The following is the first of a seven part series about Christians and politics.
I’m a Christian who works in politics. Usually I say – when asked – that I work in “public policy,” and I explain that public policy is the “beautiful cousin” of politics.
Among Christians, there seem to be a number of bad ideas about engaging in politics. Sometimes I even buy into these bad ideas myself. That’s probably what’s behind the vagueness and qualifiers that I offer while explaining my work.
In this series, there are some of the bad ideas about faith and politics that I wanted to dispel:
1. Christians shouldn’t engage in politics because politics is dirty.
Ronald Reagan said, “It has been said that politics is the second oldest profession. I have learned that it bears a striking resemblance to the first.”
That’s pretty funny, coming from a politician.
But we can all appreciate the sentiment. We can all recognize that the field of politics can be ridden with deception, corruption, and fame-seeking.
Tell me, what profession isn’t? We don’t write off working in or participating in the business world just because some companies have questionable practices. Heck, we don’t write off the church just because there are occasional scandals in the church.
Instead, we engage! We work to make institutions and professions better. There’s nothing shameful or dirty about running for office, supporting a candidate for office, or expressing a political point of view. In fact, Christians must do these things. And we must do them with integrity, showing kindness to all, and for God’s glory alone.
If we don’t, we create a self-fulfilling prophecy. We create a vacuum where the only people interested in participating in and influencing politics are those who don’t mind if it’s dirty or perceived as dirty.