“I can hardly wait for the election to be over!”
It’s perhaps the most oft-repeated statement this time of year. And why not? With all the debates, the media focus, the rallies, the posters, billboards, websites, and TV and radio ads—spending on this campaign cycle to influence your vote at every turn has reached records projected near $6 billion!
Christians across the country respond to politics in many different ways, ranging from pouring immense amount of time into participating in the political debates to running the other way. Yet should Christians be involved in politics at all?
The Bible says that “our citizenship is in heaven” (Philippians 3:20), yet we live in this world and so have the responsibility to represent Christ to our communities. Jesus wisely taught that we should, “Render therefore to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s” (Matthew 22:21). That means that while we can support efforts to better society and stand for social justice with our vote, at the same time, we should always hold on to our religious convictions.
In each case, a thoughtful Christian would do well to prayerfully study candidates and vote accordingly. Being like Jesus means to avoid political methods and means that are in conflict with integrity, responsibility, and honor. And honoring God means to not allow debates and political strife to overshadow the calling to spread the good news.
Remember that the Bible predicts the days will come when our freedoms will be removed. Revelation 13 describes a power that will arise from the earth and eventually cooperate with a beast power to enforce legislation and turn the world as we know it on its head. Many students of Scripture see the United States in this prophecy. While some scorn this possibility, signs of change are all around us. Look at the turmoil of our world, the collapsing governments, record-breaking natural disasters, rampant crime rates, and political polarizations both in the United States and abroad.
Of all people of the world, Christians should be foremost in seeking to bring good to their communities. In the manner of Jesus, our lives should demonstrate our desire for the welfare of all humanity. Our prayers should ascend for our government leaders. And our neighbors should look to us and say, “Our society is a better place because of our Christian friends.”