Should Christians Stay out of Politics?

17 Dec

Mark 12:17, “And Jesus answering said unto them, Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s. And they marvelled at him.”

I had a most interesting exchange with a stranger on a friend’s Facebook page the other night.  The position taken was that Christians have no place in politics because we haven’t yet fulfilled the Great Commission to evangelize the planet.

Three quick points on that:  

1) It is an example of “either-or” logic that says if a person is in the process of doing political work, she could not possibly be evangelizing the planet at that exact same moment.  I assert that she could be.  I believe every sphere of our lives as Christians is sacred, not just the ones we declare to be sacred or the ones we do on Sunday morning.  

2)  It is an example of a sanctimonious way for a person to say he is not interested in politics.  If someone isn’t interested in politics, that is fine.  Many people are not.  Just say it that way, instead of trying to put a guilt trip on Christians who get involved politically.  We are all different. Additionally, I have noticed most people who lecture others about not getting involved politically because the Great Commission takes precedence are actually doing neither.  Usually the person who voices this opinion, when questioned, will reveal that they are not actively involved in evangelizing anyone.  They just think you should be!  Nice! 

3) Is it even possible for a person to be actively evangelizing the planet 24/7?  Would not a person who tried to have the gospel coming out of his mouth every possible moment get a little too tightly wrapped and suffer a breakdown eventually?  I ask because a friend and I actually tried to do that in college.  We wanted every sentence to have the word Jesus in it, somehow (or at least “praise the Lord”).  Even in math class.  Ha!  It was after that that I realized the gospel is in every part of our lives as Christians and it is our job to not misrepresent it, as we go through our day.  I mean, once a co-worker knows I am a Christian, he will be watching me for consistency, no?

I do understand that there are some black and white thinkers among Christians who believe we must speak the gospel in order to evangelize the planet 24/7.  And, at its heart, that is what the Great Commission says!!!  We must sometimes speak the gospel.  There is no escaping it.  I just assert that evangelizing is a total lifestyle, in which we use words, deeds, and even thoughts to be transformed into Jesus’ image and to work with the Holy Spirit to transform our planet.  There is no “either-or” about it.  We are at it 24 hours a day, wherever we are!

I jokingly said to a few friends who saw a clip of my husband and me doing karaoke at his office party the other night that I couldn’t put the clip on Facebook lest someone send me a note about not fulfilling the Great Commission.  But the fact is, the friends with whom we were doing the karaoke (my husband’s work partner and her husband) know we are Christians.  We already have a witness there.  And nothing we did the other night compromised that.  That, at its heart, is Great Commission living.

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