November 5, 2010

The Gospel is NOT... A Political Party, Ideal or System

(This is the second post in the series, "The Gospel is NOT...")

The Gospel is NOT... A Set of Rules

2. A Political Party, Ideal or System: Considering that this is the week of the midterm elections, this post seems particularly relevant.

Because of America's founding on certain Biblical principles and the feeling among some that we are somehow a "Christian nation", I think that there is a peculiar presence of those who hold to certain political stances as being distinctly Christian. For instance, some may think that those who do not believe in a democratic republic form of government as the best form of government are in some way unchristian. They couldn't fathom being a Christian and also in support of a monarchy or other forms of government. However, there have been Christians throughout the ages who have lived and died as good citizens of governments that were anything but democratic.

Likewise, in the political sphere, there a many Christians who on both sides of the fence politically. I have friends who genuinely disagree about the role government has in meeting the needs of people and wear the label "liberal", "libertarian" and "conservative" accordingly. But these friends also realize that the Gospel is what is central and ultimate, not their political views. Certainly, there are issues that have grave moral significance and are much easier to think through from a Biblical perspective. For instance, the Bible is clear about the moral nature of abortion. However, the fact that two people agree that abortion is wrong does not mean that the they will also agree on economic policy, or that being a Christian means that one must be for or against limited government, welfare or any other number of issues. God has blessed us with wisdom and logic to think through these things- indeed it is our responsibility to do so- but we should not expect that we will always be in agreement or that taking one stance is necessarily more in line with the Gospel than another.

In other words, believing the Gospel will not lead anyone to take a particular governmental or political stance. The converse is true as well. Being a Republican, Democrat, liberal, conservative or anything else will not save you. Jesus will not come back and ask what political party you were affiliated with. This may seem silly, but sometimes it seems that people think this way. They appear to find it unfathomable that those who call themselves "Christian" would not share their views.

But the root problem with all of this is that we are putting an extra requirement on people that the Bible gives no credence for. Salvation is by faith alone in Christ alone. It's not that we have to have faith and be registered as a Republican. It's not that we believe in Christ and support the Democratic party. It's that we believe in Christ, who told us to submit to the government (no matter the structure) [Rom. 13:1] and who said, "My kingdom is not of this world" (John 18:36). We trust in Him who will one day put all governments beneath His feet and rule as our perfect, praiseworthy King (1 Cor, 15:26-27; Rev. 19:16). It is from Him that we receive salvation, and no earthly power.


Daniel Wentworth said...

Daniel - This is my first time reading your blog and I must say that in my view of things you have absolutely nailed it! Your comments are center of the mark.
I just finished a book titled UnChristian by Kinnamon and Gabe Lyons. It is a must read for Christ followers who desire to truly be an ambassador of Christ (2 Cor. 5:20) For anyone over 40 (like me) it is beyond a must read, it is a requirement.
Great stuff Daniel - my heart warms with pride and love for you as it is clear Father is continuing his good work in you (Phil. 1:6)
- Daniel Wentworth

Mollie said...

Refreshing to read this. Thanks for the post - I'm looking forward to the rest of the series. :)



© 2009Mind in Renewal | by TNB