Summary: Christianity and Politics are like oil and water, they say. But the Bible reveals reveals that Christianity and politics have no choice but to mix.
Christianity and Politics
Theme: understanding that Christianity and politics have no choice but to mix.
A. The First Amendment of our Constitution declares that, “Congress shall make no law respecting an
establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.”
1. Among other applications in the First Amendment include: prohibition against the establishment of a state supported church; the separation of church and state; and the freedom of worship.
2. When the Bill of Rights were officially declared its purpose was clear: keep government out of the each
individual’s religious liberty.
B. Since the early days of this nation, however, the interpretation of the First Amendment has evolved to include: That religion has no place in politics.
1. This is a shift in thought from our founding fathers who were guided by “Christian” principles in the establishment of our federal laws.
2. The application is seen where government funded programs (including schools) control what goes on, or
more specifically “what cannot go on” in schools throughout the country.
C. This spectrum of thought and practice has generally influenced the mindset of a number of Christians to include the beliefs:
1. Obedience to civil laws not that important: Christians abide within a different kingdom.
2. It is wrong for Christians to be involved with politics.
D. It should be noted that Christians have a direct responsibility with its own government:
1. To be obedient to it.
2. Additionally, Christians have the liberty to influence the creation, modification, or abolition of civil laws as responsible citizens whose ideology is founded upon their Christian beliefs.
3. Finally, because of individual liberties some Christians will distance themselves from governing positions while others are motivated to serve in these very positions.
I. OBEDIENCE TO CIVIL GOVERNMENT
A. Christians grounded in the faith understand we are to be subject to rulers; to authorities. Tit. 3:1
1. There is no authority except from God, thus government is established by God. Rom. 13:1-4
2. Governments serve as ministers (servants) of God for the good of man (including Christians). Rom. 13:4
B. Because governing bodies are made up man, there may be some laws that are contrary to God.
1. Naturally, when laws are contrary to God’s will we must “obey God rather than man.” cf. Acts 5:29
2. The principle is to “render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s; and to God the things that are God’s.” Matt. 22:21
3. Daniel is a good example of applying this principle while under the Old Testament law. Dan. 6:1ff
C. Subjection is therefore necessary.
1. While Christ is king and Christians abide within His kingdom, such is a spiritual kingdom not made with
hands. cp. Jn. 18:36
2. There may be things you don’t like about your government but you need to “fear God and honor the
king.” 2 Pet. 2:13, 17
3. Therefore, whoever resists authority opposes the commandment of God. Rom. 13:2
II. CHRISTIANS IN CIVIL GOVERNMENT
A. Doctrinal note:
1. There are no doctrinal guidelines that teach about Christian involvement within politics.
2. Thus, no doctrinal stand can be made for or against Christians involvement, just the wisdom employed stemming from principles by those convicted one way or another.
3. Christians must be careful, therefore, how they relate to each other with opposing views on this matter. cf. Rom. 14:1-4
B. Christians participating in civil government are a personal and cultural belief that pervades within the body of Christ.
1. Some Christians believe it is foolish, some believe it is ungodly for Christians to serve in the realm of politics.
a. This is because compromise of godly principles are at stake.
b. The potential for corruption is present.
c. Hence, wisdom dictate that Christians stay away from politics.
2. Some Christians believe that it is both a liberty and a responsibility to participate in government in some capacity.
a. It may be as a voting citizen.
b. It may be as lobbyist within an organization.
c. It may be directly within the realm of political office.
C. Creation, modification, or abolition of laws.
1. Every day local, state and federal laws are debated, enacted, or abolished.
2. Because our human authorities are lead by man, such laws will constantly change depending upon the
environment the laws exist within: society, law-makers, judiciary climate, etc.
3. Thus, the type of people that exist within government directly impacts the laws that are created, modified and/or abolished.
D. The fact remains that whether a Christian is for or against a Christian being directly involved in politics, the life of a faithful Christian is inevitably mixed in politics because.
1. He/she will be interested in the laws and the people of law (politicians).
2. He/she will be compelled via voting or some other means of involvement to ensure that the laws and/or people of law are the most honorable before God.