings and not an exact quote. “A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves money from the public treasure. From that moment on the majority always votes for the candidates promising the most money from the public treasury, with the result that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy followed by a dictatorship.
The average age of the world's great civilizations has been two hundred years. These nations have progressed through the following sequence: from bondage to spiritual faith, from spiritual faith to great courage, from courage to liberty, from liberty to abundance, from abundance to selfishness, from selfishness to complacency from complacency to apathy, from apathy to dependency, from dependency back to bondage.”
The United States of America was given a Republic form of government and it is on the very verge of losing that form of government. In fact, it may already be lost.
I believe that some people use words and don’t even know what they mean. They throw around the word “politics” as if it was a vulgar and profane activity. Some people treat the word “religion” with the same disdain, as if it was a undesirable thing.
Webster Dictionary definition of politics: 1 a : the art or science of government b : the art or science concerned with guiding or influencing governmental policy c : the art or science concerned with winning and holding control over a government 2 : political actions, practices, or policies
Many people have expressed to me that we should not get involved in politics.
This means we should not get involved in our nation’s government.We should not get involved in guiding or influencing governmental policy.
We should not get involved in who wins and holds control over our government.
Do we really believe that we should not be involved in politics?
Some years ago, I met a group of people called “The Church.”They did not believe that Christians should be involved in politics. They did not use social security numbers and they did not pay taxes or vote. They only worked for employers who would pay them for their labors without requiring or establishing any connection to the government. They literally avoided politics.
I have met other people who pay taxes and participate in governmental programs such as government funded entitlements, benefits, insurance, etc.; but, they may not vote and they dislike discussions about governmental affairs and policies. They defend their position with the statement that they do not believe that Christians should participate in politics. In reality they are participating in politics. They have self-proclaimed boundaries which they expect you to honor.
It is human nature to want everyone to believe what we believe. We want people to accept what we accept and reject what we reject.
We all must admit that we live in a wicked world and it seems that it is largely controlled by wicked and ungodly people. So, should Christians participate in understanding and influencing governmental policies of our nation? Should we be concerned with who wins and holds control over the government of our nation?
It is my personal belief that being involved in government is part of resisting evil.
James 4:7, “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” There are many ways in which we can “resist” the devil. Being involved in our community, state and national governmental policies is a way of resisting evil. We need to stand against the evildoers who would corrupt our government, our schools, our congregations and our children.
I have been told that Jesus and the New Testament do not provide any record of being involved in politics. Let us examine that position and see if it holds true.
First we must recognize that the politics of our day are structured somewhat different than they were in Jesus’ day. The religious leaders of the Jews in the first century after the birth of Christ exercised political authority over the Jewish people. It is true that the Roman government was the supreme power of the day; but, we can easily find evidence that the Roman government allowed the Jewish leaders great liberty in judging and ruling over their own people.
John 18:28-3228 Then led they Jesus from Caiaphas unto the hall of judgment: and it was early; and they themselves went not into the judgment hall, lest they should be defiled; but that they might eat the passover.
29 Pilate then went out unto them, and said, What accusation bring ye against this man?
30 They answered and said unto him, If he were not a malefactor, we would not have delivered him up unto thee.
31 Then said Pilate unto them, Take ye him, and judge him according to your law. The Jews therefore said unto him, It is not lawful for us to put any man to death:
32 That the saying of Jesus might be fulfilled, which he spake, signifying what death he should die.
Pilate gave the Jews permission to judge and punish Jesus according to the law of the Jews. However, the Jews wanted to put Jesus to death and they were not allowed to put people to death. They could beat them, imprison them and cast them out of the temple; but they were not allowed to execute capital punishment.
John 8:1-111 Jesus went unto the mount of Olives.
2 And early in the morning he came again into the temple, and all the people came unto him; and he sat down, and taught them.
3 And the scribes and Pharisees brought unto him a woman taken in adultery; and when they had set her in the midst,
4 They say unto him, Master, this woman was taken in adultery, in the very act.
5 Now Moses in the law commanded us, that such should be stoned: but what sayest thou?
6 This they said, tempting him, that they might have to accuse him. But Jesus stooped down, and with his finger wrote on the ground, as though he heard them not.
7 So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.
8 And again he stooped down, and wrote on the ground.
9 And they which heard it, being convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, even unto the last: and Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst.
10 When Jesus had lifted up himself, and saw none but the woman, he said unto her, Woman, where are those thine accusers? hath no man condemned thee?
11 She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.
The Jews wanted to test Jesus to see if He would honor the law of Moses which was the law of the Jews. They were looking for a reason to accuse Jesus and condemn Jesus for being a law breaker.
Jesus stood against these evil political leaders of the Jews. He identified them and put judgment on their wickedness. He resisted the evil political moves of the Jewish leaders.
Matthew 23:1-71Then spake Jesus to the multitude, and to his disciples,
2 Saying, The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses' seat:
3 All therefore whatsoever they bid you observe, that observe and do; but do not ye after their works: for they say, and do not.
4 For they bind heavy burdens and grievous to be borne, and lay them on men's shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers.
5 But all their works they do for to be seen of men: they make broad their phylacteries, and enlarge the borders of their garments,
6 And love the uppermost rooms at feasts, and the chief seats in the synagogues,
7 And greetings in the markets, and to be called of men, Rabbi, Rabbi.
Were these scribes and Pharisees which sat in Moses’ seat not political leaders of the Jews? Did Jesus get involved in guiding and influencing the political deeds of the rulers of the people? Was Jesus not concerned with who wins and holds control over the people of God? These were the leaders and rulers of the Jewish nation and government. Jesus was putting judgment on the politicians of that day.
13 But woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye shut up the kingdom of heaven against men: for ye neither go in yourselves, neither suffer ye them that are entering to go in.
14 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye devour widows' houses, and for a pretence make long prayer: therefore ye shall receive the greater damnation.
15 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves.
The Jews had the authority to demand a temple tax, a tithe of mint and anise. They had the authority take possession of widow’s homes. They had a debtor’s prison and exercised great authority and power over their people.
Matthew 23:23-2423 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone.
24 Ye blind guides, which strain at a gnat, and swallow a camel.
Jesus put judgment on the “blind guides” which were leading the people down the road of social and religious destruction. The word “guides” means leaders. These were Jewish leaders. They were very much involved in the politics, the government of the people.
The Scriptures tell us what kind of people Jesus dealt with. In Luke 5:17, “And it came to pass on a certain day, as he was teaching, that there were Pharisees and doctors of the law sitting by.” Whom was Jesus dealing with? Who was Jesus trying to influence? There were “doctors of the law sitting by.” Many of them were there to find fault with what Jesus had to say. He dealt with them. He did not avoid the politicians and leaders of the Jews.
Some will say, “Well, Jesus did not vote for them or vote against them.”The democratic process of voting as we know it was not in place in their society.
They did “cast lots” which is a political action to influence and determine who would be the successor to Judas Iscariot.
Acts 1:24-2624 And they prayed, and said, Thou, Lord, which knowest the hearts of all men, shew whether of these two [Joseph and Matthais] thou hast chosen,
25 That he may take part of this ministry and apostleship, from which Judas by transgression fell, that he might go to his own place.
26 And they gave forth their lots; and the lot fell upon Matthias; and he was numbered with the eleven apostles.
The disciples indicated who they thought was the right person by making some mark on a stone or piece of paper, put all the stones in a pot and drew one of them out and it was decided. Say what you will, but that is essentially voting and participating in a political process.
The simple fact is that the leaders of our congregations today do not have the authority to make and enforce laws for the community like the Jewish leaders did in that day.
We have a different political process. In the framework of our society today, we ought to resist evil and endeavor to influence righteousness. We can not fully control the process, but we can influence it. And that is what politics is all about. We can influence and guide the selection of leaders of our nation by standing up for what we believe.
Jeremiah 5:30-3130 A wonderful and horrible thing is committed in the land;
31 The prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests bear rule by their means; and my people love to have it so: and what will ye do in the end thereof?
Proverbs 29:2When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice: but when the wicked beareth rule, the people mourn.