Aaron Taylor’s blog posted on Sojourners has amazing insight into the way Christians view politics, and thoughts on the way we should view politics. Here is his conclusion.
Perhaps a better approach for Christians is to preach the gospel, serve humanity with good works, focus on living a kingdom lifestyle within the life of the church, and recognize the ambiguity in all political solutions to earthly problems. I may know that abortion is wrong and never counsel a woman to have an abortion because of my religious beliefs, but that doesn’t mean that I’m privy to special knowledge on how to translate that into a political solution that will save the most unborn lives. I may refuse to serve in combat because I believe that killing in war is a violation of Jesus’ command to “love your enemies,” but that doesn’t mean that I have God’s perspective on what should be done about Iraq and Afghanistan. If I claim that I do, then the credibility of the gospel that I preach is damaged in the end. If Obama’s decision has taught me anything, it’s that political humility isn’t just an option for Christians; it’s a necessity.
So do we as Christians exercise our right, and vote, and be involved in the political process? Yes, but to an extent. What is that quote that I used to hear all the time? “Be the change you want to see in the world.” There is some truth to that. Christian, especially when it comes to politics, need to focus more on being the change rather than standing for change. We need to focus on being the Kingdom of God rather than letting our focus be encouraging our government to implement policies that look like the Kingdom of God.
Taylor talks about political humility. What a great idea, to know that you don’t have the solution to every problem. We, as Christians, don’t have the solutions, we have the vision. We know how things were set up to be, and how we have fallen from that. We do not have exclusivity to the knowledge of the way back, save for through the sovereignty of God. God will accomplish His purposes in the world, we need to trust that, and to understand that we might not always see how that will come to be. We follow God, we are not of one mind with Him.
For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts.
Isaiah 55:9 ESV
That is where the humility comes in. We need to focus on living out that vision where we are, and praying for that vision to come to be here on the earth. Jesus said:
“Pray then like this:
Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.”
Matthew 6:9-13 ESV
The humility is, we do not know how the Kingdom will come, only what it will look like in the end. If we can admit that, and trust the Lord, and begin praying earnestly for it, instead of seeking it in our messed up political structure, then I think it might come a bit sooner.