A friend asked me recently to explain to her my perspective on Christians in politics. I know what I DON’T think: I’m sure that we’re not expected to create heaven on earth by somehow getting everything right politically or socially. If I’m reading Scripture correctly, it tells me that as the days grow short before the Lord’s return, things will get worse instead of better. (See for instance, Matthew 24 and II Timothy 3)
But on the other hand, we are told to be faithful servants who–though we don’t know when our Master will return–will be found actively doing His work.
This may well include praying for our country, and its leaders, even if we don’t agree with them or like them. It may include voting, campaigning, writing to senators about issues on which we feel passionately. It may even include running for public office, if this seems to be the Lord’s leading. I don’t think retreating from political life is the most responsible path for the Christian. But realistically, I don’t think we’re going to save the world, either. That’s already been done.
“He has shown you what is good–what does the Lord require of you but to act justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God?” (Micah 6:8)
Our God is a God of justice. We are most like Him when we love justice, when we treat one another justly, and when we seek justice for those who are unable to seek it for themselves. Our God is a God of mercy and long-suffering. We are most like Him when we are merciful to one another, not vindictive, not demanding an eye for an eye but forgiving and seeking restoration and peace in our families, our communities and our nation.
Our God is the Great and Mighty One, the only true God and worthy of all worship. Our God is Good and loving, desiring a personal relationship with each of His children. We honor and love Him most when we walk humbly with Him, day by day, listening for His voice and obeying His commands and His promptings.
I believe that the Kingdom of Heaven is being revealed, bit by bit, as God’s people accomplish the work He gave them to do. We’re not going to hold back disaster from the world, but even in the darkest hour, we can shine like stars in the universe as we hold out the hope we have in Christ. A cup of cold water offered in His name, unseen by the media, unsung by the world, perhaps completely anonymous…could this not be a thing of aching beauty which honors our Lord and reveals Him to others?
But the one who boasts should boast in this,
that he understands and knows Me —
that I am Yahweh, showing faithful love,
justice, and righteousness on the earth,
for I delight in these things.
This is the Lord’s declaration. (Jeremiah 9:24)