Christians in a Political World

Sunday, October 31, 2010

As we begin our new series, Lights in the World, one of the key questions we need to consider is how we as Christians relate to our government. We’ll explore this subject in a few weeks when we study Romans 13, but since Election Day is this week, it seems fitting for me to share a few thoughts about the political world. Like many other areas of Christian belief and practice. This one requires careful balance.

In 1 Timothy 2:1-2, Christians are urged to pray for our rulers so that we can live a tranquil and quiet life. Many believers today and throughout history have faced strong opposition and persecution from their governments. We, however, enjoy great freedom to worship openly as we do. Our nation even allows us to play a part in selecting our leaders. We shouldn’t take these things for granted. Plan to vote. Learn about the issues and the candidates. Pray for wisdom as we go to the polls.

But here’s the balancing point. Some Christians are so passionate about pursuing a moralistic political agenda that they demonize their opponents. That’s how the political world works, but in my view, this creates an unnecessary barrier to our mission. God hasn’t called us to moralize people or societies. Our mission is to preach the gospel and make disciples (Matt 28:18-20; Mark 16:15; Luke 24:46-47). Think of Jesus’ ministry. His strongest words were directed at the Pharisees, people known for their high moral influence in society (Matt 23). Our Lord, however, was known as a friend of sinners (Luke 7:34). May people say the same of us.

– Bryan Craddock

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