For me this question has not always had a simple answer. Although I have long thought that our faith should inform every area of life and that there was no real separation between the secular and the holy, I found the sentiment did not seem to be widely shared in regards to politics. That has always bothered me because I could not make the “politics” exception. I do believe that all of life is holy as we consecrate it to God. In other words an athletic contest, a concert, a show, a business endeavor and, yes, politics were all as spiritual as a prayer, a hymn, bible reading or a worship song.

God has created each one of us to be unique. As we live our lives according to our God given desires, we are giving back to God the highest form of worship. Living our lives and reveling in the way God made us is truly taking thankfulness from our lips to our actions and therefore to high praise to the one who made us. That must include politics.   

That being said, I know that as a believer our number one role is to fulfill the great commission, to take the gospel to the whole world. Politics, however, according to Word-Origins.com is “etymologically the art ofcivil administration’” and I think that captures what I think of when I think of the term politics – how society organizes and governs itself.  But back to fulfilling the great commission, how can politics do that? Our kingdom is not of this world so why should we concern ourselves with this worldly endeavor?

Politics is something which affects much, if not all of our lives, and over the past few years I have seen more and more clearly how politics and our involvement and interest through informing ourselves on the issues of the day is increasingly necessary and, indeed, a holy calling. Jesus challenged us to be salt and light to our culture and Christians through the ages have fulfilled that charge by slowly turning and molding the collective consciences of their communities. A cursory history of Western (Christianized) culture will show that in the areas of slavery, treatment of women, rule of law, treatment of prisoners, the poor, handicapped and infirm among others, the church has positively influenced culture.

We are still called to affect our culture and as citizens of the largest Republic, we have unprecedented opportunities to affect and mold the conscience of our nation and because of our nations influence, the world. Jesus and Paul both affirmed a duty of Christians is to be good citizens and in order to do that, we first must be men and women like the men of Issachar “who understood the times and knew what Israel should do” I Chronicles 12:32. Do we understand the times? Do we know what America should do? Because I think that as a Christian, I am not well enough informed to know, I think it important to pursue knowledge. Will you join me?

Part of my effort to sharpen my discernment and wisdom is to read and listen to many and varied sources of information and prayerfully ask God, what is right to do. As a result of that reading, I picked up a book by Hugh Hewitt titled “The Good and Faithful Servant, A Small Group Study on Politics and Government for Christians”. Partially as a result of this book and partly out of conviction on the part of Barb and I to do something to affect the church to be bright, salty and influential citizens, we are going to launch a small discussion group focusing on a wide variety of issues. Hugh Hewitt, in his introduction states “Christians have to get smart about politics because the freedom of the church – in the U.S. and abroad – and thus the church’s ability to spread the Good News of Christ depends on politics.” While that may be a bit of an overstatement, the point should not be missed that the preaching of the Good News is affected by politics.

Politics affects how the poor are treated, how human life is valued, and how freedom and liberty are handled. Different systems have widely different affects on these. So, as Christians, join me in becoming a better citizen: one who is not ashamed as a Christian to be informed and involved in the political arena. It is a blessing from God that we have this responsibility.

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