The Limits of Politics
Why are politics so important? Do the people have a voice? Is worrying about politics just a waste of time and energy? These questions have been researched, discussed, and debated for centuries. No matter which party is in office or what elected officials are said to be representing the people, there are always those who are upset with how things are being run. Until the end of time, people will always disagree on what defines the ideal society we all hope for. Many Christians in America are having trouble making up their mind about which presidential candidate to vote for. Many are also cynical about both parties and even the reaches of politics. What can politics even accomplish? I believe politics can accomplish a great amount.
Politics exist because humanity needs laws to curtail their sinful behavior. Politics are the means to create a society and help keep it the way the founders intended to keep it. Make no mistake, the law saves no one, nor does it create good character in people. Yet the law sets up boundaries and punishments to help prevent sinful behavior and establish justice. We understand that the only weapon against evil in this world is the Gospel. Therefore, Christians must promote a free society that allows the Gospel to go forth freely and fiercely.
I have to say, first of all, that the Gospel can flourish to some degree in any society. It is not the work of humanity; it is the power of Jesus working in the lives, hearts, and communities of people all over the earth. Yet, America provides a unique opportunity for the Gospel. Our republic was established as a free society with a limited government model predicated on freedom of the people. The freedom of speech is, perhaps, the most crucial element of any free society. Freedom of speech is a great asset to the spread of the Gospel. Americans have been able to spread the message of Jesus freely in our own country for hundreds of years and have been able to launch missionaries to countries all over the globe.
As easy as it can be to think cynically about our current political system, there is certainly a difference in how candidates feel about the spread of Christianity. We have to remember that our great war is a spiritual war (to quote Tyler Durdin). The enemy wants to suppress the spread of the Gospel and will use any means to do it, even through politicians. Even organizations like the ACLU are diligently working to keep the Christian message and practice out of the public square.
Our participation in politics as Christians must be fueled by one desire: the spreading of the Gospel. Only Jesus can save. No politician, no law, no executive order can remotely affect people’s hearts like Jesus can. This is the limit of politics. Everyone in the country wants change to occur in our political system to make the United States a better place. America is not a Christian nation, nor would it ever be unless every single citizen became a Christian. But, a free society founded on moral truths creates the most ideal situation for a populace to flourish. Flourishing Christianity is great for everyone. There are politicians that actually believe and live out moral realities. Their convictions do not change on the whims of poll numbers and popular opinion. Whatever is true and good is whatever correlates to reality. If America is to remain free and the Gospel be easily spread from our citizenry, we must continue to elect those type of politicians.
Jesus was very controversial in his day but surprisingly apolitical. He understood that his primary mission was the introduction of the Kingdom to the earth culminating with his death, burial, and resurrection. As Americans, if we can focus our political efforts on preserving a free society that can continue to spread the Gospel, we will have succeeded. There are laws that infringe on truth and morality. There are concerns about healthcare practices that will force people to pay for things they are morally against. While politics can change no one’s heart, it can be a tool to serve the people and spread of the Gospel.