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05 Oct '12

Politics and a Christian or Kingdom world view

Posted by T.J. Addington in politics
Observation: most American believers do not have an integrated Christian world view which informs their personal lives, work lives and political thinking. We have views on these subjects but they are not integrated into a Christian world view where God's perspective is brought to bear in our thinking on all issues of life. Many of us operate with world view compartments where we have the religious issues and then all the other issues.

Jesus did not separate any issues from His relationship with the Father or from the Scriptures (the word of God). For Him, all of life was viewed through the lens of the Father's will and He assumed that the Father had something to say about every part of our lives.

This bifurcation is nowhere better seen than in the political arena where American believers latch on to one political ideology or another, listen to some loud commentator and rarely ask the God question: Does God have anything to say about these matters? If you doubt that, just listen to political conversations between believers and listen for any reference to Scripture or Biblical principles. I rarely hear any. I do hear references to talk radio hosts and such! It is as if none of the key issues facing our nation have any relationship to issues spoken to in Scripture. But they do!

Read, for instance, Deuteronomy (the Gospel of the Old Testament) or the Prophets who sought to help Israel understand the implications of the moral law of God and you will see themes that apply to people and nations: morality; justice; mercy; concern for the poor and disadvantaged; care for the widow and orphan; how one treats the alien (immigrant) in our midst. These issues do not belong to any political party - they are part of a Christian world view of how we view life, people and faith.

Rush Limbaugh, CNN, Fox, CNBC, the BBC or whoever one watches, reads or listens to have definite political ideologies. For believers the question is whether God has anything to say that might inform our thinking. Of course He does and we are the ones who are tasked with understanding His word and doing the mental work of applying it to the political arena. It is the integration of His truth into the thinking in all areas of our lives that helps us to develop a Christian world view which will never be synonymous with the political views of any party. Therefore we need to be critical thinkers regarding all political systems and theories.

I appreciate publications and deep thinkers that seek to integrate God's truth into life, politics and work. We need to train ourselves as we read God's word daily to make that kind of application to the events of our world, the challenges in our society and the culture of our home and workplace. 

I also appreciate those who give their lives to the political arena and are seeking to serve well the interests of those they represent. It is an honorable and sometimes thankless task. They are to be honored - especially those who bring into their work the kinds of values that God wants to see in our society. 

Daniel and Nehemiah and Joseph are great examples. Each served secular kings but brought a God world view into their work. They did the hard work of integrating their faith into the political arena. But each of them understood that God stood sovereign over all affairs of men and that they served Him first, rather than the political system they served within. Ultimately their faith and their truth was found in God, not in those they served.

Don't allow your world view to be separated from what God would have to say in any area of life. As Christians we hold two passports simultaneously: the nation we belong to and Heaven which rules and which is our destination. Living between the two is a tension that requires us to live here but to do so with Kingdom values and perspectives. It is the challenge of a Christian or Kingdom world view.