The Christian and Politics

"Long live democracy! Long live democracy!"

People all over the world are shouting this today. Governments who used to prohibit rival parties now invite their competition. Now they encourage all citizens to vote, in order to promote democracy.

Freedom to vote ... protests ... marches ... there are many ways to influence the government. And you can easily participate. No doubt political parties are seeking your support right now.

But what should a Christian do? How should a Christian relate to the government? What does the Bible say about Christians and politics?

A Christian Honors and Obeys his Government

The Bible says:"Put them in mind to be subject to principalities and powers, to obey magistrates" (Titus 3:1). "Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same" (Romans 13:3). "Honour the king" (I Peter 2:17).

Christians should respect government officials. And they should obey their country's laws-where they do not conflict with God's superior Law: the Bible.

A Christian Should Pay Taxes

The Bible says:"For this cause pay ye tribute also: for they are God's ministers.... Render therefore to all their dues: tribute to whom tribute is due; custom to whom custom" (Romans 13:6-7).

A Christian Should Pray For His Government

The Bible says:"I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; for kings, and for all that are in authority" (1 Timothy 2:1-2).

Christians are not anti government. Christians support their governments by being obedient, by paying their taxes, and by praying for those involved. They do not destroy their country-instead, they improve it by loving and helping others.

But what about the opportunities to influence the government? Should Christians participate in political protests? Should they join a political party? Can they serve as government officials? Should they vote in elections? The Bible also answers these questions. We will look at some Bible answers.

Should a Christian Participate in Political Protests?

The Bible says: "For there is no power but of God.... Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation" (Romans 13:1-2).

The one who participates in protests is resisting authority. Therefore, a Christian should not take part in them. Nor should he speak against the authorities God has established over him. Once again Christians only contribute to the good of their earthly country.

Should a Christian Join a Political Party?

The Bible says, "Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for ... what part hath he that believeth with an infidel?" (2 Corinthians 6:14-15).

Political parties are made up of unbelievers. The Christian who joins a political party is yoked with them. For this reason, a Christian should never join a political party.

Should a Christian Serve as a Government Official?

Of those in authority the Bible says: "For he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil" (Romans 13:4).

But the Bible commands Christians: "Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath" (Romans 12:19).

The government receives from God the authority to revenge and punish. A Christian does not avenge himself but leaves vengeance to his just God. Obviously, Christians and the government take opposing positions on vengeance.

A Christian cannot fulfill the government's duties because he obeys the Bible and does not take vengeance on evildoers. Therefore, a Christian cannot be a policeman, mayor, or any other government official.

Should A Christian Vote in Elections?

The Bible says: "For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God" (Romans 13:1). "And he changeth the times and the seasons: he removeth kings, and setteth up kings" (Daniel 2:21).

A Christian does not know who will win the elections. But from the Bible, he knows that God has chosen the candidate He will put into office. He realizes that God's purposes are accomplished through the elections and rests in that. He does not need to vote. He maintains more power at home in prayer than at the polls voting. "The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much" (James 5:16).

Furthermore, if a Christian should not govern-how can he appoint someone else to govern? Votes put officials into power and that way help to govern.

A Christian obeys the authorities. He pays his taxes and prays for the government. But he does not become involved in politics.

Why not?

Because his citizenship is in heaven. He belongs to another kingdom-the kingdom of Jesus Christ. And the goals of the political world conflict with those of the kingdom of Jesus. Therefore, Christians cannot become involved in politics.

The politician lives for his earthly country. He seeks to rule. The Christian lives for his heavenly country. He seeks to serve. He follows Jesus' example of service to his fellowmen but always keeps his focus on the future life. Jesus said that He "came not to be ministered unto, but to minister" (Mark 10:45).

He also said: "My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight.... but now is my kingdom not from hence" (John 18:36).

Therefore, God exhorts the Christian: "Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate ... and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you" (2 Corinthians 6:17).

Can anyone deny that the political world is full of uncleanness?

But perhaps you are attracted to politics. Maybe you desire the fame. Or perhaps you want to enter into politics in order to help others and to serve your country.

Remember: This country with its government is earthly and temporal. The kingdoms and governments of this world will end when Jesus returns. Then Christ will reign forever. The Bible says: "And the Lamb shall overcome them: for he is Lord of lords, and King of kings" (Revelation 17:14).

"Long live democracy!" Those of the political world continue to shout. They keep on marching and protesting. And they continue to seek your support.

Do not spend your life serving in the politics of this world. Give your life to Jesus. In His kingdom, Jesus offers you the opportunity to work for the eternal good of others; and He promises you an eternal reward. If you follow Him faithfully, you can be among those who hear Jesus' welcome: "inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world" (Matthew 25:34).

-Rodney Mast

Lamp and Light Publishers offers free Bible studies by mail. Write or call for more information.

Lamp and Light Publishers, Inc.
26 Road 5577
Farmington, NM 87401
Phone: 505-632-3521

Back to Home/Table of Contents