TENET LESSON 4

Church and Politics

We believe that each local church is self-governing in function and must be free from interference by any government or political authority. We further believe that every human being is directly responsible to God in matters of faith and life and that each one should be free to worship God per the dictates of conscience.

The Bible teaches that a leader in the church should be a godly, moral, and ethical person which should apply to political leaders as well. If politicians are going to make wise, God-honoring decisions, they must have a bible-based morality on which to base the decisions they make.

Issues such as the size and scope of government and economic systems are not explicitly addressed in Scripture. Bible-believing Christians should support issues and candidates that adhere to Scripture. We can be involved in politics and hold public office. However, we are to be heavenly minded and more concerned with the things of God than the things of this world. No matter who is in office, whether we voted for them or not, whether they are of the political party we prefer or not, the Bible commands us to respect and honor them. We should also be praying for those placed in authority over us. We are in this world but are not to be of this world.

There are issues the Bible does explicitly address. These are spiritual issues, not political issues. Two popular issues that are explicitly addressed are abortion and homosexuality and gay marriage. For the Bible-believing Christian, abortion is not a matter of a woman’s right to choose. It is a matter of the life or death of a human being made in God’s image. The Bible condemns homosexuality and gay marriage as immoral and unnatural.

Genesis 1:26-27; 9:6; Exodus 21:22-25; Leviticus 18:22; Psalm 139:13-16; Jeremiah 1:5; Romans 1:26-27; 13:1-7; 1 Corinthians 6:9; Colossians 3:1-2; 4:2; 1 Thessalonians 5:17; 1 Timothy 3:1-13; Titus 1:6-9; 1 Peter 2:13-17; 1 John 2:15

One extreme that Christians should avoid is to look to politics and the government to create a Christian country. When Christians start looking to the government to do what God asked them to do it often leads to compromise as well as damaging our witness to those with whom we may disagree politically.

We live in a time of acute political polarization, exacerbated every election cycle by a 24-hour barrage of candidate advertisements on every communication platform. Unfortunately, the toxic tone and extremely partisan nature of our political system discourage many Christians from studying what the Bible teaches about government and considering how faith should inform one’s view of politics. Thus, it is no surprise that withdrawing from the political process has become a temptation for many Christians. After all, if God is sovereign and controls the heart of the king (Prov. 21:1), do we really need to get involved in the messy world of politics? Because political engagement can be divisive, shouldn’t Christians abandon politics and direct their energies toward more spiritual pursuits?

Christians are called to honor God in every area of their lives. Therefore, we should seek to submit everything to the Lord, including our political engagement. Engaging in politics is not only unavoidable, but also an opportunity to obey God and show love to our neighbors. American Christians, with our right to vote, have a unique opportunity and duty to affect the political process. To that end, the goal of this publication is to help Christians filter all issues, candidates, and party platforms through a biblical worldview and encourage God-honoring, faithful political engagement.

Romans 13:1-5 tells us to obey the laws of the government. The only exception is Acts 5:29 when it would directly impact our ability to share the Gospel in obedience to God. Christians should be the salt and light of the world. Instead of complaining, we should be praying. 1 Timothy 2:2.

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