In recent years, I have been fairly vocal about the fact that I believe the Church should be less focused on political issues and more invested in the actual presentation of the gospel. Meaning that our efforts, as the body of Jesus, should be less exhausted in arguing over political issues and, instead, we should be focusing on reaching our neighbors and changing the culture of our nation by making disciples, rather than by fighting to change the secular world's laws.
With that said, the question is: is there major difference between making a stand regarding political issues and making a stand against social injustices? For instance, I will never put effort into calling for the Church to pray a president out of office. The office of President is not a Christian office. It is a worldly position, within a worldly government, and its to be expected that whoever sits in that office will do so with the goal of ruling like the world. So when a worldly-thinking man is elected, it doesn't shatter my faith or offend my spirit. I am not worldly, and I don't expect the world to adhere to my way of thinking. I go to the voting booth understanding that whoever is elected will likely stand behind laws and practices that are counter-cultural to my worldview. In fact, if that were not so, I would be concerned.
With that said, we, the Church, do have a responsibility to the widows and the orphans and the unloved. Jesus was known as the friend of sinners and the unlovable. We have a responsibility to defend the prisoners and the unborn and the ostracized. Which means that although I would never consider getting involved in the fight for\against gun control, I must defend the unborn. Although I would never stop speaking to my neighbors for supporting or rejecting the need for drastic measures in our border protection, I must protect the unloved and the unwanted. But should our fight against injustice look identical to the world's fight over political issues? I think not.
Which brings me to a very important question. If we, the Church, are different than the world, why are we fighting the same way? Why does the fight for gun control look the exact same as the fight for life?
Over the last few days, I have seen my Facebook blow up with posts from angry Christians from all over the country. It has both inspired me to make a stand, and embarrassed me to see some of the things my fellow believers think its ok to say. I have seen Christians threaten those who stand behind abortion. I have seen Christians, in all good conscience, threaten the nation with the wrath of God. I've seen demands that the Church pray certain people out of office, or for the bankruptcy of certain businesses and doctor practices. I've seen venom spit in the faces of men and women who do not agree with us. And as i have watched all of this, I can't help but believe there has to be a better way.
Don't get me wrong. I understand that this is not a light issue. This isn't like the border wall or the mileage tax. Millions of babies are not only being slaughtered, but their deaths are being celebrated as a positive advancement in female empowerment. Our nation is literally teaching our daughters that they are brave if they murder their children. This isn't a light issue. I get that. But as the Church, we have to understand that the gospel is the power of God for salvation (Romans 1:16). Our power rests in the unchanging presence and Word of God. And our fight, despite how it feels, is not with flesh and blood, but with principalities and powers and the rulers of the darkness of this world (Ephesians 6:12).
This isnt just something that we say! It is not a pretty metaphor or a hyperbolic point on prayer. Our fight is not with the people that the Church has spent the last few days criticizing and threatening and growing more and more bitter toward. Our fight is with powers of darkness that have set themselves up against the knowledge of God! We cannot win this fight by holding signs up to shame women who have already been convinced that what they are doing is not murder. We cannot win this fight by demanding that politicians who do not see through the lense of Christ respect our worldview. We cannot win this fight by mouthing off every four years and bullying the nation into voting for people who think like us.
Those methods can't win us this fight. Because the issue here is not about a vote. The issue here is not about a political wind or movement. The issue here is not about yelling louder or marching longer or pushing through larger doors. The issue is about tearing down strongholds and lofty thoughts that have raised themselves against the knowledge of God. The issue is pushing back powers of darkness that have rooted themselves into the spirit and mind of this generation. The issue is pulling back the veil of "progression" to reveal the still reigning depravity of our race. The issue here is revealing Jesus.
Church, I know that in recent days, many have come to the surface telling us that we are selfish for hiding in our prayer closets. And they aren't wrong. But the answer is not in getting vicious and vindictive and angry like the world. The answer is not in abandoning our counter-culture identity and putting on the political hat. The answer is not in slapping band-aids over mortal wounds. Laws are temporary. Political opinions are temporary. Elected officials are temporary. But what is not temporary is the indwelling power of God to bring freedom.
We. Do. Not. Fight. Against. Flesh. And. Blood.
So, friends, what should our response be to this fight for life? How do we approach this fight? How do we make a stand for an entire generation that is being wiped out by greed and hatred and ignorance? How do we save the unborn children who God so desperately loves and longs to know?
"All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age."
Matthew 28:18b-20 (ESV)
I would love to hear your thoughts on this subject. Please share your opinions on whether Christians should get involved in politics, and if so, how to do so without compromising Christ’s nature.