Should Politics Divide Christians?

by Jack Wellman · Print Print · Email Email

Should Christians divide over politics? Should Christian Democrats and Christian Republicans be at odds with one another?

Is God Democrat or Republican?

I have heard people actually say that they believe that God is a Republican because that party is pro-life but is God into politics?  Should Christians be into politics?  Should we campaign or put signs in our yards?  What guidance from the Bible can we find in the realm of politics?

The Pharisees and the Herodians were naturally opposed to one another but they had a common enemy and so they joined together against Jesus Christ and “sent to him some of the Pharisees and some of the Herodians, to trap him in his talk.  And they came and said to him, “Teacher, we know that you are true and do not care about anyone’s opinion. For you are not swayed by appearances, but truly teach the way of God. Is it lawful to pay taxes to Caesar, or not? Should we pay them, or should we not” (Mark 12:13-14), but as always, Jesus knew their motives were less than honorable and “knowing their hypocrisy, he said to them, ‘Why put me to the test? Bring me a denarius and let me look at it.’ And they brought one. And he said to them, ‘Whose likeness and inscription is this?’ They said to him, ‘Caesar’s.’ Jesus said to them, ‘Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.’ And they marveled at him” (Mark 12:25-17). When it comes to things like government (Caesar) and the things of God, we are to render to each what is due them and be participants.  That is, we should render unto political candidates our votes if they stand for our values like pro-family and pro-life.  I cannot vote for someone who supports or promotes abortion.  My conscience cannot allow me to do that.

Should Politics Divide Christians

Many Members, One Body

Sadly, most Christians vote at about the same rate as unbelievers do.  Some Christians see voting as participating in this world’s system, but if Jesus said we are to be salt and light, does salt stay in the shaker or is light hidden under a basket (Matt 5:13-16)?  It should not be so.  We have every right to vote for someone who we feel reflects our values, and hopefully, they are biblical.  Even so, like those who are not saved, a great number of Christians don’t go to the trouble to vote, even if they are offered the opportunity to vote for a pro-life candidate.  Even so, if you voted for someone else, your relationship to me has not changed.  The Apostle Paul wrote, “For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ” (1 Cor 12:12).  It is God Who has arranged each member of the body of Christ as He chose (1 Cor 12:18).  God has placed each of us in one body so “that there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another” (1 Cor 12:25).  Having different opinions on who to vote for should not change our relationship with the other members of the body.  The hand should help the body just as the heart pumps blood to help the hand. They need one another and we all need the other members of the body to function properly for the work that Jesus has for us to do (Matt 25:35-36; Eph 2:10).

Our Allegiance

If my brother or sister votes for another candidate than I do, I have no reason to become antagonistic against him or her.  They don’t even have to tell me how they voted.  It is not my business.  I do vote for pro-life candidates, because to me human life is more important than the economy, homeland security, or the national debt.  I’m neither a Democrat nor a Republican and not even an Independent.  I am a follower of Jesus Christ and I want to be salt that penetrates those around me and a light to expose the darkness.  That means I must do what I can and I choose to vote (among other things).  I’m not saying that the economy or terrorism isn’t important.  What I am saying is that life is so infinitely more important than the temporary things of this world.   I don’t believe it’s good to associate ourselves as a Democrat or a Republican (or Independent), but as a Christian!  We must not divide over politics. We might vote for one party or the other, but we should vote our consciences and not along party lines.  We are not of this world, even if we are in the world (for the time being).

Conclusion

Sometimes doctrine divides and that’s actually good. Christians must stand firm on the critical essentials (John 3:16; Acts 4:12; Rom 10:9-13; 2 Cor 5:21, etc.), but Christians should not divide over politics.  We have no reason to.  Some might believe we should impose our views on others and make them see that voting for such and such a candidate is best for our nation, but this can only cause division among the members of the body.  Jesus is the Head of the Church and He will hold each member accountable for how they’ve treated one another.  Remember when Jesus struck down Saul on the Damascus Road?  Jesus said “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me” (Acts 9:4).  Paul had never seen it that way.  Obviously, Jesus means that when we persecute other Christians, we are really persecuting Him!  That’s serious business my friends.  When we attack fellow believers and become divided, we are trying to divide what God has intended to be one!  We persecute Jesus every time we persecute a fellow believer, thus Christians should never divide over politics; or anything else for that matter.

Related reading: Should Christians Vote?

Resource – Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.





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