I was talking with an old buddy of mine about a political topic last night (whether allowing China to keep its MFN trade status with us has helped or hurt Chinese Christians) when he told me that didn’t care one way or the other how our government interacted with their government (I’m paraphrasing) because God is bigger than any government and that He will work His will in that country regardless.

I was a little disconcerted about this, since I believe that we can and do have a part to play in the world as Christians, including the political sphere. My friend then got a little more specific. For him, politics was just not something he was gifted or interested in. He had relatives who were very politically inclined, and he’d had a number of conversations with them where they suggested that he needed to be more informed and involved. His point to me was this: There are those who are interested and gifted regarding politics just like any other ability (encouragement, teaching, etc.). For those that are gifted (and all these gifts come from God), they should get involved and active. It would be a misuse of their talents not to. For he and others who are not gifted in this area, it would be a waste of time to try to fit in where God had not intended them to.

I suggested that perhaps saying that everyone should follow politics is like saying that everyone should be a missionary. As high a calling as missionary might be, if God’s not made you for that, there is an even higher calling that He has you for. (Perhaps, policy wonk?)

We were at the church working with a professional sound technician who was helping us get more out of the system we have, so our conversation was done at that point as we got back into that subject. That was last night, and I’ve had some more time to consider that conversation today. Here are some additional thoughts I’ve had.

Right off, I want to make sure you know that my friend isn’t completely out of the loop regarding politics. He knows many of the presidential candidates positions, he reads the news, understand local, national and international issues, and he votes. He is by no means a political Luddite.

Overall, I agree with the premise that interest in political topics or being active politically is not something we’re all called to do; again, just like missionary service. On the other hand, I think that some form of interest in how are governing bodies are operating and what they’re doing is important to Christians.

For those concerned about the continued casualness applied to extra-marital sex, the fact that 1 million+ babies are still being aborted each year is cause for concern and action, even if it just means knowing candidates’ positions. Yes, God is sovereign over it all, but the slaughter continues. Do we sit back and tell God to deal with it? I don’t think so, any more than we’d tell God to deal with the problem of the unsaved Himself.

I think that changing hearts is the best way to stop this, but politics has its place. This doesn’t mean we all become political activists and lobbyists, but it does mean there are things we can do in the political sphere, even if we don’t “major” in it, so to speak. A simple vote for the candidate of your choice is a political expression. Going back to the missionary analogy, we’re not all going to become overseas missionaries or tent-makers, but it does mean there are things we can do in the spiritual sphere — sharing the good news — even if we don’t make it our occupation.

So to me, politics does need to connect with us as Christians at some level. I don’t expect fervor from everyone; in fact I understand how it can be completely mundane and uninteresting to most. God can use an individual in working His will as much as He can use a movement, but He does use both. He is sovereign over it all, but that doesn’t absolve us of doing our part where we are called to do it. I think that’s the lesson I got out of this.


Filed under: AbortionDougPoliticsReligion

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