“Praise the name of the Lord forever and ever, for He has all wisdom and power. He controls the course of world events; He removes kings and sets up other kings. He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to the scholar.” – Daniel 2:20, 21
You ever heard two Christians fighting about politics before? It usually has two characteristics: it’s mean as hell and neither party seems to know what they’re talking about. The great irony about it all is that Jesus knew everything about the government of his day, yet he has very little to say about politics.
- “Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s and to God the things that are God's.”
There you have it. By any meaningful measure, that is Jesus’ sum total in regard to political rhetoric.
So, why do we get drawn into such heated discussions (especially with each other) about the state of governance in our world?
Probably, Christians are concerned that the world is becoming too “ungodly.” We live here, after all, and the more this world turns its back on God and His kingdom, the more troubled we become.
This is where caution should be levied, though. The world is a term used in different ways for different purposes. First, God created the world. That is an all-encompassing term for everything that exists on planet Earth, including the planet itself. But other meanings apply as well. When the world grew evil, and God flooded it, that wasn’t the planet itself doing evil, but rather that was humanity doing evil.
Perhaps the most relevant meaning to this article is ““My kingdom is not of this world. If my kingdom were of this world, my servants would have been fighting, that I might not be delivered over to the Jews. But my kingdom is not from the world” (John 18:36). Here, Jesus draws a distinction between the world and His kingdom. This is both a political and spiritual distinction. In other words, people who are not citizens of heaven are understandably invested in the things of this world. That is their home. Everything that they hold dear has to do with existing here.
But for those who have given themselves to Jesus Christ, their true home is not the Earth. Sure, we reside here during our mortal life, but we now belong to a different nation. Our ruler is Jesus, and we will serve as spiritual government officials in that kingdom.
We are ambassadors for Christ (2 Corinthians 5:20). Our embassy office sits on foreign land, but our responsibility is to promote and advocate for heaven. We do not invest ourselves deeply into the political fights of the foreign nation on which our embassy resides, but we inform the discussion as heavenly ambassadors. We align with Jesus, the One who had little Himself to say about earthly politics.
Am I telling you to stop voting? No. Am I telling you to not say anything when something ungodly is asserted by the governments of the land? No.
But if you are compromising church unity with your earthly political opinions, then you are forgetting your responsibility as an ambassador of heaven. Unity is our primary call. The New Testament is caked in language about Christian unity. Spiritual gifts are given primarily to promote the edification and unity of Christians with other Christians.
Let’s be ambassadors who show a divided world what unity is supposed to look like. Maybe that will play a role in turning the tide on our dwindling numbers in churches.
Commit to unity. Stop the politicking. Be the ambassador Jesus has called you to be.
If you are a practicing Christian, here is something you need to hear. If your heart and mind is that the addicted, impoverished, and broken people dug their own grave and the rest of society is not responsible for their bad mistakes, then I ask you to wake up.