“Scripture advocates neither total withdrawal
from the political process nor overinvestment in it.”
~ Billy Graham
Every Christian must decide in advance which hill to die on. We must choose which battle to engage in and when to enter the skirmish. We must be strategic. Evaluate what our witness or example to others looks like; are we someone they will seek out from which to gain wisdom?
Matthew 5:16 (AMP) Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good deeds and moral excellence and recognize and honor and glorify your Father who is in heaven.
The real question is not if but when should Christians be involved in politics?
There are seasons in life that dictate our energy output and demonstrate our spiritual maturity. These stages are more predictive of “Should (or when you should) Christians be involved in politics.”
There are five stages of Christian maturity; two are connected to age, but the rest are connected to spiritual growth.
- NEPIOS – this is the Greek word for infant, little child as well as metaphorically used to describe a childish, untaught, and unskilled person. The Hebrew defines it as ‘unspeaking age’ or figuratively a simple-minded or immature person. This Christian may be naive, carnal, and immature in spiritual understanding. They are the Christians the Bible talks about that are only taking in the ‘milk’ of the word. They maybe born again, but are still an infant in their faith, still led by the flesh, are easily led astray, do not know the Bible and are unable to teach others about Christ.
- They still need to practice obeying Christ and his word in all things.
- Walk daily in the Spirit
- Live in the world but not be of the world (dictated by wants and self-serving)
- Be willing to see things in the light of God’s way.
- Bring your desires under control.
- Find Godly teachers to learn from and not be tossed by every ‘scholar’ out there.
- PAIDION – is a young child physically 2-12 years of age, spiritually is a half-grown person. They are still at the stage of discovering themselves, their will, and desire their own way. They can be rebellious and need discipline to correct their actions and mind-set. They tend to be rebellious against the ‘rules’ of Christian living. They are sincere about wanting to know Christ and begin to develop the knowledge and understanding of a real relationship with Him. This can be a time of great growth and seeking clarity between right and wrong. They need to be in a good Bible teaching situation, build solid relationships that help them move forward with their discipline and spiritual growth.
- Obey God in all things – even when it is hard.
- Commit to walking daily in the word and prayer.
- Wisely discern between what the world says and what God says.
- Make all decisions marked in scripture.
- Bring your body and thinking under control—discipline with Godly thinking.
- Stay connected with Godly, biblically correct teachers.
- TEKNON –is disciple or someone who follows a teacher in authority under Christ. This person is a real imitator of their faith. They are not just talking the talk; they are walking the walk. The scriptures consider this person a teenager and runs from age 12 to 30 years old. Rebelliousness has reached it is peak and no longer dictates this person’s life. Teens typically think they know everything, want their own way, and dislike accountability. Simultaneously this is the age of passionately wanting to know truth, and they can experience tremendous growth. They can digest substantial amounts of information and are seeking to be a true disciple. (Most of the disciples were about this age spiritually when Jesus was crucified.) It is also typical of the age that most church splits occur due to Teknons wanting to be in control. This spiritual age is when Christians can be a moving force in the church and in business. Their enthusiasm and growth in the Lord can fuel evangelism, growth in the church, and start various outreaches in the church and community. They do not know how to ‘run’ the business of a church yet, but their passion is contagious. (Numbers 8:23-24)
- Obey God in all things—do not assume you know, anchor knowledge in scripture.
- Walk daily in spiritual growth—know what you know.
- Be in tune with God’s way of doing things.
- Discipline your body and desires to fall in tandem with Christ.
- Be discipled by God aligned teachers
- Fellowship with God on a regular basis.
- HUIOS –defined in Hebrew as those whose character and life resemble God. They are governed by the Spirit of God; they have a calm and joyful trust in God. Their conduct gives evidence that their relationship is intertwined with God’s character. Huios Christians have reached spiritual maturity in Christ and are led consistently by the spirit of God. Their growth can is evident in the fruits of their spirit. It is easy to see their lives controlled by love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. They are receptive to being taught, are discerning and dedicated to God rather than conforming to the world. They know their spiritual gifts and how to use it best for Christ and others. This stage is when the true church and community leaders immerge. They know and practice the difference between good and evil and can warn others from evil. Their God-given gifts are active, bring unity to the community and church and their lives reflect a consistent holy basis. These Christians can be counted on.
- TELEIOS –means perfect or brought to the end, genuine, full grown, of full age and mature. These people are mature, self-controlled, able to bridle the tongue and their whole body. This stage is the goal for everyone. We will not achieve absolute perfection, we can strive to be fully mature, operating God’s way, with our flesh under control, displaying the fruits of the spirit, fully using our gifting, demonstrating God’s glory in every relationship, and living a holy life.
So, the question is not should Christians be a part of politics, it is WHEN SHOULD A CHRISTIAN BE A PART OF POLITICS? This important decision should be based more on where they are in their spiritual development, and their season of life.
Maybe ask ourselves:
- Where do you see your level of maturity based on these five levels?
- What are we doing to move toward the Teleios level of being an ambassador of Christ?
- Are we stagnant? Stuck? Immature?
- What can we do today to begin to ‘move toward the prize of the higher calling of Christ’?
Hebrews 12: 1 (Living) Since we have such a huge crowd of men watching us from the grandstands, let us strip off anything that slows us down or holds us back, and especially those sins that wrap themselves so tightly around our feet and trip us up; and let us run with patience the particular race that God has set before us.
Hebrews 12:14 (Living Bible) Try to stay out of all quarrels, and seek to live a clean and holy life, for one who is not holy will not see the Lord.
Our lives should reflect Christ in such a way that immature Christians or non-believers are drawn to Christ and Biblical teachings. If we spend our time offending or fighting, we will lose the time given to us to persuade others. When we build a moat, we keep others away, but when we build a bridge, others can cross over.
Often our testimony looks unheard or unseen. It can take years for someone to ask us what the hope within us is and often it is a tragedy that triggers their interest. That is what I think “Let your light so shine among men” means. It is often the day-to-day quiet living that wins others to Christ’s side.
So, what do you do if a bill, congressperson, president, or policy does not go the way we wanted it to?
- God was not absent the day the vote happened—He did not miss this.
- Sometimes negative situations wake people up for the future.
- Losing a skirmish does not mean the battle is lost. Stay the course.
- Pray for those in charge or for the situation.
- Seek always to build a bridge with those who can make change happen.
- Proverbs 18:19 (AMP) A brother offended is harder to win over than a fortified city, and contentions separating families are like the bars of a castle.
- Remember your #1 job (win as many people to Christ as possible)
God’s kingdom is not of this world, but we live in a world that must make the choice to live for Him or live for the enemy. Our actions may be the only silhouette others see of Christ. We know that the battle is God’s, so we do not have to over-reach our points. Instead, we must live a life that inspires others to want what we have and draw them in. It is about gathering small wins rather than one and done battles.
Christians have the assurance that even the most difficult issues in politics are in the hands of God who ultimately rules all.
Daniel 2:21 says: And he changes the times and the seasons: he removes kings and sets up kings: he gives wisdom to the wise, and knowledge to those who have understanding. He reveals the deep and secret things; He knows what is in the darkness, and the light dwells in Him!
Daniel 4:17 This sentence is by the decree of the [heavenly] watchers and the decision is by the word of the holy ones, to the intent that the living may know that the Most High [God] rules the kingdom of mankind and gives it to whomever He will and sets over it the humblest and lowliest of men.
Presidents and political leaders are under Christ’s direction and control. Christ may allow difficult issues, evil to run amuck, FOR A SEASON. Eventually, He intervenes and will set down the powers of wickedness. He came for a reason. Evil will not win.
Romans 13:1 Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God.
Should Christians be involved in Politics? Yes, the Christian plays an important role in the leaders who will govern but make it a point to stay true to Christ-centered values.
2 Chronicles 7:14 (NKJV)
“If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves,
and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways;
then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.”