Why Should Christians Engage in Politics?

It is often said, “Never discuss politics or religion in polite company.” However, for Christians, engaging in politics is not just permissible; it is essential, in a world that has exchanged it’s moral compass for virtue signaling and self-interest politics.

The Biblical Mandate

Christians are called to engage in all aspects of life, including politics. The Great Commission in Matthew 28:19-20 commands us to “go and make disciples of all nations… teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.” This mandate extends to influencing the political sphere with the Gospel Christ and His Kingdom.

Jesus and Politics

Critics of Christian involvement in politics often cite Matthew 22:15-22, where Jesus says, “Give back to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God what is God’s” as a basis for the separation of church and state. However, this interpretation overlooks Jesus’ recognition of legitimate governmental authority under God’s ultimate sovereignty. Romans 13:1-4 further emphasizes that all authorities are established by God for our good.

The Christian Role in Politics

The role of Christians in politics can be viewed through three primary functions.

  1. Teaching: The Great Commission includes the imperative to teach nations to obey God’s commandments. Christian politicians have a responsibility to model and teach Biblical values, which form the roots of good governance and moral integrity.
  2. Prophesying: The church serves as God’s prophetic voice to society, advocating for righteous laws and opposing unjust legislation. Matthew 10:16-20 encourages Christians to be as “shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves” being a bold witness in the political arena.
  3. Interceding: The word intercession means to “deal with” or “to entreat on behalf of someone else”. Intercession always places us between the powerful and the powerless, and should always result in a compassionate outcome. The Christian influence in politics should be driven by a deep concern for the welfare of the poor, the sick, and the sinner, embodying Christ’s love and mercy.

Modern politics is amoral, this was never the intention of the fathers of Australian Federation. Sir Henry Parkes once said, “we are pre-eminently a Christian people – as our laws, our whole system of jurisprudence, our Constitution… are based upon and interwoven with our Christian belief.” Indeed, Australia’s longest serving Prime Minster. Sir Robert Menzies, said, “You cannot separate what is sacred from what is secular; and that you cannot above all things have any Christianity which begins only on Sunday morning and ends on Sunday night.”

Conclusion

Christians should actively participate in the political process. This might include joining a political party, supporting advocacy groups like the Australian Christian Lobby (ACL), attending events and prayer meetings focused on political engagement, or even running for election as a Member of Parliament. These actions ensure that Christian values and voices are present and influential in the public sphere.