The political contests are on! I'm fully entertained by the British campaign coverage. Not being a U.K. citizen myself, I can listen, laugh, sit back, and appreciate. And just recently, the American contest has begun in earnest. I shake my head. It’s a circus!
Before I start my post in earnest, let me state clearly: if you are a Democrat, Republican, Libertarian, Green, Constitution, or anything else, it’s your right to vote the way you wish. You can lean left, right, or center. It’s your business, not mine.
My post is about the gospel and politics. Can they mix? I wrote a previous post about gospel-centered living. (You may access it, here.) I believe that a gospel lifestyle should color every aspect of our lives—including our politics.
Let me explain.
First, we’ll review the three parts of the gospel:
- Jesus’ death on the cross for our sins
- His burial
- His resurrection.
A person who lives the gospel shuns sin and lives for God. He’s morally pure and actively serving the Lord.
Politically, the gospel-centered person will look for candidates and parties that allow him to live as God commands.
If you listen to the campaign rhetoric, you’ll hear promises of Utopia. You’ll also hear mud slinging and watch nasty-tempered ads. Each party promises the moon and criticizes everyone else.
So, how does a Christian live out the gospel in politics? (I’m using male pronouns, but they represent both sexes.)
- Freedom of religion—so that you can live a godly life and be free to worship.
- Morality—This means you should take into account the candidate’s platform on abortion, gay marriage, family interests, and crime and punishment.
- Character—I believe you can evaluate each candidate’s personal record. Does he lie? What is his voting record? Are there any past scandals? Has he committed adultery? Does he have a strong family? What are his positions on moral issues? How does the candidate act?
- Honesty—Analyze what the candidates have said in the past. Have they misrepresented the facts? Have they promised and then flip-flopped? Have they flat out lied? If they have been public servants, have their policies been aboveboard, and funds been used as designated? Have they helped rather than harmed?
- Those who promote evil.
- Those whose policies would limit your Christian freedoms.
If you’re involved in politics:
- Make sure your priorities are right: your personal relationship with God, family, and then your work. But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you (Matthew 6:33). If you can’t keep your priorities in the right order, then you’d better rethink your political involvement.
- Be honest. If you are asked to do anything dishonest, you know that doesn’t please God, and you need to refuse. If you’re active in a party, and you cannot be honest, you’re in the wrong party.
- Be modest. Humility is a hallmark of the Christian life. Give credit to others. Honor God. Dress appropriately and modestly.
- Stay clean. A clean, moral life is what God expects. For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that ye should abstain from fornication (1 Thessalonians 4:3).
- Be kind. A Christian should be gracious and tactful. It’s always appropriate to act like a gentleman or a lady. As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith (Galatians 6:10).
- Be a true public servant.
The “separation of church and state” was never meant to mean that religion has no place in people’s lives or in the government. It means that people should have the freedom to worship as they choose, and that government doesn’t financially support any particular religious group. The founders of the United States of America respected God and believed in the freedom to worship.
May we all consider what God would have us to do in these upcoming elections.