This is the introduction to the series:
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.
Below are some of the bad ideas about faith and politics that I wanted to dispel:
5. Christians needn’t be concerned with politics because God is in control.
God is in control – there’s no question about that! But God has given us an amazing opportunity to be a part of building His Kingdom on earth and redeeming creation.
The Bible says, “Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God… for he is God’s servant for your good.” Because of this passage, some people infer that God chooses our leaders and that we should support them no matter what.
Paul wrote this passage as part of a letter to the Romans. The Roman Empire had a very different governmental structure than today’s United States, where all citizens are invited to influence who holds public office and what laws they support. Christians should thoughtfully and faithfully weigh this civic duty.
Within reason, Christians should respect those who hold public office and the laws of the land in which they live. But just imagine if America’s founding fathers had accepted that King George III was God’s anointed and failed to argue against his wrongs toward the colonies. God wants earthly authorities to follow His will, but only He is the ultimate authority in heaven and on earth. Sometimes he uses his servants (like Esther!) to influence the ruling authorities and their policies. We should be open to being used in this way.