What are politics?
We have forgotten what the real meaning of politics is. Allow me to explain the true definition. Politics is most simply defined as the science of government. Remember that God established government (Romans 13:1), which means that politics were established by God. And what God established was done so for his glory. “You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they were created and have their being.” Revelation 4:11 (NIV) That means that God established politics for his glory.
Maybe part of the reason that politics are in such turmoil today is partially due to Christians withdrawing from the sphere of government in many instances. Maybe part of the reason many of our politicians are broken is because we don’t pray for them enough. Maybe politicians could be encouraged by our help. What I do know is that politicians definitely don’t listen to someone they don’t hear from.
Are there any biblical examples of people who have been involved in politics?
The book of Acts gives a clear reminder that David was both a king and a man after God’s own heart. “After removing Saul, he made David their king. God testified concerning him: ‘I have found David son of Jesse, a man after my own heart; he will do everything I want him to do.’” Acts 13:22 (NIV) How could it be true that David was a man after God’s own heart and he was also a great politician of his time? Actually that is easy to explain. His politics were aligned with God’s politics.
John the Baptist spoke out against what was an unlawful relationship between Herod and Herodias. “Now Herod had arrested John and bound him and put him in prison because of Herodias, his brother Philip’s wife, for John had been saying to him: “It is not lawful for you to have her.” Matthew 14:3-4 I suggest that this statement was indeed a political one, if we understand what politics really are.
God cares about justice. He cares about those who are oppressed and afflicted.
“Endow the king with your justice, O God,
the royal son with your righteousness.
May he judge your people in righteousness,
your afflicted ones with justice.
May the mountains bring prosperity to the people,
the hills the fruit of righteousness.
May he defend the afflicted among the people
and save the children of the needy;
may he crush the oppressor.
May he endure as long as the sun,
as long as the moon, through all generations.
May he be like rain falling on a mown field,
like showers watering the earth.
In his days may the righteous flourish
and prosperity abound till the moon is no more.” Psalm 72:1-7
You can live out God’s word through politics
God is not anti-political. God embodies everything that is good about politics. His government is perfect. Where does that leave us? Here we are in this place called life and God has given us this thing called government. I believe there are many ways to live out God’s word through politics. Here are just a few for now…
- Peacefully speak up for what is lawful and good according to his word.
- Peacefully speak out against what is unlawful according to God.
- Pray for our nation’s leaders, specifically that they will live and govern according to God’s word.
- Vote for candidates who live according to God’s word, tell the truth and do what they say (I know it sounds impossible, but there are candidates who meet this criteria to at least some degree).
God called us to be the salt of the earth. He called us to be the light. We should let God’s light shine through us in all aspects of life. “No one lights a lamp and puts it in a place where it will be hidden, or under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, so that those who come in may see the light.” Luke 11:33 What can you do politically to let God’s light shine through you?