Seth Udinski, FISM News
As the 2022 midterm elections approach, Christians in America are wrestling with the question: How involved should we be in pushing for a political candidate or agenda?
Two separate reports have arisen that speak to this difficult question. The first came about last week, when prominent Southern Baptist theologian Al Mohler spoke at the Family Research Council’s “Pray, Vote, Stand” conference in Atlanta, Georgia.
Dr. Mohler boldly declared that Christians need to “vote the right way” in upcoming elections, claiming “the big battles are still to come.” Mohler is a conservative, and it seems likely that he was encouraging Christians to vote to flip the House and Senate back to Republican hands in November.
Though many Christians were delighted by Mohler’s exhortation, some took offense to it, believing that he stepped out of line in using his position as a theologian to push a politically conservative agenda.
Then on Monday, The Christian Post reported that the Faith & Freedom Coalition, a Christian political action group, is spending $40 million to encourage Christians to vote in the upcoming midterms.
The group is focusing its efforts on twelve key battleground states including Pennsylvania, North Carolina, and Ohio, as well as the openly blue state of California, where it hopes to inspire Christian voters to come out and vote for candidates who are more in line with their biblical beliefs on social issues.
Jason Yates, CEO of My Faith Votes, a nonpartisan group that “motivates, equips and activates Christians in America to vote in every election” is also dedicating $3.5 million to influence Christian voter turnout in midterms.
He told The Christian Post that he believes some Christians shy away from getting involved in politics out of fear of being offensive.
“When we vacate the public square, when we leave that, what we’re doing is we’re abdicating that to people who don’t share our values, Yates said. “So in a sense … the regulations, the policies, the laws that are established aren’t representing biblical values. We’re not talking about becoming a theocracy in America, but we do know that our values are good.”
Author’s Biblical Analysis:
So this begs the question: Should Christians get involved in politics? Should we, who first and foremost are citizens of a heavenly kingdom, bother ourselves with earthly kingdoms that we know will someday be as ash? Do we sit back and wait for God to return to take us to our heavenly home?
I would present to you a simple response, though not an easy one to accomplish. For the Christian, our end goal is sharing the gospel for the glory of God. Similarly, we are citizens of heaven before we are citizens of America or any earthly kingdom. This must be the anchor of our soul.
Therefore, I believe the answer to the question is this: Christians must engage in politics, but we must do it differently than the world does.
The gospel compels believers to not sit idly by as the world burns, but to get one’s hands dirty and promote the things that God loves. This is our key – we must be about the things that please our Father, not that which pleases any political system.
A prime example is the question of abortion. The Bible is clear – God hates abortion. He despises the shedding of innocent blood (Proverbs 6) and He simultaneously loves the little ones (Matthew 19). Therefore, Christians have a duty, as representatives of Jesus Christ on earth, to promote the things He loves and put a stop to that which He hates.
There is a very similar response to the LGBTQ revolution. Christians would need to do some serious theological gymnastics and ignore the entire meta-narrative of scripture to justify voting for a liberal candidate in 2022, considering the notion of a “pro-life liberal” or a “pro-traditional marriage liberal” has virtually disappeared in today’s polarized political system.
This gets to the heart of a Christian’s political affiliation. While many of those who hold to biblical values may vote conservative due to how its social platforms align with a biblical worldview, it should never be because we put our hope in the Republican Party or the conservative movement. Our hope is in God and we get our marching orders from Him. We put our votes and our work where our mouth is: loving the things that God loves and abhorring that which grieves His heart.
But in all of it, we must remember this truth that supersedes all political involvement and debate – Our hope is in Christ.
Christians must never anchor our hope in America, or the conservative movement, or patriotism, or Donald Trump (or any political candidate), or small government, or a powerful military force, or any other earthly factor that we may consider when we cast our vote. To do so would be bowing the knee to a false god.
We trust in Christ and Christ alone. This means that even if our preferred candidate does not get elected or we see continued losses in the culture war, the victory is still ours. We stand and fight against these things in the freedom of a victory that was won for us, once and for all, when the Lord Jesus Christ stepped on the head of the serpent in His substitutionary atonement and glorious resurrection.
Believer, engage in the fight. Vote for the things that please the heart of God. Stand against secularism and immorality. But in it all, keep your eyes firmly fixed on Jesus Christ, the Author and Perfecter of our faith who is ruling and reigning over all things. The victory is His, and if you belong to Him, that victory is yours as well.
He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. – Colossians 1:15-17