Evangelical Christians and the Quandary of Politics

By Michael Brown Published on December 23, 2018

Politics can get very dirty. Christians try not to get dirty (in the moral sense of the word).

Politics is always divisive. Christians try to unify around Jesus.

Politics demands party loyalty. Christians give their ultimate loyalty to the Lord, not a party.

Politics is filled with compromise and mixture. Christians are called to avoid both.

Politics is sure to disappoint. Christians are accustomed to look to One who never disappoints.

How, then, do we sort this out?

Sort Out or Drop Out?

Over and again, we work hard to get a candidate elected, then that candidate lets us down. We labor and pray for the right court appointees, only to see them change their views.

Maybe we should just drop out of the whole political system? Maybe we should just give ourselves to spiritual work and let the world take care of worldly matters? Maybe we should just live like modernized Amish?

I remember hearing a pro-life leader talking on the radio shortly after the Reagan presidency.

He said that he and his organization worked day and night to elect Ronald Reagan. They helped rally other evangelicals to the cause. They fought for pro-life legislation.

But after 8 years of effort, he saw little change in the overall social and political climate, especially when it came to abortion in our country.

In the end, he felt used. Maybe he should just drop out?

An Interesting Perspective

I was once asked my radio listeners to call the show if they claimed to be committed followers of Jesus and yet voted for pro-abortion candidates like Barack Obama.

I didn’t want to argue with them. I wanted to understand, since, from my perspective, a committed Christian cannot vote for a pro-abortion candidate.

This would parallel my understanding of a Christian’s voting responsibility in the days of slavery. That one issue would come first when it came time to cast my ballot.

One caller raised an interesting perspective.

He said, “I’m pro-life, and I don’t like abortion at all. But I don’t think the president will be the one to change our abortion laws, even through the courts. Reagan didn’t change things. George H. W. Bush and George W. Bush didn’t change things. So, I vote for the president based on other issues, and that’s why I voted for Obama. It’s up to the church to change the abortion laws.”

Now, you might disagree with his perspective, as I do. But I also understand his sentiments. It’s akin to the quoted attributed to Einstein, namely, that insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. Are we doing that with politics?

The problem is that we can’t drop out, even if we wanted to. It would mean chaos for the nation and calamity for the church.

Of course, there’s always the question of whether we have a God-given responsibility to vote and be involved.

We Will Lose Our Vote

But there’s something more fundamental still. If we don’t cast our votes, we will quickly lose our voice – not just politically but in other ways. We will quickly find our rights disappearing. Hostility to Christians will become the national norm. We will be silenced on many fronts.

Why? Because those who hate us won’t stop voting. And those who despise our morals won’t stop campaigning. And the activists who feel a sacred calling to oppose us will be empowered.

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Recently, a young mother contacted me, terribly grieved and deeply frustrated. Her teenage daughter has decided she is transgender and now wants to identify as a boy. And her school is very supportive.

The mom and dad met with a school counselor and were shocked at what they heard. Not only was the school about to announce to the students and faculty (that very day!) that “she” was now “he” and that “he” had a new name. But the school was going to do this without even informing the parents, let alone getting their consent. How on earth can this happen?

 Not only so, but, the mom told me that “the school was giving her [meaning, her daughter] info, if we were not accepting of her new identity, that she should get us to sign away our rights as a parent and she could live in a group home with other children who have been kicked out of their homes, who may also be gay (which she says she is bi). Can you believe she was getting counsel like that at 15 years old?? . . . All this was supposed to ‘go down’ today without our knowledge!!!”

Well, I hate to break the news to you, but if we don’t vote and get involved politically, we won’t even have the ability to fight things like this. The state will take over, and we will have no one to blame but ourselves.

What to Do

So, what do we do? In the closing chapter of Donald Trump Is Not My Savior: An Evangelical Leader Speaks His Mind About the Man He Supports as President, I lay out seven principles to help us navigate these difficult waters.

For the moment, let me share some other, related ideas. 1) Put gospel service, prayer, and evangelism first. 2) Then involved in politics without compromising your principles. 3) Always put your hope in God, not a politician. 4) It’s true that we’re only passing through this world, but we should do our best to make it better for the next generation. 5) Incremental change is better than no change at all, not to mention much better than negative change. Every little bit helps.

This, too, is part of being salt and light. This, too, is in harmony with our calling as believers. Let’s just keep our priorities straight. As I’ve repeated over and again, the Savior gets my life. The president gets my vote.

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  • Nick Stuart

    Dr. Brown’s anecdote about the 15 year old girl who decided she was transgender and henceforth wished to identify and be identified as a boy is yet another example of why Christian parents need to fully involve themselves in their children’s education and get them out of the public schools.

  • Patmos

    “the school was going to do this without even informing the parents, let alone getting their consent”

    “the school was giving her [meaning, her daughter] info, if we were not
    accepting of her new identity, that she should get us to sign away our
    rights as a parent”

    If stuff like this can’t be taken care of through elections, it needs to be taken care of in the courts. No way a school should be doing any of that. Not sure what the current laws are and where this is taking place, etc. But this either needs to be nipped in the bud, or reversed if said laws are already in place, because yes this will spill over into age of consent laws and pedophilia. This crap needs to stop NOW.

  • tz1

    I think it would have been better if the Muslims won and Europe went all Muslim because Christians then were willing to use violence – not first, but as a last resort – to fight the evil.

    The error is the left knows this, so knows they can get away with anything and everything including a holocaust of 60 million innocents, while Christians play politics.

    Christians need to end abortion? How about actually using civil disobedence (Horrors! Bad Optics! Did you read the latest MSNBC CNN Poll!) to prevent access to Abortion Clinics and see how far Trump will enforce the Freedom of Access to Clinics Entrances (FACE) Act?

    Earth First will moneywrench things and even harm animal in the process of harming research labs or ranches. And Christians?

    Scott Roeder managed to end many 3rd trimester abortions but wasn’t lauded, he was condemned.

    Christians are irrelevant. That is because when there is a clear, malignant evil, all the “christians” (I call them churchians) explain we can’t actually do anything to even slow it because it would be bad optics, violate some principal that only graduate students learn about, or that we should keep doing something else that has been totally ineffective for decades.

    I see a mountain of 60 million dead babies and God’s anger rising to a crescendo that will even give much pain to the feckless Christians.

    Note the shutdown is over a wall – I think Planned Parenthood will be funded if it ends even with the wall.

    America will drink the bitter cup – especially Christians (don’t they deserve Lamborghinis?) to the last dregs. And wonder why.

    Calusewitz said war is the continuation of politics by other means. Christians instead preemptively surrender and serve the Devil rather than assert masculine virtues like when we fought Muslims at LaPonto or the Crusades.

    America is about to die (spiritually), and I don’t see anyone fighting to keep her alive even though it isn’t complicated, or even difficult though it will require “the summer patriot, the sunshine soldier” to grow a pair and be willing to suffer.

    I wish it were not so, but at bes I can only retreat to areas that have not abandoned the faith, if only by accident avoid the very evils that Christians won’t fight. When Babylon falls, it will take the fake – and some real – “christians” with it. The merchants will morn. The pastors will wonder. They will ask what they could have done differnetly, but not realize that for a genration they were told to fight, fight hard, sacrifice, and they instead played on a field where only losing was possible.

    • Ray

      Remember that the Lord’s kingdom is not of this world, if it were his people would fight. Pray against principalities and powers, strongholds, demonic forces in the spiritual realm.

  • Anthony Cieszkiewicz

    The best we can really do as Christian is to vote for the lesser of the two evils in hope that the lesser evil may being of any value to the Christian world view. Now in all reality the unelected bureaucrats that are writing the detailed rules in accordance with the laws that are passed without ever being read, much less understood. then of course their is the gamesmanship played as follows (I no longer cite the original author of the following as these words are not mine.) ………………

    “Lawyers in politics are experts in the law that when pass place burden of compliance on all others while they themselves are the experts in avoiding the laws they pass, complicit in this scheme are the lawyers who prosecute and the lawyers whom defend to most politically legalistic of all, the judiciary whom rationalize the narrowest interpretation to adjudicate the case before them.”

  • Ray

    What we can do is pray against the evil, whether it be socialism, witchcraft, sexual perversion on a massive scale, or whatever it might be, and let’s pray we get Christians in office.

    Do we ever get phone calls from a congressman, asking us if a heart beat in the womb of a mother belongs to another human being, and if he should sign a heart beat bill? Do they ever ask us, what our opinion is about when one human being should take the life of another?

    We need new people in office. No president alone can make the changes necessary. He can do all he can, and he can make few changes, but the way our government is set up, we need better people in office and lots of them.

    • Woobiefuntime

      My main concern is the state should help the most number of people . If you do that we will cut down on the number of abortions. We should do what we can to make child birth convenient that includes free or low cost child care for people who need it. The rest can solve itself if the church can raise up some great preachers and teachers. One prove that we are lacking that based off of our last 2 presidential elections. Franklin Graham removed Mormons from the list of cults in order to get Christians to vote for Romney . Trump getting elected should be a red flag for all of us.

  • Kevin Quillen

    “We will be silenced on many fronts.”
    Really?! Why would you be silenced? Fear? Monetary loss? Loss of power or position? We(Christians) must NEVER be silent. No matter what.
    First step to change our nation….churches must give up tax exemption. Second…..form political action committees. Huge PACS, call on Godly men and women to run for office and support them. Once elected, they must stand for truth and be ambassadors for Christ. This is actually what the founders intended. This is the only hope to save our country. Will it happen? Sadly, no. Government has indoctrinated far too many for far too long. The numbers are against us. Each individual Christian must stand in his or her sphere of influence, boldly showing Christ through their life. I, for one, have been a consistent voter for over 40 years. I have seen that our system is only about power and party politics. The will of the people is ignored. We are used as pawns in the game. The Republicans have been running on defunding planned parenthood for years. They had the majority in the house and senate and the presidency for two years. We were played again! I am done! I came to realize that if voting really mattered, they would not let us do it.
    America; Land of the free*
    *some restriction may apply
    *license or permit may be required
    *subject to change without notice
    We need a literal 20 million patriot march on DC and physically remove them from office!
    I am done with the RepubliCons and Demonrats.

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