Politics According to the Bible–If Christians Don’t Seek to Influence Government…Who Will?

Posted: October 20, 2010 in Uncategorized

Wayne Grudem argues that if followers of Jesus don’t seek to influence the political system then others will and the morality from which they anchor their arguments will be faulty at best because it isn’t the revealed will of God who knows all and is perfectly just.  Thus, it is a duty for Christians, who possess the truth, even if only in part, to influence public policy.

Grudem then argues that it is the duty of pastors to help their congregants by speaking on pertinent political issues.  Grudem acknowledges that Christians, including ordained ministers, are called by God to different tasks and, therefore, some ministers will rarely address policy issues while others will do so frequently.    Grudem cites Billy Graham as an example of an evangelist who felt called to avoid political issues and, given his unique context, Grudem believes Graham was not being a “wimp” but was simply following God’s call.

Grudem also wisely cautions all pastors to divide the Word with care for there will be some issues that the Bible speaks clearly on, like protecting preborn children, while there are others, like issues of trade, that Scripture does not address at all.  Thus, THE question for pastors is NOT, “is the issue controversial and divisive?” but, “Is it clearly addressed by the Bible?’

Now, many of my more progressive friends or those who are John MacArthur-ites will scream that Grudem is encouraging pastors to spend more time on politics than the Gospel.  Not so.

Grudem states that a pastor is to preach the “whole counsel of God” (Acts 20:27), which includes public policy issues but is never to dwarf the centrality of salvation by faith alone through Christ alone. 

Okay, so Grudem argues that most ministers at least have an obligation t0 occasionally preach and teach on issues like life, marriage and religious liberty and that Christians, as a whole who are blessed to possess a portion of ultimate truth, have an obligation to influence government and but how are followers of Jesus to do so?

If you listen to the secular left they imply that Christians are conspiring to take over, institute a police state and establish a theocracy.  Ridiculous.  As Grudem argues, followers of Christ are minimally obligated to be well-informed (hopefully with the help of their pastor) to “vote for candidates and policies that are most consistent with biblical principles.” but challenges his fellow believers to also consider volunteering to assist candidates or state or local issues or even prayerfully consider running for office or joining a branch of the military.

Now, many will challenge Grudem on just about every one of these assertions–the Bible is not clear on issues except those that affect the poor, pastors are not conversant enough on public policy issues to speak about them, joining the military is sinful, etc. He will address many of these objections, so hold tight.

Until then, grace and peace.


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