Ah, autumn; the season for brilliant colors, football games and political skulduggery. As Christians we should praise God for the beauty of his creation and the joy of athletic excellence but how should we deal with the realm of politics?
To begin with it is important to accept the fact that there is no area of life that is exempt from the rule of God. Christians are called to engage every part of creation as they bring their sphere of influence under the authority of Jesus Christ. Believers must work to provide examples of how the kingdom of God is realized in every legitimate and moral pursuit. And yes, this includes the realm of politics with participation as candidates and voters alike.
Yet, how shall we define “Christian politics?” What are the issues that must guide us as players in the game of government – again, as voters and candidates?
Certainly there are the obvious issues that Christians may not ignore. No Christian can ever support a “pro-choice” (pro-death), position. Believers must always stand in defense of life from conception to natural death. Moreover, God fearing folk must affirm the sanctity of marriage – a covenant relationship between one man and one woman. We cannot support candidates who believe otherwise and we cannot run for office without these planks as part of our platform.
However, when we move beyond these matters and begin to discuss the overall role of government we enter a realm where there is much disagreement among conservative Christians. Specifically there is disagreement concerning the size and scope of government.
Although the Bible does not say exactly how far the reach of the civil authority should extend, it does teach us that the best government is self government under God. The whole of the Bible teaches us that each individual is responsible for his own actions and for the oversight of those under his immediate care. The Scripture also reveals that none of the principal institutions is chief over the others. We are instructed to give honor where honor is due but we are also taught that the Family, Church and State are complimentary and each has its particular sphere of influence. This is an aspect of what is known as the “anti-sovereignty” doctrine. In other words, none of the basic institutions is sovereign over the others. Instead, each derives its authority from the Sovereign ruler of the universe and is thereby answerable to God.
These things were understood by our nation’s Founding Fathers and so the constitutional government they bequeathed us rejected the idea of a sovereign state at any level. This “anti-sovereignty” was medieval in origin and Puritan in development. It meant that no single civil institution held sway over all others. In truth, that is what the Boston Tea Party was all about. The war for independence was fought to secure the rights of each colony (state), not to surrender them to a monolithic national state.
As a Christian and citizen of this nation, I want to encourage my fellow Believers to carefully consider their political participation this election season. No doubt you must vote pro-life and pro-family; I humbly suggest to you that you must also vote to restore the idea of separate and equal institutional spheres. I believe that failure to do so is to ignore the Bible, betray our national heritage and encourage the current slide into tyranny.