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On Being a Political Christian

It’s easy to feel torn as a Christ follower. In fact, you should feel torn.

Because your allegiance is to Jesus, not a platform. Your ultimate citizenship is not to America, much less to an American party. Your ultimate citizenship is in heaven. And as a follower of Jesus, you’re going to find that on some issues one party has it right and on other issues the other party has it right. On a third issue, both parties may have it wrong.

And by right or wrong, I mean looking at whether they hold to a biblical position. As Christians, we may align with a party, but as Christ followers, we never stand under that party. We always stand over it, taking stands for Jesus wherever those stands may lead us. We are never to turn a blind eye or a deaf ear to what Jesus would clearly want us to see and hear just because it goes against our political party.

As Martin Luther King once said, “We are not the master of the state, or the servant of the state, but the conscience of the state.”

2. You Are Always Voting for the Lesser of Two Evils.

How do you vote as a Christian when it doesn’t fall into neat political divides, or you are not thrilled with either candidate? Often people feel they are having to choose between the “lesser of two evils.” This is how I think many Americans have felt for any number of recent elections on both the state and national level.

And there’s a reason.

There is no such thing as a perfect candidate. And those who say that when it comes to choosing the lesser of two evils you can’t ever choose evil so you shouldn’t vote for either, are—I believe—misguided.

Unless Jesus is on the ballot, you’re voting for the lesser of two evils no matter who is running, and you’re doing that every single election. That doesn’t mean you overlook character; it just means that all candidates are going to be deeply flawed.

So you still must choose and vote.

I will venture to offer than when you make your choice, it’s not about whether they are a devoted Christ follower. It would be nice if more candidates were, but what’s critical is where they stand on issues of importance to Christ and culture. People sometimes forget that when it comes to electing a representative – a senator, a governor or a president – we’re not electing a resident pastor.

3. The Key to Christian Political Engagement Is a Christian Mind Wielding a Biblical Worldview.

So what’s the key to voting? What’s the key to political engagement?

To think and to vote as a Christian.

But that’s exactly what so many of us do not do.

What we tend to do is compartmentalize our thinking. A compartmentalized mind is one that separates life into distinct categories, such as faith, work, family, Facebook, the stock market—all without integration. Our thinking about one area never informs our thinking about another. So you can be a Christian but not reflect about an issue in light of your faith.

What does it mean to think about the sanctity of human life and its ending biblically?

What does it mean to think about immigration biblically?

What does it mean to think about issues surrounding gay marriage or gender identity biblically?