In the last presidential election, many Christians simply stayed home. Granted there were those who took a pass because they were concerned about Mitt Romney’s Mormon religion, but these few are grist for another column. In this column I express my concerns about Christians who stay home in every election—local, state, and national. My issue is with Christians who believe that people of faith should stay out of politics, people who believe they will be corrupted if they engage in the civic machinations of the town square.
I am not concerned in this article with people who use Christianity as a convenient excuse to avoid political engagement when in reality they are just too irresponsible, too lazy, or too busy to do their civic duty. Of course I am concerned about these people, but they are not the subject of this article. Rather, in this article I focus on those Christians who refrain from political involvement because they believe there is a Scriptural admonition against it. This is a subject that should concern every conservative in America, whether Christian or not. Why? Because conservative politicians who espouse the Christian principles upon which our nation was founded will no longer be able to win election to high office unless Christians support them at the ballot box in substantial numbers. There is no escaping the hard fact that misguided politicians like Barack Obama, Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi, and others whose worldviews are destructive to Christianity and America are able to gain high office in part because many Christians refuse to engage in the political process.
Too many Christians use their local church as an oasis for temporarily escaping the trials and tribulations of life in a fallen world. But church was never intended to be a safe haven where Christians hide from the world. Rather it was and still is intended to be a place where the Holy Spirit empowers Christians to go out and conquer the world for Christ. Our churches are supposed to be the launching pads from which Christians obey the Biblical admonition to take dominion over the world. Christians will never take dominion by meekly ceding control of the government, the culture, and the education of their children to secular humanists who oppose everything the Bible stands for, but this is precisely what Christians do when they naively turn their backs on politics.
Politics—like any human endeavor—can be messy, frustrating, and discouraging. It takes true conviction to stand up for Christ when thrust into a den of hungry secular lions that want to devour you. And for Christians, going into the public square to engage in politics can be like entering a lion’s den. But having the courage to stand tall for Christian principles among those who abhor them is precisely the kind of conviction Christ expects of His children. He never said fighting the good fight against Satan and his minions would be easy. He never said following Him would be a picnic. Rather, Christ said we should pick up our cross and follow Him. Following Him does not mean hiding in the safe confines of our local churches and preaching to the choir. It means going out into the fallen world—just as Christ’s original disciples did—and demanding that political leaders lead in accordance with the Christian principles upon which our nation was founded.
Some Christians who rightly believe that their fellow saints should engage in politics use the argument that our choice is to act or not act. I disagree. I believe our choice is to engage or surrender, to obey the dominion mandate or ignore the Word of God. God rules over every square inch of His creation without exception, and He expects His children to make this fact obvious through the examples they set of Christ-like living, the laws they pass, the leaders they elect, the economic system they adopt, and the type of government they submit to. What professing Christian in his right mind is willing to stand before the Throne of God and say: “When Satan came to conquer your creation I did nothing.”