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Is God Political?

Political parties are made up of individuals who share common values and goals. The unique heritage of the United States is based upon its ability to allow for a wide spectrum of opinions and beliefs to coexist.

In recent years some “Christians” have become unhappy with this arrangement. Those who were once content with fulfilling the Gospel Commission, now want to sanitize culture through enforced legislation. Some religious organizations have become so political they’ve lost their non-profit status and have morphed into campaign action groups for politicians. More frightening, our current President wants to make it legal to do so. Their mantra is “everyone should live as Christians do.” They believe God is on their side and that He expects them to rid America of secularism and pluralism. Their end-goal is to enact laws that will enforce Christian values.

The inevitable conclusion of such a course is that, if it happens, we will lose the one thing that has made America a bastion of free speech and religious practice. We will become like some of the countries in the Middle East where civil authority is used to enforce religious law. We will be a theocracy instead of a democracy.

Tired of God’s Way

So what prompts some Christians to take their focus off of God’s agenda to pursue their own? On one occasion when the Pharisees demanded that Christ show them when the kingdom of God would come, Jesus said, “The kingdom of God does not come with observation; nor will they say, ‘See here!’ or ‘See there!’ For indeed, the kingdom of God is within you.”

Christ’s first coming (as a baby) was missed by the existing religious system because they believed the Messiah would come to establish an earthly kingdom (complete with its own system of government). Instead Christ came as a baby wrapped in rags and lying in a manger.

Today, many Christians believe Christ is calling them to establish a church/state government (theocracy) that practices and enforces biblical principles. They believe Christ’s Second Coming will be to establish an earthly kingdom (in this present age) where all evil is banished.

Jesus said, “My kingdom is not of this world” (John 18:36). Even though He was greatly opposed to many of the actions of the Roman government during His earthly sojourn, Jesus did not make it His mission to unseat the government, or even incite protest against their authority. He took the higher road of seeking to bring about transformation within people’s hearts.

The moment a church or religious organization enters the political fray, they become an extension of someone’s political campaign and lose credibility with some of the very people God calls them to reach.

Salt of the Earth

Christians should express their views on moral and ethical issues! But in no way does Scripture support the idea of Christians waging a “holy war” to force culture to accept their views! Jesus said we are to be the “salt of the earth” within our communities and homes. When used correctly, salt enhances the taste of a good meal. Too much destroys it!

God wants His followers to add flavor to the lives of the people they mingle with. His way is to win hearts through subtle influence and acts of compassion. This apolitical approach is far more successful than using coercion and force (Matthew 5:13).

God’s Political Affiliation

Does God belong to a political party? If so, is He a Republican, Democrat or Independent? Here is what we do know:

1. God does not view the world as we do. He sees beyond our national and political boundaries into the hearts and lives of the people He made.

2. God is no respecter of persons. He doesn’t favor one class or group over another, including the people we label as “liberal” or “conservative.”

3. God deeply cares about life, justice and mercy.

4. God values authenticity and honesty above performance.

5. God’s kingdom is based upon righteousness and love. The ultimate end of God’s work on earth is salvation from sin.

How Should We Live?

As we pass through life we have an obligation to do what we can to make the world a better place–with heaven as our ultimate goal. Paul sums it up in his letter to the Christians living in Corinth:

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God” (2 Corinthians 5:17-20).

What an incredible mission for Christians everywhere! Far more than any political agenda could ever fulfill–God invites us to expose hearts and lives to His wonderful grace.

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About Rich DuBose and Rich DuBose

Rich DuBose

is director of Church Support Services for the Pacific Union Conference

Rich DuBose

writes from Northern California

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