To Be or Not To Be: A reflection on the intersection of faith and politics.

Faith and politics: a controversy quite familiar to many Americans. Should the church and state be kept separate? Or should they be intertwined? Should Christians be involved in politics? Or should they stand back?

As American citizens, it is our duty to be involved in politics. Yes, our duty. As Chrisitans, we can use politics as one way to fulfil the purpose God has for us. Proverbs 31:8-9 calls us to “speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy” (NIV). As Christians, we are ultimately called to love as Jesus did. Jesus loved the marginalized,
the oppressed, and the sinners, and we are called to do the same.

With this comes the responsibility of getting involved in politics. This does not mean that politics take precedence over faith, but that taking part in politics is a part of living a faithful life.

Jesus said, “Give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar, and give to God what belongs to God” (Matthew 21:22 NLT).

In Matthew 21, Jesus shows how the worldly kingdom and heavenly Kingdom are ultimately in tension and we have to live with that. Ultimately, we are called to live for God. We are not called to live for politics. Oftentimes people can get caught up in being too involved in politics that they lose the essence of their faith.

We are called to “not store up for yourselves treasures on earth” (Matthew 6:19), but to “store our treasures in heaven” (Matthew 6:20). Storing up our treasures on earth is having politics take the foundation of our lives, concerning ourselves more with reading the news more than our Bible. But storing our treasures in heaven calls for living a faith of service, a faith where Christians actively live out the love and purpose of Christ.

One of the ways Christians can walk in faith is through the act of voting. In America, citizens have the privilege to vote, a privilege that allows us to choose our standard of life, a privilege that allows us to stand up for issues we care about, for issues that God calls us to. As Christians, it is our responsibility to advocate for the oppressed, to advocate against injustice and this is prevalent now more than ever.

As my INST-150 professor, Lauren Haskell has said, “You are not voting for a pastor, you are voting for a politician.”

You may never fully agree with a politician, but that does not mean you do not vote. As people of faith, we cannot sit back because we are displeased with the candidates. Politics are corrupt and so is humanity. This does not mean we can disregard our privilege to make a positive difference for the kingdom of God.

As Christians, we are called to spread the light of the Lord across our country, a light that will work to outshine injustice, oppression and sin. Let us work together to make a difference in this world, spreading the light and love of Christ throughout our country and our world. Let us come together as people of faith and help work towards the kingdom of God.

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