Christianity and Politics
by David Cross
26 January 2021« Previous Day | Next Day »
There are many examples in history of Christians influencing the politics of a nation in hugely beneficial ways. In the late eighteenth century, an evangelical Christian, William Wilberforce, was a significant leader of the movement to tackle the sinfulness of slavery. For twenty years, he headed up the parliamentary campaign against the British slave trade, his efforts culminating in the passing of the Slave Trade Act of 1807.
We can certainly say that the ‘Christianising’ of politics can be of great value to a nation, but how about the ‘politicising’ of Christianity? Jesus didn’t promote political beliefs or political affiliation in His teaching. In fact, when Pilate was trying to understand His political motives, Jesus made it clear that the Kingdom He was describing had nothing to do with the power struggles of the religious and political leaders of that time.
We need to be careful about allowing ever-changing political ideologies into the activities of the Body of Christ. We are called to promote justice through spiritual reconciliation with God, not by absorbing the trending beliefs of this fallen world. Sadly, the unchanging Word of God will frequently be at odds with the attitudes of society, not least in standards of morality, but the aim of a follower of Jesus is to please God, not to appease those who carry political power. Our calling is to influence the attitudes of world with the righteousness of Jesus, not to invite the beliefs of the world to influence attitudes within the Body of Christ.
We live in days when the challenge of these issues will become ever more difficult, with the Christian perspective on life likely to be increasingly ridiculed. Thankfully, we have only to stand firm where God places us in the outworking of His plans and purposes, and to remember that the battle belongs to the Lord.
Prayer: Father God, I’m so grateful that we don’t have to be swayed by public opinion or the strength of political argument, for Your plumb line of truth remains unchanging as the answer to all the injustice of this troubled world. Give us strength and grace to share that radical answer, as You give each of us direction. Amen.
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